Subscriptions and membership programs are the first step in creating a community of committed, recurring customers for your brand. But how do merchants boost customer engagement within these programs, in order to increase customer lifetime value (LTV) and brand loyalty?
That’s what we’ll dive into with this post.
The success of your subscription and membership programs depends on high customer engagement to keep existing customers returning again and again. Continue reading to learn a few effective customer engagement strategies, and the overall importance of successful customer engagement for recurring revenue businesses.
- Higher customer engagement can lead to increased retention, higher LTV, and increased brand trust and awareness.
- Businesses that rely on recurring revenue have to focus on their customer engagement strategy to keep shoppers engaged and returning to make repeat purchases.
- Utilizing the customer engagement examples provided here can give the inspiration needed to create your brand’s own engagement strategy.
The importance of customer engagement for recurring revenue model businesses
Customer engagement isn’t just about making a sale, it’s about fostering a meaningful and lasting relationship between your brand and your customers.
It encompasses every touchpoint, interaction, and experience that a customer has with your business. For subscription and membership businesses, customer engagement can make or break your recurring revenue model.
Engaged customers are not only more likely to remain loyal, but also to become advocates, spreading the word about your offerings and influencing others to join. Fostering this kind of next-level customer loyalty is possible with the right customer engagement strategies.
4 customer engagement strategies for membership & subscription businesses
To create an engaging customer experience, your business will need to focus on the four strategies listed below. In order for your membership and subscription programs to find the most success, you’ll need to engage with customers at crucial points in their customer journey.
1. Personalize & customize the customer journey
If any business wants to improve customer engagement, the first thing they can do is make the shopping experience more personalized and tailored to their target audience—and to specific customers, based on their demographics and purchasing history.
Brands can leverage customer data to offer personalized product recommendations, exclusive membership benefits, and even personalized communication. By studying customer interactions and creating a business strategy around personalized service, your brand will stand above the others when it comes to creating an engaging customer experience.
A few key strategies for increasing customer engagement through personalization include:
- Utilizing customer data to personalize product offerings or membership benefits
- Creating a quiz to help customers narrow down their product choices
- Offering customization options, such as build-a-bundle offerings
- Using segmentation and targeted messaging to deliver relevant and meaningful experiences
2. Deliver added value to customer relationships through content
Brands are always communicating with customers through multiple channels these days. This gives them another opportunity to boost customer engagement by connecting with shoppers where they’re spending the most time, whether that’s on social media or in their inbox.
Beyond products or services, brands can deliver consistent value through compelling content. Establishing regular communication channels like email newsletters or messaging in the customer portal will keep subscribers informed and engaged.
For example, a subscription-based cooking box could provide subscribers with top recipes, cooking tips, and video tutorials to enhance their customer engagement and create a broader sense of community around their offerings. A content strategy that delivers valuable, educational, and entertaining content related to the subscription or membership niche will engage customers in the best way possible.
3. Build brand communities to engage & retain customers
Creating a sense of belonging is crucial for ongoing customer engagement. Build brand communities where subscribers can connect, share experiences, and support one another.
Merchants can boost their customer engagement metrics thanks to these brand communities, and increase customer satisfaction at the same time by making shoppers feel like they’re a part of something more.
Some strategies for facilitating brand communities include:
- Joining or creating a community platform or forum for subscribers/members to connect
- Facilitating networking opportunities, such as virtual events, workshops, or mentorship programs
- Incentivizing active participation and fostering a sense of belonging within the community
4. Encourage user-generated content to increase social media engagement
User-generated content (UGC) is a goldmine for customer engagement. Encouraging shoppers to share their experiences, photos, and testimonials on social media can amplify the reach of your brand and give you great content for marketing.
Merchants can incentivize and encourage user-generated content by rewarding customers for sharing content—either by reposting to their own social media accounts or offering a discount code or other reward. Another strategy to boost customer engagement through UGC is to create campaigns that encourage sharing. Ask your customers how they use your products and see how creative they are with their responses on social media.
The importance of continuous evaluation & iteration of your customer engagement strategy
Your customer engagement strategy will require continuous evaluation and refinement. Monitor engagement metrics and gather customer feedback to gain insights into what’s working and what needs improvement. A few strategies for evaluating and iterating on your customer engagement marketing include:
- Conducting surveys
- Facilitating focus groups
- Holding user interviews
All of these strategies will help you to gather insights and identify areas for improvement within your customer engagement strategy. With the feedback and data-driven insights, you can ensure customers are engaged and satisfied with your subscription and membership offerings.
Engage & create loyal customers to increase customer engagement
An engaging customer experience is the key to recurring revenue success.
By personalizing, delivering value through content, building brand communities, and encouraging user-generated content, you can forge stronger connections with your customers. These connections, in turn, translate into loyal customers who not only remain subscribed, but will actively advocate for your brand.
Remember, the journey doesn’t end after the first purchase or subscription. It’s an ongoing relationship that requires nurturing. Embrace the power of customer engagement, continually refine your strategies, and watch your subscription and membership programs flourish, driving sustained revenue growth for your ecommerce business.
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