Top Marketers Tell Us Retention Marketing Ideas to Adopt, Retain And Discard in 2023

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Retention Marketing Ideas to Adopt, Retain And Discard in 2023

We know that the main goal of retention marketing is to encourage repeat purchases and increased product usage from existing customers.  Stores that adopt a retention-first marketing strategy see a 30-40% increase in lifetime value and a 20% increase in repeat purchases. Not surprisingly, in 2022, our clients made a median of $550k from email alone at an average of 22% of their overall revenue from email marketing. Add to that, SMS, Whatsapp, and other retention marketing channels, and you can see why this medium continues to be full of net positive ROI for ecommerce stores and beyond. With a new year upon us and learnings of the past few years in our marketing armour to learn from, it’s safe to say that it’s time to sit down and understand what worked, what can work better and what absolutely didn’t work. So we asked marketers that own and hold top positions at other marketing agencies on what they thought are the retention marketing ideas that marketers should look to adopt, retain and/or discard this year and we’ve compiled them here for you. Let’s hear it from them:

1. Kolleen Shallcross 

What to adopt?

Upping your lead capture game. Let’s face it, PDFs for lead capture should have been left in 2012 when mobile phones were beginning to be the main device for browsing and emails. Lead captures that are read epubs or audio books are the future.

What to retain

Same as above. Turn your lead capture into an audio read by a celebrity or packed with amazing resources.

What to discard?

Stop calling PDFs ebooks. They are not, nor have they ever been.

– Kollen Shallcross, founder Shallcross marketing

Kolleen has been in the advertising and marketing space for over 4 decades. Her ability to adapt and change to the ever expanding landscape has kept her business consistently busy. Currently Kolleen is supporting up and coming marketers through her platform. Her favorite expression is “All boats rise together.”

2. Kellyann Doyle

What to adopt?

“Transparency. The COVID-19 Pandemic shows us all that we need and want human interaction. People now are more interested in supporting companies and brands that are transparent about their company. This can include positive content such as behind-the-scenes looks at the company or stories about employees, to more necessary transparency during PR issues or sudden changes. Shoppers that see companies being honest about themselves often feel more connected and more supportive of those brands.”

What to retain?

“Creating a stronger onboarding experience: First impressions are key. It’s becoming harder and harder these days to improve a relationship after a poor first impression, so your onboarding session is going to be key with new clients or customers. To help the rest of your departments improve the first few weeks of a new clients relationship with you, make sure your company has planned and well throughout email triggers, drips, ads, follow ups, content, and suggestions being sent at the right time.”

In the context of email marketing, we must reiterate the value of a strong Welcome Flow with SMS and email here. A welcome flow sends an or a series of emails and texts to your customer forming their very first impression of the company. So it’s crucial that your welcome emails are a good one and set the stage for future communications. Read more about the impact of welcome flows on email marketing in this case study.

What to discard?

“Prioritizing leads over clients: Word-of-mouth marketing can increase your sales by up to 13% each year, yet more and more companies continue to focus on lead gen and not customer experience. At the end of the day, your CLIENTS are the ones keeping your business running. Not leads. Focus on implementing customer surveys, loyalty programs, affiliate marketing, and other CX strategies to improve the quality of experience your current customers are receiving.”

–  Kellyann Doyle, Marketing Operations Manager at Zoek Marketing

Kellyann Doyle is an accomplished marketing expert with 10 years in the industry. At her current position as the Marketing Operations Manager for Zoek Marketing, she has lead efforts to bring in almost $900,000 in sales and is on track to help bring in over $10 million in 2023. She is passionate about helping small business owners accomplish their dreams through marketing.

3. Rajat Kapur

What to adopt?

Data Privacy – Data privacy will continue to be a thorny topic. Companies no longer have free reign to use data to target customers, and there will continue to be a backlash on companies that overstep ethical boundaries. Are you evolving fast enough?

What to retain?

Data & Insights – The use of data-driven marketing will only increase in importance. Data-driven marketing informs better decisions, such as which channels to use, which audiences to target, and most importantly how to beat competitors. Everyone says they use data – but are you using it to make better decisions?

(Here’s a handy guide on using customer surveys as one of the most means of collecting user data to drive better marketing decisions.)

What to discard?

