Retention Marketing Vs. Customer Retention: Which is Worth It?

If you’re a business owner or marketer, you’ve probably faced a dilemma. Do you invest more in creating better relationships with existing customers or focus on growing your customer base? 

Maintaining strong customer relationships is vital. After all, a customer’s bond with your brand is the main reason they do business with you. But neglecting to make prospective customers aware of your brand may hamper your growth.

Marketing teams battle with these decisions, but the answer has changed due to consumer privacy and data regulations. In addition, the rapid evolution of consumer preferences has changed the way they interact with brands and form opinions.

So do you focus on customer retention or customer acquisition? Today, we’ll review the basics of both metrics. And by the end of this post, you’ll have a clear idea of where you should invest your time and resources.

What is Customer Retention?

Customer retention refers to things you do to keep your customers coming back. Along with gauging loyalty, customer retention can reflect or predict customer satisfaction and engagement.

A customer’s relationship with your business usually begins with the first interaction, and customer retention includes this and all other subsequent purchases. Therefore, measuring and analyzing customer retention allows you to improve customer experience. For instance, if you notice a dip in customer retention, you can use this to identify the cause and adjust accordingly.

Why is Customer Retention Important?

Customer retention is crucial because reeling in new customers is more expensive than retaining old ones. In addition, retained customers are more likely to spread the word about your business and become brand ambassadors. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Suppose you focus solely on expanding your customer base. In that case, you miss out on fostering close relationships with the people that love your brand.

How is Customer Retention Measured?

What are Some Common Customer Retention Strategies?

Brands use an array of retention marketing strategies. The ones that yield the most results will depend on your retention goals and access to consumer data. Here are some common (and practical) customer retention strategies many businesses employ:

Customer Loyalty Programs

One of the best ways to keep customers returning is to reward them. Rewards reinforce purchasing behaviors and encourage customers to spend more and buy more often. In fact, research shows that loyal customers spend 67% more than first-time buyers. 

Not only will rewarding customers entice them to spend more, but it will prevent them from going to a competitor. Your loyalty program helps reflect your brand’s unique brand personality—which gives you an edge over the competition.

Email Marketing

Email is one of the most powerful marketing channels, and it’s a great way to strengthen the bond with customers. You keep customers engaged with your brand when you send thoughtful and relevant emails. 

Sending personalized messages is a friendly way to stay in front of customers’ minds. And it shows that you’ve taken the time to consider their wants and needs. But, most importantly, email marketing enhances the customer journey, which boosts retention.

Email Marketing


Customers’ engagement data reveal their product interests and preferences as they interact with your brand. You can use this information to retarget campaigns and re engage with your audience. This allows you to increase efficiency and lifetime value.

That’s why taking advantage of customer relationship management tools is essential. Gleantap’s CRM tool offers valuable insight into consumer behavior. Our platform analyzes your data and helps you identify opportunities for re-engagement. 

Customer Support

When we talk about retention marketing strategies, we often forget about customer service. A negative support experience can easily lead customers to bounce. But a positive customer service interaction increases trust in your brand. If you have the framework in place to connect customer engagement data with your support system, you can personalize support interactions.

For instance, providing support across more than two channels is a good idea. Doing this provides a consistent experience and lets customers choose their preferred communication method.

With Gleantap, you can seamlessly connect customer conversations. Our inbox tool lets you send and receive messages from SMS, email, and chatbot—allowing you to transition between conversations effortlessly.

What is Customer Acquisition?

Customer acquisition refers to bringing in new customers. It’s a process that takes leads through your marketing funnel—from brand awareness to purchase. Customer retention should also be a measurable and repeatable process.

The customer acquisition funnel can be divided into three key stages:

  • Awareness: At this stage, the goal is to create awareness and leads amongst your target audience.
  • Consideration: Potential customers at this stage have taken an action that indicates they’re considering a purchase.
  • Purchase: At the final stage, a prospect takes an action that indicates that they’re ready to buy, such as adding a product to their cart or signing up for a free trial. It’s important to offer incentives, like a discount code, to seal the deal.

Once complete, the process then evolves into customer retention. 

Why is Customer Acquisition Important?

Customer retention is essential because it boosts brand awareness and sales. When you get new customers, chances are they will check out your business’ other offerings. And if they like your brand enough, they will recommend you to people they know, further expanding your customer base. 

