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Best Digital Channels For Customer Retention (The Need Of The Hour)

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Getting new customers has been a persistent challenge for brands, no matter how good their targeting or marketing campaigns are. If you’re in the same boat, the best time is now to pay more attention to customer retention strategies than acquisition.

Customer retention is a company’s ability to keep customers loyal to their business and turn them into repeat buyers.

Studies showing that a staggering 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers and how retaining is cheaper than acquiring customers reiterate the importance of retention methods.

To put things into perspective, over the last five years, customer acquisition costs have inflated by as much as 60% across industries.

So how can you harness engagement in a way to retain customers? This article shows six proven digital channels with customer retention examples of global brands.

Best digital channels for customer retention

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to customer retention, we do recommend including the following digital channels in your strategy:

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp being the most used messaging app, has been gaining much momentum for marketing purposes, and rightfully so. The personal messaging app is part of billions of users’ (2.24 Billion and growing) everyday lives.

What makes WhatsApp one of the finest customer retention marketing channels?

  • Companies find WhatsApp super convenient for communicating one-on-one with customers through hyper-personalized messages.
  • WhatsApp has the highest open rates at 98% — higher than all other digital channels like emails, ads, or SMS.
  • WhatsApp has a click-through rate of up to 60%, and about 80% of messages are opened within 5 minutes of sending them.

Perfora saw a tremendous change in customer retention and abandoned cart recovery rate by over 13% by using WhatsApp as one of the primary digital channels to send personalized communication.

How did they do it?

The brand combined its targeting and retargeting methods to send customized WhatsApp communication to individuals who’ve abandoned carts for over 15 minutes. This is followed by more personalized communication with discount codes and a follow-up message to increase the chance of a conversion. So, fewer abandoned carts mean greater retention.

Why use WebEngage for WhatsApp for customer retention?

  • Send hyper-personalized WhatsApp messages based on several user actions at optimized times.
  • Get real-time analytics like the number of unique clicks, delivery statuses, open rates, etc., to improve retention further.
  • Import data from WebEngage’s Customer Data Platform and auto-create customized messages.
WhatsApp for customer retention

2. Email

Customers are often bombarded by multiple emails throughout the day. Due to such high competition catching their attention is getting harder by the day.

But by sending contextual emails and building an engaging email campaign, you can grab customers’ attention and retain them better.

When done right, emails are still among the most sought-after digital marketing channels for user retention despite the ever-increasing competition. Here are some statistics that prove the same:

  • The average email open rate across all industries is around 21.33%, and personalization has proven to increase email open rates by over 26%.
  • Average email click-through rates are around 2.6%, highlighting the need for contextual messaging.
  • Hyper-targeted email campaigns can help generate 58% of the total revenue.

One of India’s leading OTT platforms, ALTBalaji, aimed to drive user retention and ensure website visitors downloaded their app for viewing content.

To achieve this, the team associated with WebEngage created intelligent user journey email campaigns aimed at increasing engagement and customer retention. The result? ALTBalaji cracked the retention problem responsible for apps losing over 77% of daily active users within the first three days of app use.

AltBalaji Impact Story

Why use WebEngage for email marketing?

  • Easy drag-and-drop editor to design enticing email campaigns.
  • Hyper-personalize email communications based on your customer details, interests, and behavior.
  • Automate drip campaigns to send contextual emails at the perfect time and notice more clicks and open rates.
  • A/B test email campaigns and get real-time analytics and user-level insights.

3. Web push notifications

Web push notifications are messages sent to notify users over websites via desktops or mobile devices. Such notifications appear only when the browsers are open and appear on top of the screens.

Web push notifications are great at capturing the visitor’s attention when customized. Some popular ways to use them in customer retention strategies are promotional notifications, abandoned cart reminders for eCommerce brands, welcome notifications, and product notifications.

What makes web-push notifications a popular method to retain customers digitally?

  • Web push notifications have the highest delivery rate at around 80% than other digital channels.
  • The click-through rates for web push notifications are typically 7x times more than emails and have higher open rates at around 50%.

Zivame tackled the retention problem and saw a 19% rise in CTR with web push notifications. Here’s how they did it:

The brand sent a series of automated hyper-personalized and contextual onsite and web-push notifications based on the customer’s journey.

For instance, a personalized web push notification is triggered every time a visitor views an item but fails to complete the purchase. Here’s a snippet of the hard-to-miss web-push notification from the brand:

Zivame Impact Story

Why use WebEngage’s web push notifications to retain customers?