TikTok – Will TikTok’s blatant lack of data controls finally catch-up with them? The US government is banning TikTok on government devices. When will companies and then iOS and Android follow?

— Rajat Kapur, Founder & CEO, &Marketing,

As the Founder & CEO of &Marketing, Rajat has led nearly 100 high-profile marketing strategy projects for Global 100, mid-sized clients, and SMBs, plus over a decade with General Electric and General Mills.  He is known for bringing the best of ‘big company’ marketing and strategy to smaller companies without the baggage, his bias for practical implementation, and his unrelenting customer focus.

4.  Jamie Doerschuck

What to adopt?

A new process to pump out powerful marketing angles: $1M Copywriting BRIDGE Method. Step 1 = Point Out Their Problem

Picture your Idea Client’s end goal as a race:

They’re starting from somewhere. (Where they are today.) And they’re moving towards a finish line. (Their desired accomplishment or end state, the type of transformations you help people with.)

The beginning or “top” of your page is dedicated to establishing these facts. You want to communicate “How to GET TO THE FINISH LINE even if YOU ARE HERE” in this section.

Step 2 = Bridge Their Problem to Your Solution (Offer)

The goal of this part is to get them to see YOUR Vehicle as the bridge to their Finish Line.

Step 3 = Build Their Trust in Your Solution

The goal of the bottom parts of your sales page/end of your sales material is to: Provide social proof and case studies, explain any guarantees or warranties, and handle objections.

What to retain?

Solid copywriting skills. Changes in the marketing + sales landscape are coming at the speed of light, but no matter what the state of the union is we’re always going to have to develop optimal messaging that lands emotionally with our target audience.

What to discard?

Short form is the “best”, or “only” way. I’ve heard from people I know (and Clients) who work with short form content DO struggle to make connections with their audiences. They don’t get as high conversions as the same number of followers/subscribers/whatever on longerform platforms. A lot of them try to also offer longform content anyway to create that deeper relationship with their audiences. Why do you think all the Tiktokers are starting Youtube channels, and podcasts?

Jamie Doerschuck “The Marketing Nerd”, The Doer Co, Marketing Nerd

Jamie Doerschuck’s projects have directly generated $11M+ in revenue for her clients since 2018.


5. Rachael Knapton

What to adopt?

New channels to boost retention. Now is the time to diversify. Don’t have a loyalty program? It’s time to set one up. Not sold on subscriptions? They work for more brands than you think, especially if you think beyond the replenishment model and explore access or curation offerings. And don’t sleep on SMS. Brands need to be where their customers are — and that’s on their phones.

What to retain?

Holiday shoppers

You worked hard to acquire them, and now is the time to guarantee they come back. Make sure you have your analytics in place to measure retention metrics, and think beyond repeat purchase rate. Keep track of their AOV, channel engagement, and time to next purchase as well to get a holistic view of how successful your retention strategy is. Make the most of all of your channels to ensure that every new shopper becomes a customer for life.

What to discard?

An acquisition-first mindset.

Customer acquisition is always going to be important for eCommerce brands, but your best customers are the ones you already have. Make sure you treat them like the VIPs they are, with rewards, perks, and surprises — the key is to continuously offer value. And if you turn them into loyal brand advocates, they’ll do a lot of that acquisition for you at a much lower cost, through word of mouth and referrals.

— Rachel Knapton, Partner Growth Partner at Yotpo.

Through her knowledge of working in ecommerce for 2 years, previously client side and now agency side has allowed Rachel to understand pain points within the industry and what verticals need to succeed. “With the cost of acquisition rising, retention is going to be the absolute key to success for brands, which is exactly where myself and Yotpo can help!”

You heard it from the expert folks.

So to summarize, in 2023, your retention marketing needs to:

Adopt: Stronger lead captures, transparency, data privacy, new marketing angles for the same product.

Retain:  Strong onboarding experience, audio lead captures, data and insights, solid copywriting skills, and holiday shoppers.

Discard: PDFs as lead captures, Prioritizing leads over clients, Tiktok, shortform content, and an acquisition-first mindset.

For helping you retain your customers, adopt more relevant and up-to-date marketing practices and discard wasteful expenses and dated marketing, please get on a call with us and let’s see what we can do with you.

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