Optimize for retention

1. Write copy for transactional messaging to follow any transaction in your onboarding or checkout flow.

For example, Crate & Barrel uses a 3-part transactional message that includes, Save your information for next time, Let us know what you think, and Popular items based on your order.

2. Use highlighted boxes to demonstrate features, a progress bar to show how many steps there are, and a process to add or invite friends in your onboarding flow.

For example, Hootsuite uses a green 1-2-3 progress indicator.

3. Create a simple, interactive, task-based onboarding process that focuses on your main product functions, instead of giving users reading material or a long tutorial.

For example, Hootsuite’s onboarding flow shows customers how many steps there are, provides time-saving facts in blue, and sticks to teaching the key functions.

4. Test different value-based calls to action at the end of your onboarding flow.

For example, encourage people to get your Chrome extension, or provide a free ebook on the value of your product.

5. Conduct qualitative conversion research to get an inside look, and identify why customers are churning.

For example, provide an optional Share your experience section on your website, that incorporates the use of personas – like business or personal use – and segmentation, like demographics. Additionally, segment your customers and send out surveys to get further with your data.

6. Use gamification and retention hooks to make customers feel good about themselves, while also encouraging a retention loop with their network.

For example, LinkedIn uses Endorsements that include an email notification, a LI notification, and encouragement to endorse other people in your network.

7. Use a referral program to create trusty word of mouth advertising, form habits between friends and colleagues, and provide better lifetime value to your customers.

For example, Dropbox rewards its users with more free space every time a referral is given.

8. Send revival messages to lapsed leads and unengaged customers, that include engaged copy, seasonal reminders, and a discount.

For example, Urban Outfitters appeals to a younger persona through subtle humor, while Gap appeals to reason with a 50% off discount coupon.

9. Create hypotheses that you can test to start your retention optimization, and start with the hypotheses you think will have the biggest impact on retention.

For example, ask yourself Why are customers churning? and What can I optimize to prevent churn?