Get All Access for $5/mo

5 Non-Invasive Ways to Succeed at Customer Retention Customer retention is easier than finding new customers.

By Jennifer Spencer Edited by Heather Wilkerson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

andresr | Getty Images

You want your customers to keep coming back for more. And for good reason! A 5 percent increase in customer retention typically results in 25 percent more business profit, according to research by Bain & Company. Existing customers are easier to keep, they buy more often, and they already trust your brand.

But how can you consistently stay at the forefront of your customer's minds without annoying them? Won't it get old, after all, if you send the same email over and over again to your audience? How can you keep your customers engaged without making them enraged?

To help, here are five non-invasive tactics that other successful businesses use to keep their customers coming back for more. Feel free to steal these strategies and make them your own.

Related: This $10 Course Will Teach You Customer Retention Best Practices

1. Make your customers laugh.

I remember when I received my first delivery from Dollar Shave Club. I had a good laugh. Playful slogans on their packaging caught me off-guard and gave me a delightful first experience with their products. "Shave time. Shave money." ""I like shaving with a dull razor.' -- No one, ever."

Eventually, I discovered their equally hilarious original content via their email campaigns. Titles like "In Defense Of Guys Who Use Their Phone At The Urinal" and "Can You Hack How Your Farts Smell By Watching What You Eat?" didn't just make me laugh, they made me fall in love with the bold and fun Dollar Shave Club brand. They kept me purchasing for purely emotional reasons because, well, I like Dollar Shave Club and I wanted to give them my money.

That fact is, people -- your customers -- buy from brands that they like, brands that they connect with emotionally. And it's remarkably difficult for your customers to dislike a company which consistently makes them laugh.

2. Help your customers solve a real problem.

One of the best ways to build a longterm relationship with your customers is to help them solve real problems for free. Not all online content is created equal. Some content tries to be helpful and isn't. Some content is a little helpful but doesn't delve deep enough, and some content is truly magnificent.

Take Shopify, an ecommerce website builder, as an example. Their blog is filled with authentically helpful content. By showing their customers how to brand their website, giving them tools to source their products, revealing which items are selling best online, and tons more, they set their customers up for success and coach them through building an ecommerce business from A-Z. Not surprisingly, Shopify hosts over 820,000 ecommerce stores.

Ryan Dossey, real estate investment consultant and founder of Call Porter, takes this principle into paid advertising and believes that "if I'm going to show up in my client's Facebook feed, they need to want to hear from me. I only push ads that teach or ad value. The vast majority of my ads have no CTA. My audience knows what I offer and how to find me. They respect the approach and spend a lot of money with me because of my value-adding content."

Related: 3 Essentials for Customer Retention

3. Become your customers' primary source of relevant current events.

People don't keep up on current events like they used to. Gone are the days of sitting with a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper every morning -- or, at least, gone for most people. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 68 percent of Americans get at least some of their news from social media.

But the buck doesn't stop there. Many online businesses are making use of this trend and providing their audience with current event news and agreeable opinions (in the eyes of their customers) to build lasting relationships with their members. After all, people buy from brands that they like and agree with.

Take BarBend, a website dedicated to providing content on strength training and strength sports, as an example. A large portion of their content is focused around their "News" vertical where they report on event results, top athletes and new records in competition and training. David Tao, the co-founder of BarBend, explains the impact and purpose of that section. "We want to be the primary source of info for our readers. There's a passionate audience for strength sports, and we want to be the go-to source for not only breaking news but also opinion and training tips from the best. When they have a question, we want them to come to us. And the news is definitely the clearest entry point to earn their attention. Providing them with updates on current events is a key part of keeping folks with our brand and the range of content we produce."

Related: 5 Customer Retention Tools to Help Ensure Your Customers Keep Loving You

4. Provide free inspirational content for customer retention.

People love to be inspired. One thing that many people struggle with -- your customers included -- is getting the motivation to do what needs to be done. And if you're the one to inspire them, either toward taking action or away from taking action, they'll fall in love with your brand, and they'll keep coming back for more.

Author, speaker, and founder of GoFlyy, Joresa Blount, is banking on this psychological tendency. She uses her YouTube channel and her Twitter profile to inspire people to find their purpose, take back control of their lives and never again let go of the steering wheel. How does that impact her audience and customer retention? In her own words, "When people connect with my content on an emotional level and they are inspired by what I have to say, they stick around longer -- plain and simple. I think that inspiring content creates a relationship with your audience, one that isn't easily broken."

Jennifer Spencer

CEO of Energent Media

Jennifer Spencer is the founder of Energent Media, a digital marketing firm for tech startups. She is passionate about helping brands leverage content to share their stories with the world.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

Your Business Will Never Succeed If You Overlook This Key Step

A comprehensive guide for startups to achieve and maintain product-market fit through thorough market research, iterative product development and strategic scaling while prioritizing customer feedback and agility.

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.


How to Spot the Perfect Executive for Your Company

Hiring senior talent to run a team is a crucial moment in the story and trajectory of a company. Whether you need to hire senior talent now or are looking to gather insights for the future, it's important to be prepared for a gap in a crucial leadership position.

Side Hustle

This Former Disney Princess Lived 'Paycheck to Paycheck' Before Starting a Side Hustle at Home — Now She Makes $250,000 a Year

Victoria Carroll's income was "sporadic" until a friend encouraged her to take her talents to Fiverr in 2018.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.