Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

A few weeks ago, I discussed the importance of building great customer relationships. In this blog post, I would like to expand on the topic and focus in on how to keep customers within your reach, while steadily increasing your return on investment.

According to this year’s Email Marketing Census by e-consultancy.com, retention makes up a higher percentage of email marketing budgets than acquisition (52% compared to 46% for acquisition). In other words, email marketers are conscientiously tracking the strength of their customer base by acquiring less marketing channels. This in turn reduces overall cost of each beginning sales transaction.

Keeping continuous relationships with customers can be a hard task. Here are a few things to keep in mind when focusing on customer retention in your email marketing campaigns:

  • Business to customer communication is vital. E-mail is the most relevant tool that companies use to communicate with their customers (more than blogs, commenting on websites, etc.).
  • Listen and understand customer feedback.Today, customers are more empowered than ever to influence a business. Customers have the option to leave negative comments on related blogs or websites or mark your material as Spam. Positive and negative feedback can affect your company’s reputation.
  • Pay attention to customer focus. There are many different reasons why customers discontinue service or fail to follow through with additional purchases. These reasons include: the customer moves, they are introduced or referred to another company, or there is no customer contact from the business. Be sure to define your customer focus and stick with a concrete relationship strategy.

In summary, the best customer is the customer that you already have. I will be back later in the week to discuss more topics on email marketing.


Ryan Allis