Marketing isn’t always about generating brand new leads and business. Referrals and retention are also essential elements of marketing. Customer success marketing is part of this.
What is customer success marketing?
Customer success marketing is a strategy focused on retaining existing customers rather than acquiring new ones. You focus your communication on speaking to and engaging your current audience. It’s a way of ensuring you keep your existing customers happy and continue to have a positive experience with your product.
It’s an effort made by the product, marketing, and customer success teams collectively to keep retention high.
Why is customer success marketing important?
Acquiring a new customer can be as much as five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Improving your customer retention can directly improve your bottom line.
You want your customers to transition from sale to product use easily. A lack of customer success marketing can make this a challenge and cause customers to churn.
If you provide existing customers with clear, easy-to-use information about how to use the product, they will likely become lifetime customers and buy more in the future. Aside from retention, the role of customer success marketing is to improve customer loyalty, satisfaction, community participation, and referrals.
What does customer success marketing involve?
Your successful marketing efforts prove the value of your product to your customers. This can be done through onboarding materials, communications about products, webinars, social media, and blog content.
Great customer success communication positively surprises your customers, for example, helping them with something before it arises. This could be through a blog post that covers common troubleshooting issues or a comprehensive FAQ section on your website.
Here are other ideas for customer success marketing:
- Customer events – Host relevant (online or offline) events for your customers that will make them feel like a community. Events could involve meet and greets, the chance to ask questions, or a talk that deep dives into a relevant topic.
- Live Q&As – Hosting live events on social media or via webinar shows your customers you care and want them to get the most out of using your product. Educating your customers will help make the product more user-friendly and reduce friction.
- Informative content – Producing content that keeps current customers informed about developments with your product or in your industry can help keep them engaged. Blog posts with how-to guides or new ideas are great ways to do this.
Canva does a great job at offering educational content for their existing customers with ‘Design School’. The courses and tutorials aim to help customers optimize how they use the product and learn about features they may not discover otherwise. Access to this information leads to more engagement and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Free subscribers can also get access to these tutorials, which may encourage them to become paying customers. When they understand the full scope of the product, it makes it easier to see its value.
- Newsletters – If you want to keep your current customers up to date, encourage them to sign up for your newsletter. Share insightful information so they never want to miss an update.
You can also use your newsletter to encourage free customers to become paying ones, like Planoly does:
- Referrals – Incentivize review writing, for example, with a discount on the next purchase. Encouraging review writing could also remind your customers that they want to tell a friend about you. A referral program where the friend gets a discount for signing up through the existing customer is also a great way to keep customers engaged. Referring others makes them feel good, and people like to do it because it makes them appear knowledgeable.
- Case studies – Asking existing customers to share their experiences with your product can help disengaged customers relate to it. If your customers talk about how your product solved their struggle, disengaged customers better see the value. Here are more than 40 Customer Stories for GrowthMentor.
Related: Why you need customer success stories at your startup (and how to create them)
- Upselling – Once your existing customers are an active part of your community, it will be easier to cross-sell or upsell to them. Encouraging them to upgrade their plans or purchase new features is easier than it is with cold leads. Once you have some data on your existing customers, you’ll be able to share things most relevant to them.
In summary, customer success marketing helps you keep open lines of communication with your existing customers. Communicating with them helps them get the most out of using your product, lowering your churn rate and acquisition costs.
You want your customers to have a seamless experience, so they remain loyal, repurchase, and tell others about you. If they have easy access to information about using your product, it can also help reduce the number of customer support tickets.
Need some help with your customer success marketing strategy? Speak to one of our mentors with customer success expertise.