Customers Who Click
Retention is More than Just Email Marketing
March 8, 2022
In episode 101 of the Customers Who Click podcast I spoke with Alex McEachern, Director of Marketing at Repeat. In this episode we’re going to be talking about why retention marketing is so important, but also why there is so much more to it than just email marketing. It’s getting tougher and more expensive every week to acquire new customers at the moment, so its absolutely vital that brands are putting in the time and effort into the retention side of the business. But its not as simple as just setting up a few automations and then blasting out a campaign every week, there’s so much more to retention, and definitely more than 1 ‘retention marketer’ can do. Alex is the Director of Marketing at Repeat. A SaaS platform that enables brands to turn one time buyers into repeat customers. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or head over to
Key highlights:

01:15 - 07:56 - Biggest Opportunities for D2C Growth - Retention is getting more and more important as brands struggling with increasing costs of acquisition, and difficulty targeting the right customers online. 

But once that customers in, and has made that first purchase, its so important to be working hard to get that 2nd purchase in. And that doesn't mean just spamming emails until they buy or unsubscribe. Increasing retention just 5% can lead to a 25-95% improvement in profit, which makes sense as that 2nd purchase hasnt cost you anything extra.

But there is no silver bullet to retention. Just like with acquisition, there are multiple channels and strategies to use. Email, SMS, direct mail, loyalty, content, memberships, even customer service plays its part.

08:03 - 17:02 - How to Identify the Right Tactics - It’s important to start with what Alex calls the retention marketing matrix. How frequently do customers purchase this product and how valuable is it? This will then guide you to certain strategies. Loyalty programs for example, are going to be a lot less effective for high ticket, low frequency purchases such as mattresses, why would you bother signing up for a loyalty program you’re not going to engage with for 5 years?

But for high frequency, lower value items, coffee for example, loyalty programs work fantastically.

But, think about what you can be selling to improve retention and speed up that purchase frequency. Someone might buy a piano once ever in their life, but, they need to maintain the piano, they need to clean the piano, thats where your retention opportunity is.

17:10 - 19:40 - How to Create a Valuable & Engaging Loyalty Program - Everyone wants a loyalty program, but few actually do it well. The key to a really good loyalty program is to have rewards that customers want, and that are attainable relatively easily. If you have to spend £1000 to get £5 off, you’re not going to be motivated, but if you can see that by creating an account and placing a decent first order you’re going to trigger that first reward its far more enticing.

34:10 - 39:32 - How do Product Catalogues Affect Retention - Think about how you can expand your product offering, but in a way that complements your other products, rather than competing with them. Jewellery for example is a relatively low-frequency purchase, so what can you offer those customers to get that additional purchase? Maybe send a follow up 60 days later with a polishing kit for the jewellery they’ve bought. It’s so much more effective than ‘you bought this necklace, how about you buy this one now as well.’

40:21 - 42:22 -  What Retention Challenges are Brands Facing - Measuring retention correctly, by choosing  a metric you can really track, and is meaningful to your brand. Lifetime value is really difficult to measure, especially for brands that haven’t been around that long. But if you can find that meaningful metric that you can measure, and be confident in, you’ll start to see strong growth coming your way.

57:12 - 57:53 - Who Would AlexLike to Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World?

There are some great Twitter personalities out there, so someone like Nick Sharm or Chris Cosentino. 

58:15 - Alex’s Must-Have Ecommerce Tools:

If you’d like to hear more from Alex, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or head over to