The only way for a company to become profitable is for its customers to purchase their products or services. Historically, companies have spent the majority of their marketing budgets on customer acquisition. The thought was, if companies reached more people, they could sell more. Today, as companies use data to determine customer motivation and behavior, they are realizing that customer retention is where they should be focusing their marketing efforts.
If your company is still not sold on the idea of customer retention, these resources will be of immense value. Some of the resources analyze the value of customer acquisition versus customer retention to help you make more informed marketing decisions. If you’re already moving toward a more customer-centric focus (and are adopting a system or leveraging customer retention software), these resources will help you focus your strategies and put their practical ideas and solutions to good use. That’s because we have gathered a variety of resources from customer loyalty, engagement, experience, and retention experts to give you the best information to set you on a path to more successful customer retention efforts.
Please note, we have listed our top 50 customer retention online resources in no particular order.
Table of Contents:
Written by Arthur Middleton Hughes, considered by many in the industry as an icon of database marketing, this article outlines his belief that too many companies organize for acquisition rather than retention. Hughes also speaks to the importance of customer loyalty in this article, as well as to the need for using lifetime value analysis to test and improve retention strategies.
Three key topics we like from Customer Retention: Integrating Lifetime Value into Marketing Strategies:
This customer retention article was written by K. Ramakrishnan, of the Strategic Marketing Research Team. The article offers explanations and support for Ramakrishnan’s assertion that the key to superior business performance is customer retention and arrested downward migration.
Three key points we like from Customer Retention: The Key to Business Performance:
Carol Roth, CNBC contirbutor and a preeminent name in business news, relied on her contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts to get the best tips and advice for dealing with difficult customers. Dealing with difficult customers is a part of the job, and these strategies should help you not just handle them, but retain them.
Three points we like from 105 Best Ways to Deal with Difficult Customers:
Written by marketing consultant Adam Waid, this customer retention article offers “a few things to consider when building your digital strategy for customer retention.” After all, existing customers’ loyalty is profitable, as they “spend ten times their initial purchase value over the life of a relationship with your company.”
Three points we like from Digital Strategy Tactics for Customer Retention:
This customer retention article from KISSmetrics reminds all of us that while it’s tempting to focus on acquisition in this age of startups and growth hacking, it’s much more costly than focusing on customer retention. The value of customer retention and brand loyalty is not to be overlooked, and the 10 strategies for increasing brand loyalty offered in the article are worth considering.
Three points we like from 10 Tactics for Increasing Your Customer Lifetime Value and Loyalty:
Written by Jerry Jao, a Forbes contributor who just so happens to be a retention marketing expert with startup experience and CEO credentials, Why Customer Retention is King: The Evolution of Retention Marketing offers his observations on how customer engagement and retention have changed. Jao also explains the ways in which technology will affect the future of retention marketing, in this customer retention article.
Three points we like from Why Customer Retention is King: The Evolution of Retention Marketing:
Gregory Ciotti has a background in developmental psych and neuroscience and loves to apply research “to practical lessons on creative work and human behavior.” His customer retention article, 15 Customer Retention Strategies that Work, puts that research to good use, as all 15 of the tips are backed by it, plus case studies.
Three points we like from 15 Customer Retention Strategies that Work:
A customer retention article rife with tips, 5 Customer Retention Strategies to Increase Loyalty is a quick read that packs a punch. The strategies are practical, and companies can choose to adopt a combination of them, one of them, or all of them, depending on their budget, manpower, and needs.
Three points we like from 5 Customer Retention Strategies to Increase Loyalty:
Renilde De Wit, an i-SCOOP partner specializing in community and content management, explains the ways in which to boost customer retention through online communities in this customer retention article. She expertly points out that customers should not wait until a crisis to retain customers; rather, they should use online customer communities for customer retention.
Three key points we like from Improving Customer Retention Using Online Customer Communities:
Ross Beard, a member of Client Heartbeat’s marketing team, showcases his marketing specialist knowledge in this customer retention article. With a focus on measuring customer retention rates and implementing customer retention strategies, Beard explains how companies can retain more customers.
Three key points we like from 11 Customer Retention Tactics with Real-World Examples:
CEO and co-founder of Evergage, Karl Wirth penned this customer retention article that marries key marketing strategies with customer retention marketing. Is your company running a relationship-based business? Check these seven Ps to assess your customer retention marketing strategies.
