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Marketing for Customer Retention: It’s Not Always About New Leads

By definition, “marketing” is the act of “promoting, selling and distributing a product or service,” according to Merriam-Webster. We tend to think of that process geared toward an audience of fresh faces who have never interacted with our brands before. However, marketing for customer retention, or, marketing toward persons who have used your product/service previously, is equally as (if not more) important.

Why it’s important

When you think about targeting for new leads, you identify various subsets of consumers that you believe may be interested in your brand for one reason or another (age, location, interests, etc.). Think of your existing customers as just another one of those subsets of consumers. There are several characteristics that they possess that make them ideal candidates for potential leads (though not “new leads, leads nonetheless).

You already know they were interested at one point in time.

Even with targeting tools, new leads are often a shot in the dark. When marketing to previous customers, you at least know they were interested in your product or service at one point in time prior, which makes it more likely that they may be interested again.

They are more likely to refer others.

Given the point we just made above, marketing for customer retention is also important due to the prospect of referrals. Positive reviews and referrals are one of the most promising marketing tools for a brand. Keeping your brand in the forefront of your existing customers’ minds is another way to remind them to refer others.

Customer loyalty is important.

You want to treat your loyal customers superiorly. That means giving them insight into new things happening with your brand. Market to your existing customers to keep them abreast of new products, company updates, seasonal specials, etc. You might even give loyal customers an advantage by promoting special offers and deals “just for them,” via a separate email campaign or customer loyalty program, for example.

You don’t want to lose them.

Perhaps the most comprehensive reason to prioritize marketing for customer retention—you want to keep your customers coming back. Marketing shouldn’t be a one-and-done ordeal. Keeping your existing customers’ experience interesting by providing them value and quality in your marketing content only serves to your advantage. Keep things interesting so they will keep coming back!

A quick example

We have a client that operates a roster of apartment complexes across the Southeast. We work with the individual property managers at each complex to promote new leasing specials and apartment availability—in an effort to attract new renters to the properties. However, our efforts do not stop there.

We stress to the managers that it’s important to post content for the existing renters for the purpose of customer retention. Providing them interesting, relevant and quality content serves to support all of the points we mentioned above. Even though they’ve already signed the lease, they still have the power as consumers to choose to continue or not continue renting, leave reviews, make referrals, and so on.


New leads can mean new sales. However, it’s just as important to market to your existing customers, as they can ultimately serve as a means to support your brand in ways that others cannot.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

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