Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

This week’s PPCChat session discussed about customer retention, what according to PPCers works best in B2B, B2C, eCom for retention, and more was discussed. Hosted by Duane Brown, this session gives great insight into foraying into retention as a strategy.


Q2. Does everyone know what customer retention is? How do you explain it to others in marketing, your boss / client?


Retention: It’s simply keeping current customers. It is significantly cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire one. Rentention should be part of any marketing mix – @Mel66

I usually find that if the conversation about retaining a client comes up, either we or the client have screwed up. Churn is bad but also (luckily) not usual for us. – @gilgildner

Retention is selling to a customer more than just once. Creating a relationship with them so that they begin to feel positive things about your product/service/brand. Then maintaining that! – @NeptuneMoon

Keeping a client beyond 1 SOW, proving you care about improving their business through your relationship. I.e. Long term – @nateknox

Retention is about increasing, maximizing, and optimizing customer lifetime value. It goes beyond acquisition and should nurture and provide validation and delight for that customer – @LisaSanner

YES! People (owners) think purely about acquisition and forget about retention. Let’s get their LTV up. In some cases, if it’s a single purchase, let’s help the customer be happy. I’ve run ads post-purchase with testimonials to help frame their experience – @markpgus

“It’s easier/less expensive to garner repeat business than garner new customers.” Usually perks the ears, and from there it’s an ROI conversation – @SEM_PPC_MattV

I talk with my clients about this all the time. The goal should not be to just get a purchase, but to get a lifetime customer. We need to ensure our customer service and everything that happens after the purchase is perfect. – @lchasse

It’s the hidden lever that makes brands work. Coke couldn’t spend millions on advertising if we bought a single can. And if you’re in it for the one and done, you’re going to lose to someone it in for life – @armondhammer

sort of? We know that we need to be a good partner ourselves, but it’s quite a bit to get acquisition teams to think about member engagement. Often they’re shunted off to a whole new team once they sign up. – @JuliaVyse

Yup! Customer retention is keeping customers around (or enticing first-time purchasers to return and buy again).  – @marccxmedia

For me, customer retention is the customer service part of the gig. Make the customers know you care for their needs and have their backs. They just want to feel like you are busting your butt for them. – @Jturnerpdx

Customer Retention helps to maintain the value of the marketing spend, the LTV of the conversion, and the growth of the brand. It is imperative as a part of your strategy. – @ECEitel

the act of keeping clients happy to keep them a client long term? – @JonKagan



Q3. D you do customer retention for brands you work on now? If you said no, what is stopping you? For those who said yes, what are some of the industries you are doing this for? Curious what we will hear outside of ecommerce which is a given.

  • Yes

  • No

  • I wish


Search ads are geared for acquisition mostly and social ads are both acquisition and retention. Use custom audiences in FB a lot for retention. – @NeptuneMoon

Yes, we do whenever we can. Usually this is a holistic part of our services since, if we can make the customer more money, that makes us more money. Industries outside ecommerce: mostly healthcare & travel. – @gilgildner

In my case, the retention team has a whole other budget, other team, other goals, other partners. It’s very uphill for me to get in front of both teams at once. – @JuliaVyse

It mostly comes down to marketing not owning that part of the funnel. Specifically for B2B, but I see this changing rapidly as marketing bleeds into sales and CS teams. – @jdprater

Mostly / sort of — budgets are sliced and different for new customer vs retention. Each client is different, but we still activate the retention programs for most clients – @nateknox

With our PPC clients, we do tend to set up remarketing/retargeting lists to bring customers back, but the likelihood/success of that depends on the industry and price point (in our case, restaurant booking for a hospitality client, etc.) – @marccxmedia

My work is focused on SEM so for me retention is working with the audience files. You can cater messaging to your buyers. Love your customers and treat them like family. – @lchasse

Currently I’m all in on demand do to being a start up. Feel free to judge me all you want, but I’m all about trying to frame a customer’s mind about something post purchase. Helping them have positive expectations and showing them positive social proof! – @markpgus

We do a lot of B2B right now and it’s vital. Even if the sales are huge, making a second one or continuing service makes it all work. It is often separated from markeitng though, but our style of work gets us involved (flex retainer) – @armondhammer

Mostly / sort of — budgets are sliced and different for new customer vs retention. Each client is different, but we still activate the retention programs for most clients – @nateknox

Agree with alot of what has been said. I’m curious if anyone is using paid search more for subscription renewals as audience strategies and targeting has gotten so much better. – @LisaSanner

Yes. Is it always a finite definitive calculation? No. But the point is to start with SOMETHING and improve/refine it from there. – @ECEitel

QSR and healthcare – @JonKagan

I almost hate to even give this one up but one of the most fun customer retention search ads I use mixes customer match or RLSA with competitor keywords. If someone is a customer and is searching my competition, I want to know. – @IraKates



Q4. For my B2B peeps today, what are you finding works best with retention? Is it cross selling or up selling? We will get to you ecom/B2C folks next… don’t worry, can’t let me B2B fam not get some love today.


