What is retention rate?
Retention rate is just the opposite of churn rate. Instead of referring to how many email subscribers you lose over a period of time, retention rate refers to the percentage of email subscribers you keep. There is also a term for tracking “customer retention.” But here, we’re only referring to retention rate as it applies to email marketing (i.e. keeping or losing subscribers).
Here’s the formula you can use to track retention rate.
Retention Rate = (Subscribers at End of Period/Subscribers at Beginning of Period) x 100%
90% = (900/1,000) x 100%
Why is retention rate important?
Retention rate is important for similar reasons that churn rate is important. You will always have people unsubscribing from your email list, sure, but you don’t want too many people consistently leaving or your ROI will suffer. With a high retention rate, you’ll have to spend more money to get new subscribers (and customers), who are more difficult to convert anyways since they don’t know you or trust you as much as your existing subscribers and customers.
In other words, retention rate is important because the more people you keep on your email list over the longterm, the less money you will spend on finding new subscribers and the more easily you will sell to your existing subscribers.
Email marketing is a relationship between you and your audience. Retention rate reveals whether or not that relationship is healthy.
How to improve retention rate?
Here are a few different strategies you can use to improve your retention rate.
- List Segmentation — By segmenting your email list according to subscriber interests and behaviors, you can focus on sending email content that is relevant to each specific subscriber, increasing your retention rate. After all, the more that subscribers engage with your email content, the less likely that they are to unsubscribe from your list.
- Re-Engagement Campaigns — Once you’ve segmented your email list, you can automate sending re-engagement campaigns to people who haven’t engaged with your emails for a set period of time (6 months, for instance). This is a great way to save nearly-lost subscribers and even consistently clean up your list.
- Focus On The Relationship — In the world of email marketing, nothing is more important than the relationship that you have with your subscribers. While there are a lot of tips, tricks, and hacks you can use to increase your open rate and click-through rate, never put the relationship at risk in order to use these strategies. The stronger your relationship with your subscribers, the less they will want to leave your list.