• Elaine Keep

5 minute strategies for b2b: customer retention using your email newsletter

Customer lovin'. We love to talk about it, but in b2b are we the best at doing it? From working with multiple clients here at Your Marketing Managed we get to see lots of variations on how to do b2b customer retention, and what works.

Here's our 2 cents.

Why b2b customer retention matters:

Customer retention in b2b could be the most important thing that you do. No really!

Listening to the CEO of Moon Pig Nick Jenkins on the very excellent 'Diary of a CEO' podcast, we discovered that Nick actually gained his business through existing customers. Word of mouth came from the recipient of a Moonpig card flipping it over and seeing that brand logo, and then heading over for their own card on the next occasion. They also had a great experience with the business and the simplicity of the model made it easy to recommend.

Customer retention as a marketing strategy gives the idea of lots of begging emails asking for recommendations to be sent and marketing incentives, but really, alerting your customers to everything you do is a strategy in itself which is why the newsletter is such a critical part of your marketing.

After all, while filling up the funnel from cold emails is exciting, consider the devastation if your whole customer base left you tomorrow. Your cost per lead on social media might be anywhere between £5 - £60 and then you have the long road of converting them to long term clients. Multiply that and you are looking at a big budget.

You can avoid this by simply keeping customers happy and one way to do this is with your customer email newsletter that's personalised.

So, here are some ideas for a great customer email newsletter to improve retention rates

1) Create a 2 way chat on your newsletter, using it as a springboard to a deeper engagement

The dreaded 'no reply @' is a bit of a turn-off. Marketing people like to talk about Human to Human, but the idea of any feedback to a newsletter makes us shudder. There is no need. Create open links to reply to any newsletter as well as direct links to find out more. Actively seek feedback and ask questions. The engagement from any email campaign is likely to soar once people know you listen, and you can start to get real benefits in terms of leads for add ons or contract extensions, or anything else.

2) Use a personal account manager sign off

Depending on your size, the customer should have an account manager, or the illusion of having being selected one. It makes good sense for all emails sent to be from this individual, and a portion of your customer newsletter blogs to be created 'by them' and also to have them interviewed on social media posts so people start to engage with the b2b email coming not from 'ACME inc' but from Emily Williams at ACME inc.

3) Put your CEO in the spotlight

One of the best newsletter clicks we get when we send customer updates is on an opinion from the CEO. It may have been ghostwritten by a marketing copywriter, but the CEO holds weight. Integrate them into your marketing and the customer starts to feel they are getting elevated news.

4) Bin off the bad months

Marketing people love consistency but if you are scrabbling around for content - today isn't your day. Leave the newsletter and produce a bumper edition next time. No one is waiting for it to land.

What email provider is best to use for b2b?

We get asked what to use and we have tried them all, SendBlaster, Dotmailer (or dot digital as it is now known) Send In Blue, MailChimp...

We always recommend SendInBlue for ease of use. MailChimp makes it extraordinarily hard to add in videos and gifs, which is a pain.

HTML coded or self made?

We love tools like Canva which allow you to DIY so many aspects of design, but we would always suggest a coded, beautiful HTML email. With the right team these don't take more than a day to get back to you, and it's worth the expense.

Adjust your b2b strategy so it includes a better email newsletter. Let us create your strategy to turn your b2b marketing into something that caters for customer and turns them into an advocate.

About us Your Marketing Managed bridges the gap between using a marketing freelancer specialising in one niche, and a marketing agency with expensive rates that might not execute on every idea. It's a unique hybrid freelance/agency model - specifically for b2b - but that's a mouthful - so the name Your Marketing Managed fits the bill nicely. Created from the concept of offering marketing agency services without London marketing agency prices, Your Marketing Managed offer b2b marketing strategy, which includes website copywriting services, blogging services, content copywriting, b2b email marketing and general 'b2b marketing / freelance marketing tasks in everything from traditional, digital and events. You get the perks of the rates similar to a freelancer with the multiple skills and strengths associated with a marketing agency. We charge on a project basis or a day rate, with lightweight contracts to suit both parties. Your Marketing Managed was founded in 2017 and is run by Elaine Keep, a previous head of marketing for PLC and SME businesses in the areas of eCommerce, software and SaaS. Elaine is also the editor at the Incentive Marketing Association and Incentive&Motivation and a member of Wiin (Women In Incentives Network.

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