Freemium models FTW. Then I can move into upselling. – @jdprater

I think this depends on your business model. If you have a natural progression to your services, upsell that. If you have great complementary services, cross-sell that. Personally, I think a key to retention is transparency in the initial sale. I.e., if they get what they were sold, retention will naturally be higher because switching costs suck if they’re content. Sales teams who over-promise kill retention. Doesn’t mean shouldn’t actively work to do retention (i.e., don’t make the switch easier than staying) – @PPCKirk

When I ran paid for 2 years at Unbounce and even now with our SaaS/tech clients. Finding out what makes a large LTV client stick around is key. Then use that knowledge to write ads for lower spending clients you want to upgrade. le don’t know about and letting them see the magic of how that will save them time, money..ect. Flex that pain point and make them want to give you their money. – @duanebrown

I think retention in B2B depends on insights from product. Which features are the most valuable. Use notifications to drive users to those features. That’s usually a product thing though. I think paid media’s part is really positive reenforcement. – @markpgus

In addition to cross-selling and upselling for B2Bs, I think it can also be valuable to remind customers of the product features they are already paying for that they don’t use or forget about it. Creating stickiness is important too.  – @LisaSanner

Cross for sure. upselling is doable, but not always the right approach, whereas cross-selling often introduces really specific new services & offers they can make use of. – @JuliaVyse

For me I think hit the nail on the head. Transparency in the initial sale is key. At my old agency, I lost several clients due to lack of transparency from sales teams. We got better, and our sales got better when we were more upfront. – @Jturnerpdx

Even when I was a marketing director, I never liked pushing services if they were not right for the customer just to upsell them. Solve their problems. If you have a solution that can solve their problems or make life easier. – @lchasse

If you can offer educational content, that can be a fantastic cross selling opportunity. Big deal in retention is building customer lists to be able to market to at appropriate interval for renewal or repurchase. – @NeptuneMoon



Q5: For ecom, what are you finding works well? Time to find your tribe with this question.


For ecom, complementary cross sells is a no-brainer. If you sell a console, sell games, cables, points, etc Also brand/company affinity to sell similar but unrelated products. Also new product versions when released for early adopters. – @LisaSanner

For ecomm, showing customers complementary products. I do a lot of clothing/accessories sales so photography with something the person bought styled with something we want them to buy works well. Also knowing what pain points or desires customers have after their initial purchase. They buy an introductory product then get more into what you sell so you need to show them how much happier they will be if they also buy X thing. Use RLSA as research if your audience is large enough so you know what previous customers want now then get in front of them when they are searching if they aren’t brand loyal. Track what your customers do in emails better. If you email people who bought product category X with content about product category Y and they click/buy do more of that. If they don’t, try something else. Don’t just send email to send email. Don’t ignore the customer after they gave you money. Make sure your shipping notifications, tracking, etc are all on point and follow up after to make sure they loved their purchase. Send short surveys with open ended questions to find language your customers use.  – @Pamela_Lund

Something we have been testing with an ecom client on a few platforms is… how to show our best products of all time to key first time customers. Interesting to see what does and does not work. – @duanebrown

I think great remarketing lists can be big for Ecom retention. Customer Match or Remarketing complementary product Y to those who bought Product X after a period of time. – @PPCKirk

Down-funnel measurement and attribution, remarketing to dormant conversions, and re-engagement campaigns. – @ECEitel



Q6. Are you combining what you do in paid ads retention with email or organic social? I know klaviyo email marketing is huge player in this space. I have not used them though


awesome question! in so many cases, I don’t know. I get tagged by acquisition to acquire, and then other efforts are run by other teams and I have no idea what they’re doing. I do a lot of spying to find this stuff out and often I can’t action what I find. gency life. maybe in-house has a shot at this? – @JuliaVyse

We are a small shop, so I only focus on doing the PPC work. That being said, I do work with the teams who do the email marketing / social media and even those old fashioned things called catalogs on messaging and audiences.  – @lchasse

We are working with a couple clients where we can pair paid + email for some cross selling. Making it work isn’t easy but the pay off in 2019 will be magically I hope – @duanebrown

Not as much as I would like to see across industries. I’ve used paid ads for publishers targeting their subscribers. – @jdprater

Yes, a little bit with social and a lot with email. Email is super underrated and everyone should use it more! – @gilgildner

I used to do the marketing for Klaviyo! They truly are a superior product from the majority of their peers. That being said, I do not market in the email or organic social space for my agency, but my clients are utilizing these strategies. – @ECEitel


PPCChat Participants:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.