Replacing Your Marketing Funnel With a Marketing Hourglass

November 11, 2021

Replacing Your Marketing Funnel With a Marketing Hourglass

I’m a huge fan of loyalty marketing and customer retention.  However, the traditional marketing funnel stops after the prospect becomes your customer. In my 20+ years of experience, both in the corporate world and working with small businesses, the most successful are those who prioritize their loyal customers. They wine and dine them, send them gifts, offer them priority seating, early-bird entrances, or special Facebook groups for their top customers.

So my question is… what if the marketing funnel was a marketing hourglass?

Changing Your Strategy

Why would a business spend time and money on customers and clients if they already buying from them?

Simple.  Because they keep coming back. 

A few of the benefits to treating your best customers even better include:

  • You build relationships, connection & trust
  • Repeat customers/clients have stronger ROI
  • They tell their friends
  • They offer insights and share their feedback

Bottom line, customer retention increases your customers’ or clients’ lifetime value which in turn increases your revenue.

The Marketing Hourglass

Here’s a visual showing how people move through the hourglass. On the upper left, you will see you need more people at the beginning and fewer at the bottom. Over on the right side, you’ll see that your income potential starts low and grows over time. People will move through the hourglass beginning with…

  • Awareness
  • Trust
  • Conversion

Then you repeat the process with those clients, growing your numbers and scaling your business accordingly. People shouldn’t leave your funnel after conversion, instead, they should be primed to buy from you again.

How to Improve Customer Retention

Improving customer retention will help you gain more repeat sales. Then you will be able to grow and scale your business. But how do you do it? Loyalty programs are one option, but your strategy doesn’t need to be complicated or formal.

  1. Customer retention starts at the beginning. Start on the right foot and provide the best experience possible. Don’t get lazy – you want their first experience to be just as good at their 40th with you. 
  2. Always stay current on your messaging whether it’s on your website, social media, regularly sent emails, or blog. This will allow you can consistently educate your clients and stay top of mind.
  3. Understand their problems and how you can improve in order to serve them better. The best way to do this is simply by asking. Get feedback from the people who you serve and who know your business best.
  4. Surprise and delight your customers.  Depending on your business model this could happen every few years or every month.  When your most loyal customers are least expecting it, show up for them.  Perhaps a hand written note, email discount or their favorite coffee order!

A Few Stats to Back it All Up…

Hubspot shared a great article that highlighted the numbers behind customer retention. The numbers don’t lie, customer retention brings companies a ton of ROI.

  • Affordability: It is 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.
  • ROI: A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.
  • Loyalty: Retained customers buy more often and spend more than newer customers. They’ve learned the value of a product or service and keep coming back, again and again.
  • Referrals: Satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family — bringing in new customers, free of charge.

What are you doing to retain your loyal customers? We would love to help you revise your strategy from a marketing funnel to a marketing hourglass. Reach out to Ellen Grace Marketing to find out how we can help you!

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