Renewing business may seem like a chore, but it is the leading strategy for keeping customers in your pipeline. You can’t assume every customer who has bought with you in the past will continue buying on their own – therefore renewals shouldn’t be left up to chance.
A surprising number of companies don’t leverage their marketing teams in the renewal process, but continuously marketing to existing customers can pay off.
Here are a few marketing tactics that you can start using now to help keep customers coming back again and again.
Speak to your customers directly, year-round
Many sales and marketing teams only think about renewals when the fourth quarter hits. You need to break out of this assumption and know that renewing business is a year-long process. Good marketing departments will be in touch with their customers consistently throughout the year. A strategy we implement here at SmartBrief is to reach out to customers every month through a newsletter. This keeps us top of mind for our customers and underscores a connection to our business that they may not be getting elsewhere. It is important to keep messaging strategy in mind. You should be sharing something valuable with your customers and not wasting their time. Tips for messaging strategy include:
- Original content and customer testimonials
- Special offers
- Tips on how to better use your products and services
- Top industry trends
- Tips on how to help customers do their job more effectively
- Events you may be attending and a way for customers to contact you directly
Keep a detailed buyer persona
Your existing customers warrant a different approach than prospects in your pipeline. That’s because existing customers have different needs and a better understanding of your company. Work closely with your sales team to determine who your customers are, and get to know them on a personal level. This might not seem logical, especially in a B2B world, but writing out your buyer persona will help you to better achieve a greater number of renewals. Sitting in on customer calls with your sales team is a great way of learning firsthand what is important to the customer. Some questions you can ask are:
- What are their pain points?
- Do they feel that your product or solution solved those pain points?
- Did they receive enough support from your internal team after they bought?
- Is your product or solution something they would buy or implement again? Why or why not?
Talking to your customers directly is the best way to gauge the number of renewals you will receive. If you are hearing constant feedback that the product or service didn’t meet expectations, there is time to adjust strategy. You will also get an early start on investigating why and what you should be doing better.
Create Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are a great tool to have in your marketing portfolio, and they can come in really handy for helping to renew business. When a contract is up or a new product is introduced, you can ask your customer and end-user for feedback, although you need to get their approval before quoting them in a testimonial. If the customer is happy and agrees to participate, you’ll have a great opportunity to talk about their experience working with you. You’ll also open a door to have another conversation about renewal.
Constantly examine your data and marketing ROI and then upsell
Keep in mind that you already know every single action your customer has taken on their buyer journey. You may be tracking this data in a CRM or MAP, but wherever that information lives, use it! Look at it regularly and track which marketing efforts were effective in ultimately getting your customer to buy. When necessary, replicate those efforts. Did you add a new product or service to your line since the customer initially bought with you? Put that information into a sales sheet, and include it in your marketing communications to those customers. Don’t get overwhelmed with the data. Instead, use the data you have on every customer to your advantage.
Marketing should always be included in business renewals, and there are many tactics that can be implemented to help keep customers coming back again and again.
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