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How to Drive Customer Retention with Advocacy Marketing

Rhys Williams
By Rhys Williams — March 12, 2024 -

Read time:  6 mins

Retaining your customers in a crowded online landscape is hard. For many brands, one of the most challenging parts of customer retention is understanding what’s driving customer decisions. 

This is for two main reasons: 

  1. Retaining customers means getting them not to do something (ie., churn). Measuring something that hasn’t happened is, well, tricky! If you’re a business that relies on repeat customers, how long do you leave it before you consider your customers as having churned?
  2. It’s very difficult to know what causes retention. Did that customer make another purchase because they got an expertly-timed email, or because they needed a replacement item quickly and you were the most convenient option? Are your customers hanging around because they’ve got nowhere better to go, or is it because they’re genuinely engaged with and love your brand?

Customer advocacy data can help you with these problems. It gives you an extra layer of insights on top of buying activity that gives you deeper understanding of what your customers are thinking and feeling. 

By collecting and analysing your customer’s advocacy signals — those activities they take on their own initiative to promote your brand — you get insights into who your biggest fans are, who your most valuable customers truly are, and who it’s worth spending valuable marketing budget on retaining.


The Fundamentals of Customer Retention

Understanding what motivates your customers and their buying decisions is fundamental to retaining their business. You can access these powerful customer insights by putting in place some basic customer retention best practices.


  1. Build customer segments: Begin by segmenting your customers based on their behaviour data, purchase history, and customer profiles. For example, you could segment customers based on their frequency of purchase (one-time buyers vs. repeat customers), the type of products they purchase, their average purchase value, their geographical location, or even their propensity to refer others. 
  2. Identify high-value and at-risk segments: Use segmentation to identify which customers are bringing the most revenue to your business, as well as those who are at risk of churning. 
  3. Create personalised communication: Tailor email campaigns, reward programs, or other outreach efforts to each segment's needs and preferences. For example, you could target at-risk customers with re-engagement campaigns, while rewarding high-value customers with exclusive offers or VIP benefits.
  4. Tailor your CX: Customers respond differently depending on where they are in the buying cycle, so crafting a varied customer experience for each segment  improves satisfaction and customer retention. For example, you could offer personalised recommendations based on past purchases or browsing behaviour.
  5. Test and iterate: When you get your retention strategy up and running, you’ll be constantly tweaking your segments, messaging, and CX. Over time, this iterative process will allow you to develop more effective, personalised customer retention strategies.


If you implement these steps, you’ll notice an immediate boost in how you understand, relate to and keep hold of your customers. But to see a lasting step change in customer retention, you need to layer in advocacy data.


Why You Need Advocacy to Solve the Retention Puzzle

One of the reasons solving the retention problem is so hard is that it’s not always clear why you’re retaining, or not retaining, your customers. 

Having a segmentation strategy that identifies your biggest spending customers and those who haven’t purchased in a while is a great start, but it only tells you if they have or haven’t bought. 

Only using purchasing data makes it very difficult to attribute retention numbers to specific campaigns or actions. It makes the job of CRM managers and customer leaders especially difficult — you are the ones who need to drive retention, but without the ability to prove your methods and attribute results you’re fighting with one arm tied behind your back. 


How Mention Me Can Help

Mention Me’s Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform directly integrates with your CRM, offering you a new layer of data that helps you drive retention and demonstrate the effectiveness of your campaigns. It uses: 


Sentiment analysis 

Mention Me applies sentiment analysis to customer feedback and NPS scores, categorising common issues. This allows you to more easily take any necessary action. If, for example, your customers often complain about confusing website navigation, you can develop a plan to improve it.

NPS Performance Over Time allows you to see the impact of your actions on customer sentiment, helping you demonstrate the usefulness of your activities. 


Extended customer revenue (ECR) data 

Your customer’s ECR score shows you the total value they bring to your business when you take into account their own purchases, plus how much the people they refer spend. 

Layering ECR data into your retention campaigns (with the ability to segment by high, medium and low ECR) gives you a much clearer idea of which customers are truly the most valuable. It also helps you identify the more transactional customers who may have made a significant purchase but are unlikely to shop with you again. This insight conserves your marketing budget, allowing you to target it where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. 


Predicted ECR

Based on advocacy data, predicted ECR tells you how much value customers will bring to your business over the next 12 months. Not only does this help you allocate retention resources, it also reveals those customers who’s predicted ECR scores have dropped, alerting you to the potential for churn. 

If you want to know more about how an advocacy marketing strategy can benefit your retention efforts, request a free demo today.

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