Three key points we like from The 7 Ps of Customer Retention Marketing:
With four main strategies for increasing customer retention, this article outlines effective practices for companies to implement. The strategies are presented no fluff; this is a straightforward article that gets right down to the business of customer retention.
Three points we like from Customer Retention Strategy:
Written by Dr. Robert M. Brecht, research analyst and Director of Research and Education for the DMN3 Institute, this customer retention article offers customer retention strategies that boost companies’ bottom lines. Dr. Brecht espouses the importance of customer retention, especially in relation to customer acquisition.
Three points we like from 5 Critical Factors That Drive Customer Retention:
A Guide to Growth Hacking Retention Strategies, a customer retention article written by Mark Hayes, highlights Hayes’ knowledge and experience as a growth hacker at Growth Devil. His main point is that “retention must be a major focus that works in tandem with growth hacking strategies,” and he makes a case for data-driven environments.
Three key points we like from A Guide to Growth Hacking Retention Strategies:
Jennifer Beese, news editor for Sprout Social and community manager/social media strategist for several startups, wrote this customer retention article to make the case for customer retention strategies that center on the customer, rather than those that have a marketing-driven focus. She suggests that companies put a plan in place that benefits existing customers as well targets new customers.
Three points we like from Customer Retention Strategies in 2014:
Ohad Hecht, COO of Emarsys with cross-industry experience in marketing, sales, operations, and manufacturing, puts his thorough understanding of digital marketing and e-commerce to good use in this customer retention article. He acknowledges that customer retention versus acquisition is an age-old question for marketers and one that deserves attention, but you’ll have to read the article for his answer.
Three points we like from Retention vs. Acquisition – and the Winner Is…:
Matt Ward, the brains behind Art of the Kickstart, explains just how important repeat buyers are in this customer retention article. As Ward points out, businesses “live and die by the repeat buy.”
Three points we like from Customer Acquisition vs Customer Retention – 6 Strategies for Repeat Buyers:
Carol Roth’s network of contributors and entrepreneurs is so extensive and knowledgeable that we couldn’t resist using another of her articles for our customer retention resources. These 100+ tips will help you turn your customers into loyal fans in no time.
Three points we like from 100+ Ways to Create Customer Loyalty in Business:
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Parature and author of Parature’s Customer Service Blog, Tricia Morris shares her top ten insights from the 2014 Gartner Customer 360 Summit in this customer retention article. Insights provided in the article were shared by key Gartner customer service and experience analysts and offer helpful tips for readers.
Three key topics we like from 10 Top Customer Experience Takeaways from Gartner Customer 360:
This paper, written by Anton Ovchinnikov of Queen’s School of Business and Béatrice Boulu-Reshef and Phillip E. Pfeifer of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, explores the interaction between revenue management and CRM for a firm operating in a customer retention situation while facing limited capacity. The paper also introduces a new concept, the value of an incremental customer (VIC), which is of interest to customer retention marketers.
Three topics we like from Revenue Management with Lifetime Value Considerations: Balancing Customer Acquisition and Retention Spending for Firms with Limited Capacity:
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Irit Nitzan, doctoral student at Tel Aviv University, and Barak Libai, associate professor at Arison School of Business, conducted a study exploring the role of customers’ social networks in their defection from service providers. Summarily, customer retention rates are greatly affected by customers’ social networks.
Three points we like from Social Effects on Customer Retention:
If you’re looking for even more customer retention articles, this When I Work post is a great resource for you. Browse through and read those that look intriguing after you check out the rest of our customer retention resources.
Three articles we like from The Best Articles on Customer Loyalty & Retention:
Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), a global non-profit organization, guides and enhances the field of customer experience management. CXPA members “develop, manage, optimize, and envision how organizations interact with their customers” and supports professional development through research, education, developing standards, networking opportunities, and more. CXPA, in itself, is a tremendous customer retention resource.
Three resources we like from CXPA:
Cost: Both FREE and paid resources available
Available online as a chapter in Information and Communication Technology for Education, Dynamic Prediction of Individual Customer Retention is written by Xiaoguang Wang of Shanghai Finance University, Jie Liu and Fuming Wu of Fudan University’s School of Management, and Lei Guo of both institutions. The chapter addresses customer retention and proposes a dynamic model to compute individual customer retention based on Bayes theorem.
