Are your customers sticky?
In other words, are they loyal to your brand? Do they make repeat purchases? Do they “stick” with you?
The answer is “no” if you’re dealing with an ever-increasing churn rate. And this may surprise you, the answer is also “no” if your customers stay put but don’t engage.
Customer stickiness goes one step beyond retention (i.e. customers staying with you out of habit or because they’ve forgotten to cancel). To achieve customer stickiness, you must create an experience that makes customers want to engage and actually want to stick around. It’s a conscious decision on your customer’s part to remain loyal to your brand.
And here’s the kicker: You can directly influence customer stickiness. You can build a relationship with your customers that strengthens their loyalty to your product. In this guide, we share must-know tips to create customer stickiness in your SaaS.
Let’s get started.
Focus on Email
Email is a key tool for every SaaS. Because you aren’t likely to come face to face with your customers (or even voice to voice), you need to rely on email as your primary engagement tool.
Email is better than posting on your blog or social media because you’re actively reaching out to your customers.
With your blog, you’re waiting for your customer to come to you. And with social media, you’re at the mercy of volatile algorithms to show your posts to your followers.
But when you send an email, you can hit your subscriber’s inbox directly. They’re more likely to see your message and act on it.
This is why email plays a huge role in nurturing both your prospects and your customers.
Let’s spend some time on how to use email to create customer stickiness.
Use Email in Onboarding
The sticky process starts right at onboarding. When introducing new customers to your product and brand, use email (in addition to an in-app tour) to set expectations. New customers are excited about your brand and are likely to open your first emails. Take that opportunity to send valuable content that gets them in the habit of opening your future emails.
During onboarding, also take a moment to learn more about your customers. You already know the basics, but you can send a survey during your onboarding series to find out:
- Their goals with your product
- What types of emails they’d like to receive
- How often they’d like to receive emails
The more you know about your customers, the better your future email interactions can be, which will definitely increase stickiness.
[tweetthis] Customer stickiness goes one step beyond retention. To achieve customer stickiness, you must create an experience that makes customers want to engage and actually want to stick around. [/tweetthis]
Segment Your Email List
So what do you do once you’ve learned more about your new customers?
Start segmenting them.
Segmenting means to divide your customers (or email subscribers) into groups. Segmentation allows you to write more relevant messages to your subscribers.
Relevancy drives opens.
If your email is trying to appeal to everyone on your list, it won’t have the same punch. But if you tweak one message and turn it into four (or however many segments you have), you can target specific pain points and motivate more of your customers to open more of your emails.
There are many ways to segment your email list. One of the easiest ways to segment is by customer persona. If you have more than one customer persona (most SaaS businesses do), then you need to create different segments and tailor your message accordingly so that it feels relevant and valuable to your customer.
Use Email to Ensure Customer Success
Don’t make the mistake of only sending promotional emails to your customers. The purpose of email marketing is to build relationships that naturally evolve into purchases, not to continuously self-promote.
It’s an important distinction, and if you don’t get the right balance, you may never achieve customer stickiness.
Instead of only focusing on product sales, focus on the customer’s success with your product. They won’t upgrade or stick around if they don’t find immediate value in your product. And, because they’re completely new to your product, they need your ever-present guidance to show them how to succeed with your product.
Flood your customer’s inbox with resources that teach them how to use your product, including tips, tricks, and hacks, and what to do if they encounter a problem. In addition to tackling these issues through email alone, you can also create and share webinars, videos, and knowledge base articles.
Be sure to segment your list so that you’re sending the most relevant educational resources possible.
Show Customers How Much Value They’ve Received
It’s okay to toot your own horn.
Sometimes, customers don’t know how much value they’ve gotten from your product. Don’t be afraid to break it down for your customers using cold, hard data that can’t be denied.
For example, show how much money they’ve saved over the course of their subscription. Send quarterly, monthly, or weekly updates on customer usage and what that means in terms of dollars and sense.
Have you sent a sincere “thank you” to your customers? Don’t just thank them after the initial sign up. Also thank your customers for being loyal. This thoughtful gesture will never go unnoticed by your customers. You don’t need to package this with a discount or monetary incentive. A simple, but heartfelt “thanks” can improve customer sentiment and make them want to stick around because they feel noticed.
It’s even more important to show your thanks as a follow up to a customer issue. After resolving your customer’s problem, be sure that they know you appreciate their business and willingness to stick with you.
Give Them a Reason to be Proud
Here’s another non-sales related email to send: Discuss your brand’s vision and mission. It’s proven that customers stick with brands that share their same values. What are your core values as a brand? What do you believe in? What charities do you support and why? Let your customers know what you value so that you can build an even stronger connection with them.
Send Dunning Emails
Don’t let your customers churn involuntarily.
Involuntary churn happens when a customer leaves without intending to. This usually happens due to a payment failure (i.e. an expired or declined credit card).
The worst thing you can do in response to a payment failure is to immediately lock your customer out. That won’t create customer stickiness. In fact, it will likely lead to customer un-stickiness, i.e. customers sliding away for good because they don’t like how you’ve handled the payment failure.
Don’t negatively surprise your customers by locking them out of their account. Instead, be proactive when a billing issue occurs. Send out a friendly, non-accusatory, and action-oriented dunning or pre-dunning email that shows your customer how to resolve the payment issue. Your customer is probably surprised (and may be a little embarrassed) by the payment failure. Take this opportunity to show your customer that you are committed to their success.
Don’t just link to your website. Link specifically to the payment page where they can update their details without needing to sign in. We can help with that.
Because it costs up to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than retain a current one, achieving customer stickiness is crucial for every SaaS. Deeper engagement with your brand and product leads to increased retention and loyalty. Be sure to incorporate the above tips to increase your customer stickiness.
Before you go, check out these additional resources:
- How to Build a Knowledge Base That Your Customers Love
- How to Write Dunning Emails that Get Results
- The SaaS Guide to Personalization (It’s Easier Than You Think)