As you gain more customers, news of your business spreads, and so does brand awareness. The more sales you make, the more you can scale and grow.

What Are Some Common Customer Acquisition Strategies?

There are many ways businesses go about finding and converting new customers. Companies usually use a mix of marketing tactics (both online and offline). And with the prevalence of digital marketing, it has become easier to track how businesses get new customers and figure out what’s working.

Let’s look at some effective customer acquisition strategies:

Paid Advertising 

One of the most common ways to acquire new customers is through digital advertising. The method lets you optimize ads, analyze the results, and stretch your budget. Today, you have many campaign options available across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTik. But when it comes to the most prominent providers for paid traffic, Google Ads and Facebook Ads are leading the pack. 

What’s excellent about paid advertising is that it allows you to choose who you want to target based on demographics, interests, and other characteristics. Using these settings helps you to hone in on prospective customers and acquire them through paid ads.

Paid Search

Similar to paid ads across social media platforms, paid search is another way to reel in new customers. According to Google data, search ads can boost brand awareness by as much as 80%. One of the reasons why this method is so effective is because it lets you reach your target at a critical point in their customer journey.

Influencer Marketing

By now, you’ve probably heard of influencer marketing. It’s becoming an increasingly popular tactic because it’s a quick way to increase awareness. It involves finding the right influencers to promote your product or service. First, however, the challenge is identifying those who have engaged and active following who would be interested in your brand.

Influencer Marketing


Email is a marketing strategy used for both retention and acquisition. When used for acquisition, you generate leads by collecting email addresses from potential customers and sending content that guides them to convert.

You can run email campaigns and set up automated emails to send targeted messages. These emails can be personalized and triggered based on data, which helps you turn leads into customers.

Content Marketing

Like the saying goes: “Content is king .” Therefore, creating valuable content is an excellent strategy for getting more customers. This can come in the form of videos, blog posts, podcasts, and infographics (just to name a few).

An advantage of this tactic is that it doesn’t require a huge budget. Not only that, but it also produces high-quality leads. According to research, conversion rates are nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters.

Referral Programs

A personal recommendation from someone you know goes a long way. Researchers have found that word-of-mouth referrals are among the most influential forms of acquisition marketing. People trust those they know. So when a friend or colleague tells them to check something out, they’ll listen.

So you can set up a referral program in which existing customers get rewarded every time they refer someone to your business.

Should You Be Focusing More on Customer Acquisition or Retention?

As we’ve seen today, both customer acquisition and retention are important for growing and scaling your business. And both methods come with fruitful advantages. However, customer retention should outweigh acquisition. Here’s why:

Retention Is More Profitable

Existing customers are easier to market to. According to Marketing Metrics, the chance of influencing an existing customer is 60% to 70%. Conversely, the probability of converting a prospect is about 5% to 20%. This is because people are more receptive to brands they already know. And as we’ve learned earlier, repeat customers are also likely to spend more. 

With that said, it makes sense to focus on customer retention because it yields greater returns with less effort.

Retention Positively Impacts Acquisition

Customer retention and customer acquisition go hand and hand. And when done effectively, customer retention can bring in new business.

One study found that happy customers tell nine others about their positive experiences. On the other hand, unhappy customers like to talk about their dissatisfaction with 22 other people. What does this tell us? It pays off to ensure existing customers have a great experience with your brand.

Retention Has Fewer Restrictions

Paid advertising has many benefits, but it has become more regulated and less cost-efficient. New regulations from the GDPR and CCPA prevent businesses from using consumers’ data to market to them without their permission. So this has dimmed paid searches allure and made it more expensive. 

In addition, there’s been an increase in legislation and concern regarding data privacy. So some consumers may form a negative opinion of a brand using paid advertising to market to them. But with customer retention, you don’t have to worry about restrictions.

Focus on Customer Retention Marketing

If you’re on a tight budget and want to optimize your time, hone in on your retention strategy. Doing this is cost-efficient and takes less effort than acquisitions. 

While retention is essential to keep your business thriving, don’t completely forgo acquisition methods. Incorporate ways to increase brand awareness while strengthening bonds with existing customers. How can you do that? With a customer relationship management tool.

Gleantap offers everything you need to foster customer relationships and nurture leads. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a FREE demo today.

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