Renewal Marketing Done Right – Rewarding Repeat Business

Walking away imageWe’ve all been there. Every year, renewing your car/home/whatever insurance, you’re hitting the comparison sites because your current provider’s 2nd+ year quote has leapt up a notch. One year, instead of ‘renewing’ the traditional way, it was cheaper for me to leave my car insurance provider and rejoin the same company immediately(!) than it was to straight-up renew. Absolutely absurd.

Too many companies focus on rewarding new business, not on trying to keep what they have. Bearing in mind that it’s supposedly 6-7 times cheaper to keep a current client/customer happy than to win a new one, you realise just how crazy that is. I always used to laugh whenever I received direct mail from BT… the new customer/crosssell/upsell materials would be nicely printed, colourful and on nice glossy paper, while your bill would be printed on rough paper and look cheap (in the days before they went paperless/online).

So it was a nice treat to be wowed by a genuine exception to the rule recently…

I own am a slave to three cats and we use VetProtect as our pet insurance provider, which also includes check-ups, jabs, flea treatments, etc. at our vets (Heath Vets, who run VP) for free on top. I recently received a letter thanking me for continuing to use VP and I was offered a thank you gift. When I read that the thank you gift was worth £160, my jaw hit the floor. A company rewarding loyalty, and by doing something like that? What the hell, right?

As a thank you for renewing with VetProtect, we’ve been offered a free pet or family portrait photoshoot with Barrett & Coe Cardiff. Sure, we have to pay for the photos that we want to keep, but the photoshoot itself and the going-through-them part is all included in the price – all paid for by VP. This is bearing in mind that they didn’t need to do this – I most likely would’ve stayed on anyway. But bloody hell, what an incentive to stay on though.

More companies ought to learn from VetProtect’s example. Don’t punish your loyal customers/clients with higher prices while sweet-talking the potential newbies. Give people a reason to stay with you – and do it in a way that’ll knock their socks off and (ideally) keep them for a long, long time. And hey… you might even find that you don’t have to spend as much on sales and customer acquisition because you’ve kept your current clients on-board. Wouldn’t that be nice? Or you find that your word of mouth referrals improve, or you get more mentions/links in articles on the Web (…like this one)! 😉

What’s your favourite use of renewal marketing? If you’ve got a good example to share then I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Neither Heath Vets, VetProtect nor Barrett & Coe are a client of mine, however I’m friends with the General Manager of HV and a customer of both HV and VP. In short: I’m writing this completely unbiasedly, simply because I was that impressed with it! 🙂

[Walking away image credit – MorkiRo]

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