Three points we like from Dynamic Prediction of Individual Customer Retention:
The BigDoor utilizes better marketing to connect brands and customers and is on a mission to help marketers increase engagement and loyalty. This customer retention resource is their comprehensive guide to loyalty and engagement building.
Three topics we like from The Marketer’s Guide to Customer Loyalty:
This guide by Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing at Porch, urges marketers “to pay attention to the second half of the funnel. It’s no longer just about falling the funnel; we have to provide stunning experiences and optimize every touchpoint.” In this customer retention resource, Lord guides readers through BigDoor’s model for measuring customer loyalty.
Three points we like from How to Measure and Increase Customer Loyalty:
Written by Sweet Tooth co-founder Steve Deckert, this guide to customer retention explains that customer retention gained popularity when the findings of a Harvard Business Review study were released in 2011 claiming that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” Decker then explains three methods to increase customer retention: strategies, tactics, and tools.
Three points we like from The Ultimate Guide to Customer Retention:
Founder of LeadJoint.com and digital media consultant, Anand Srinivasan also runs Entrepreneurship Daily, a newsletter for entrepreneurs. His guide to customer loyalty includes answers from marketers and business owners to one question: “What’s one trick or strategy that your business has used in order to improve customer loyalty?” This customer retention resource provides advice from those with experience in the industry.
Three tips we like from The Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty:
This customer retention guide provides “practical customer retention tactics that any business can apply.” Specifically geared toward digital marketing strategies and digital communications plan, the guide focuses on “creating an actionable online customer retention plan.”
Three points we like from Creating a Plan to Improve online Customer Retention:
This customer retention resource from SearchCRM covers everything marketers need to know about creating and implementing customer retention strategies. SearchCRM is a trusted source in CRM, sales, and marketing, and this guide puts their expertise and knowledge of customer retention to good use.
Three topics we like from Best Customer Retention Strategies:
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, but Infinit Contact points out that while attracting new customers is important, many businesses fail to give the necessary attention to retaining loyal customers. After all, it’s easier to keep existing customers by fostering loyalty than it is to acquire new customers. This detailed guide covers everything you need to know to improve your company’s customer retention practices, from the importance of customer retention to strategies for increasing retention, the retention tools and tactics that work, and more.
Three topics we like from The Definitive Guide to Boost Customer Retention:
Growth Hacking Life covers the essentials for boosting customer retention through engagement in this thorough guide, part of a larger series on user retention. The guide focuses on three core principles of engagement, including building communities, creating frequent customer engagement points, and providing free value to your users or customers (without sales pitches).
Three points we like from The Definitive Guide: How to Improve Retention with Engagement:
Written by the Application Developers Alliance Business and Revenue Working Group, this guide is a two-for-one customer retention resource because it begins with a podcast from a Business and Revenue Working Group Member. The app market faces a particularly tough challenge when it comes to customer retention because customers expect excellent performance, customer service, and long-term value.
Three points we like from Motivate and Engage Users: Solutions for Boosting Customer Retention:
Written by the Apptentive Team, The Guide to Customer Retention for Mobile Apps is an online guide that gets readers to consider whether they are asking the right questions to improve their mobile customer retention. With less than half of customers continuing to use an app they downloaded after one month, customer retention is a very important issue for app developers.
Three topics we like from The Guide to Customer Retention for Mobile Apps:
This infographic from Go-Gulf helps companies understand the importance of retaining online customers and utilizing best practices regarding customer retention for E-commerce businesses. It clearly shows the financial benefits of customer retention, over customer acquisition.
Three statistics we like from The Importance of Online Customer Retention:
This infographic from GetResponse’s Tomasz Zamajski, Marketing Specialist, clearly shows the value of fostering loyalty through long-term relationships with customers. Investing in loyalty programs and relationship marketing is less expensive than acquiring new programs, as this customer retention resource explains.
Three statistics we like from Strategies That Increase Customer Loyalty:
This infographic from Adam Toporek and CustomersThatStick visualizes various customer retention statistics and examines the three most important aspects of customer retention: why customers leave, why customers stick, and why retained customers mean money. This customer retention resource is a must-see for companies of all sizes.
