In recent years, marketing’s focus has started to shift to include customers in addition to leads. For many organizations, this shift into retention from solely acquisition has been gradual instead of dramatic. A recent Gartner survey found that on average only 18 percent of marketing budgets are focused on customer retention efforts. This is in spite of the fact that, for many businesses, existing customers account for the majority of their revenue. Add to this the current situation with people and companies holding off on many purchases due to the economic fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic and it becomes a necessity for businesses to pay close attention to retaining existing customers.

Fortunately, there are a number of automated campaigns that marketing teams can execute to help aid in customer retention. Here are seven examples:

1. Onboarding campaign. For the new customers you are bringing in right now, customer onboarding campaigns are a great way to roll out the red carpet and can help take some of the manual work out of onboarding. These campaigns often start with a welcome message and then proceed with information about training or learning opportunities or other information an individual would want to know as a new customer. You can also use individual interactions with these messages to determine which customers need additional assistance getting started or need someone from your organization to reach out to them personally.

2. Cross-sell or upsell campaign. Cross-sell and upsell campaigns can help introduce your existing customers, who are often easier to sell to than new leads, to your company’s other products or services that they might not be aware of. However, be careful not to just send generic sales messages. Rather, tailor the messages within the campaign to the individual’s preferences in order to further encourage sales and personalize the customer experience.

3. Promotional campaign. Everyone loves a good sale, including your existing customers. Promotional campaigns can positively contribute to the customer experience by giving your customers special offers and alerting them to sales. Using campaign automations, you can focus your promotional campaigns on a specific audience, so some offers could be exclusively for current customers as a thank you for their business and loyalty.

4. Launch campaign. Launch campaigns can help your organization spread the word about new products, services and initiatives that have already launched or are about to – news that you will almost always want to share with your customers. If you are sharing the information with prospects as well, be sure to create a separate campaign for your customers so you can target the messaging to address their existing relationship with your business. Also consider letting current customers know about new launches first to give them a sense of exclusivity.

5. Renewal campaign. According to Forester, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. So, it literally pays to run renewal campaigns. The timing on these campaigns will vary according to your industry and other factors such as whether your business relies on annual subscriptions or sells to customers more frequently, for example. These campaigns can also improve the customer experience by showing customers that you recognize and value their relationship with your organization.

6. Re-engagement campaign. While some customers are regular and loyal purchasers from the first time they buy from your company, others make one purchase never to be heard from again. This could be attributed to a negative buying experience or to other external factors, but regardless of the cause, you can still aim to earn their business again. In your re-engagement campaign, offer these individuals informative content or special discounts in an effort rekindle the relationship.

7. Thought leadership campaign. From the first interaction with your company to loyal customer, thought leadership campaigns can work well at every stage in the buying cycle. With customers, these campaigns can be used to make a customer experience more memorable by providing helpful and informative content such as white papers, eBooks, infographics, webinars and other educational content. As the name implies, thought leadership campaigns are also an effective way to establish your organization’s expertise within your industry.

With all these campaigns, be sure that you are being sensitive to the current health, social and economic climates in your messaging. Lead with benefits and how you are aiming to be helpful and how you can address the challenges your customers face right now.

Happy Marketing!