Giving thanks and retaining customers

Despite being Canadian (I live in Toronto, eh), as Americans take time off to celebrate Thanksgiving, I felt it was a good time to talk about giving thanks — and retention.

Retention is cheap(er)

Early stage start-ups should focus mainly on attracting new users quickly. That’s a given. But once customers are coming in at a good clip, it is time to pivot towards retention. What’s the point of filling a bucket if it’s full of holes?

Remember: keeping a customer is cheaper than acquiring a new one (the math is simple, you don’t have to pay the CAC anymore). While there are many techniques that growth hackers deploy to improve retention (e.g. habit forming, drip marketing, on-boarding, etc.) not all techniques work on all audiences.

Think more. Copy less.

My problem with a lot of the material out there about growth is that it is very tactic based. I.e., do this and you will grow exponentially. In fact, a lot of the growth industry is copying itself towards mediocrity. So today, my advice for standing out of the crowd simple:

Focus less on specific tactics and focus more on making your customers happy about being your customer.

Be thankful to those who have committed their hard-earned dollars to you. Make them understand that you are thankful in a genuine way. Craft your messages and your product features to reinforce your thanks as well as the value the product represents to your customers immediately. Understanding your audience will help you customize your tactics and generate new ways to show thanks.

So just like many of you who are genuinely thankful this time of year for all that’s good in your lives — remember to show your customers some genuine thanks as well. Keep doing this, and hopefully you can show that same customer thanks for the years to come.

Happy American Thanksgiving and Happy hacking!

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