Three statistics we like from When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers:
Editor of Opinions and senior writer for MarketingProfs, Veronica Jarski relates the fact that most companies rely on chance to retain customers, rather than focusing their attention on customer retention efforts, in this infographic. She considers whether these companies ignore customer retention because of fallacies, and she presents those customer retention fallacies, as well as realities and remedies, in Stop Gambling with Customer Retention.
Three facts we like from Stop Gambling with Customer Retention:
From Cristina Boehmer at KapowEvents, this infographic compares customer retention and acquisition statistics. In visual format, the information is very powerful and drives home the point that customer retention is the more powerful and profitable marketing strategy.
Three statistics we like from The Power of Customer Retention:
This presentation roundup from Travis Balinas, Product Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine, offers the ten best SlideShare presentations. The presentations focus on customer retention strategies, opportunities, statistics, and more, making this an invaluable customer retention resource.
Three presentations we like from Top 10 Customer Retention Presentations on SlideShare:
This Dreamforce customer retention video features Atri Chatterjee, CMO of Act-On Software. Viewers will learn how to apply new marketing techniques and marketing automation technologies to develop and carry out strategies for customer retention.
Three topics we like from Applying the Science of Marketing to Customer Retention & Expansion:
In this TEDxTeAro Talk from Lance Walker, formerly of Loyalty New Zealand, features loyalty programs as a marketing strategy and an exploration of whether they work and are worthwhile. Watch this customer retention resource to get all of the answers you need about loyalty programs.
Three points we like from Customer Loyalty Programmes… Why Bother!: Lance Walker at TEDxTeAro:
Author of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics and co-author of other customer loyalty books and blog posts, Jackie Huba is an expert on creating and sustaining customer loyalty. In this customer retention video from Speakers’ Spotlight, Huba is the keynote speaker at the Marriott Springhill Suites Annual General Mangers Conference and speaks about new, existing, and advocating customers.
Three points we like from Jackie Huba – Expert on Customer Loyalty and Word of Mouth Marketing:
In this video excerpt from Seminars on Demand, customer service training expert Jane Handly makes the case for excellent customer service as the driving force behind customer retention. Handly is known for her captivating style and practical ideas for exceeding expectations, and she does not disappoint in this short customer retention video.
Three points we like from Would You Do Business With You? – Jane Handly – Customer Service, Retention & Excellence:
HubShout offers “diversified, well-rounded online marketing solutions to brands and resellers.” This customer retention video from HubShout illustrates the importance and value of customer communication.
Three topics we like from Top Strategies for Customer Retention:
In this Behind the Brand video, CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy discusses engagement and the way in which customer acquisition eventually will all become customer retention. In his straightforward, engaging presentation, Vaynerchuk shares customer retention strategies and truths that are worth watching.
Three points we like from Behind the Brand – Gary Vaynerchuk: Customer Acquisition and Retention:
BrightTALK offers webinars and videos for professionals and their communities, and this collection of videos and resources is an invaluable customer retention resource. From marketing strategists to customer success experts, these presenters share everything companies need to know for customer retention.
Three resources we like from BrightTALK – Customer Retention:
In this video, the SMGDenver group discusses using social media for customer retention. Featuring 3D Communications’ Debi Davis, communication strategist and product enthusiast, this hour-long customer retention video features practical ideas for framing the conversation to gain customer retention.
Three topics we like from SMGDenver – Frame the Conversation – Customer Retention:
Loyalty 360 focuses on customer, channel, employee, and brand loyalty and engagement. Their webinar, Cult Loyalty: How to Drive the Only Customer Engagement That Will Matter in 2015, explains the major changes brand loyalty is undergoing and how to handle the changes and succeed in customer loyalty. See more Loyalty 360 customer retention webinars here.
Three topics we like from Cult Loyalty: How to Drive the Only Customer Engagement That Will Matter in 2015:
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In this webinar, Gordon Tan, Client Heartbeat founder and R&G Technologies Managing Director, speaks to a variety of customer retention topics. This is an informative customer retention resource that covers everything from identifying unhappy clients to implementing retention strategies.
Three topics we like from Increasing Customer Retention and Building Sticky Clients:
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