  • 100+ pre-made templates to create visually appealing web push notifications.
  • Build custom workflows to bring back your inactive customers through product recommendation notifications, sending reminders, etc.
  • A/B test your strategies to make the most out of your campaigns.

4. Mobile push notifications

Mobile push notifications are sent to your customers once they’ve installed your mobile app. Such notifications open up a genuine communication channel between your customers and let you convey information more humanistically.

And unlike emails, mobile push notifications are quicker to grab customers’ attention. Here are more insights into what makes web push notifications a strong contender to retain customers:

  • Mobile push notifications can breakthrough app engagement by over 88%, with retention rates spiking by 3 to 10x the usual.
  • A touch of personalization to web push notifications can boost open rates by four times.

Repeat purchases — the driving force of a high customer retention rate. Here’s how FirstCry saw a rise in the number of repeat purchases by 400% using web push:

Initially, FirstCry noticed high user dropoffs on their mobile app. But using WebEngage’s retention solutions, the brand could retain its customers and increase revenue.

How exactly did they do it?

FirstCry identified and segmented its high-intent customers and understood buying behaviors and app drop-offs using WebEngage’s analytics.

Using such valuable insights and WebEngage’s Journey Designer, FirstCry sent personalized mobile and web push notifications to its segmented customers and nudged them into conversion at the perfect time.
The result? Increase in average order value and repeat purchases through tailored push notifications.

FirstCry Impact Story

Why use WebEngage’s mobile push notifications to retain customers?

  • Hyper-personalize notifications and ensure they align with your customer’s interests.
  • Create multiple user segments using your customers’ personal and behavioral data.
  • Design your push notifications to match your brand’s tonality.
  • Get predictive campaign analytics to optimize your future retention strategies.

5. Retargeting ads – Social Media platforms

Retargeting ad campaigns for social media, especially Facebook ads, aim at retaining inactive and lost users. Also known as Facebook remarketing, retargeting ads let you target your existing high-intent buyers.

Retargeting ads help generate awareness around your products/services and re-engage your current customer base by showing tailored ads.

Here’s a look at how retargeting ads can be effective for social media:

  • Retargeting methods are known to reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%.
  • Retargeting ads have over 1046% more efficiency than other ad placement strategies.
  • The number of monthly active users on Facebook surges each month, making it the most potent social media platform to target your customers.

Goibibo’s Facebook retargeting ad placement below is an example of how retargeting helps convert website visitors to app users:
customer retention | goibibo impact story

Why use WebEngage for Facebook retargeting?

  • With a tool like WebEngage, you can easily segment and export your high-intent target audience and plug in your Facebook retargeting ads for better retention.
  • Optimize and run recurring campaigns on auto-pilot.
  • To create an omnichannel retention strategy, you can integrate Facebook remarketing with several other digital engagement channels, like WhatsApp, SMS, emails, etc.


Search engine retargeting or remarketing lets you run search engine ads, such as Google ads, to convert potential customers who’ve previously visited your site.

Say you’re a travel company. A potential customer scours through travel deals on your website but abandons the browsing session without a purchase. You can then target these high-intent buyers through Google retargeting ads and nudge them to finish their purchase.
Here’s a look at what makes Google retargeting ads one of the most powerful channels for retention:

Download Impact Story – How did Bajaj Finserv create a Google retargeting ecosystem that led to 1 million+ user retention? Let’s find out:

Bajaj Finserv had noticed a high number of user drop-offs through the funnel and was unable to reach out to them at the right time.

The solution?

WebEngage helped analyze dropoffs and created a retargeting ecosystem by inserting the right plugins, such as Google retargeting ads, Web push messages, notifications, and more.

Bajaj Finserv impact story for customer retention

Why use WebEngage for Google retargeting?

  • Create multiple user segments and import/export them easily.
  • Create retargeting rules for Google.
  • Perform geographic targeting and keyword targeting.
  • Integrate your Google ad account with multiple channels and engage customers through an omnichannel experience.
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Author

Founder, 

Contensify

Vanhishikha Bhargava is an E-commerce expert and B2B marketer. Working with E-commerce-focused products that aim at making customer acquisition, engagement and retention more data-backed, she’s always on the lookout for growth tactics that help online stores increase their sales and revenue. You can follow her blog here.

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