Improve retention and advocacy for your marketing funnel

Based on How to Create a Marketing Funnel by Responding to Customer Behavior by Tom Whatley

Business benefits

Decrease customer churn rates and improve word of mouth.

Run conversion rate optimization (CRO) on your website to remove barriers to conversion, like complex checkouts or expensive shipping.

In the absence of data and resources, focus on the key principles that make a difference to user experience. According to Common Thread Collective’s Aaron Orendorff, these are:

  • Speed: Reduce page load time.
  • Singularity: Have only one goal per page or piece of content.
  • Simplicity: Remove distractions that may confuse visitors.
  • Clarity: Lead with benefits, use clear language, and avoid jargon.
  • Identification: Design pages around a single target market.
  • Attention: Use keywords in headings and subheadings and write directly to your audience.
  • Desire: Answer What’s in it for me? with copy, social proof, and hero images.
  • Fear: Use scarcity and the PAS formula: problem, agitation, solution.
  • Trust: Use clean design, clear contact details, and social proof.

Offer incentives that make customers more comfortable with spending more money.

When developing incentives, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Keep incentives simple: Make guidelines clear and ensure that incentives are achievable for customers. This encourages participation and increases trust.
  • Understand what rewards motivate customers: Ask your audience what they prefer and test. High ticket items might convert more with discount rewards, but free item rewards may work better for everyday products.
  • Remind customers of expiration dates: Use scarcity marketing to inspire action.
  • Consider using gamification: Using challenges creates a sense of achievement and reinforces good behavior.

For example, one of the barriers that prospective Cozy Earth customers face when considering its products is price. Its collection of bamboo bedding and clothing is more expensive than many cotton or polyester alternatives. It gets around this by reassuring the reader with its Worry Free Guarantee.

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Customers can sample products for free before committing. They can also benefit from a 10-year warranty and free shipping and returns.

Provide reactive support to customers via email, phone, live chat, and social media.

For this to work, ways that customers can contact you should be set out clearly on your website.

HubSpot shows customers what types of support they can access based on their subscription level.

Provide proactive support by publishing answers to likely customer questions.

The more complex your product, the more likely it is that customers will run into problems. Marketing can be used to address these problems by creating a content database of guides, troubleshooting techniques, and FAQs to help customers overcome basic issues.

To create content that addresses the right kinds of problems, look for common questions being asked about your product and similar products on social media and in forums. Gather data from sales and customer services reps. What pain points are customers facing? What issues do they most require help with?

For example, HubSpot uses a chatbot to help customers accomplish their aims.

Set up a loyalty program to reward repeat customers.

Loyalty programs are a way to get customers to buy again. Like conversion incentives, they work by tempting customers with an offer.

Amazon is a famous example of a company that effectively uses loyalty rewards. For a flat monthly fee, its Prime customers get free next-day delivery on products, access to a streaming service, and exclusive perks like Prime Day sales.

Create a referral program that encourages customers to make recommendations.

A referral program can provide you with a steady stream of leads by actively rewarding customers for recommending you. Use the following elements:

  • Right reward: Customers need motivation to participate and refer people. Make sure they feel appreciated and part of your success when they make a referral.
  • Seamless experience: Make every step of the referral and follow-up process easy and enjoyable for the customer.
  • Alignment with Sales and Marketing: Integrate the referral process with your CRM. This makes adoption and tracking easier.
  • Complete transparency : Outline the whole referral process and feedback loop so participants understand what to expect at every stage.
  • Nurture customer advocates : Educate your customers on why you need referrals so that they can provide high-quality contacts.

For example, Evernote encourages customers to recommend its product by gamifying rewards.

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Gather feedback through customer surveys, sales calls, and customer service calls. Use this information to improve products and marketing to offer a better experience.

For example, Tompkins Trust Company gets feedback with a Rate Our Service page on its website. Here, customers can grade their experience and how likely they’d be to purchase or recommend.