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Freebies! 11 Tools to Use for Your Retention Marketing

The task of keeping your customers engaged and content can be approached from myriad angles. Whether you’re considering a loyalty program, email marketing or customer analytics, we have the free tools to get you started

Lauren Dowdle
July 18 2017

We all love getting something for free. But it’s even better when that something helps improve our business and retain more customers.  There is a myriad of retention marketing tools available, but here are some of the top free ones you can use in your business:

Loyalty Programs: Loopy Loyalty

Earning your customers’ loyalty should be an important part of your overall retention goal, and one way to do that is through loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are a great driver of engagement and revenue. These programs continue to gain ground with customers and businesses: .

You can create a digital loyalty program for free with Loopy Loyalty. This tool allows you to design a customized stamp card, share it with customers (via email, QR code, social media, etc.) and then scan the digital card whenever they make a purchase to give them stamps that they can use to redeem rewards.

Here are some of things you’ll get for free with Loopy Loyalty:

  • Campaign management dashboard
  • Digital stamper app
  • Stamp card designer tool
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Push updates

The free version gives you an unlimited number of campaigns and templates, with 5,000 cards per campaign. And you won’t have to worry about customers losing the digital card, which can be a concern with physical punch cards. Before you start, check out .

Real-time Customer Service: Zendesk Chat

A major part of retaining customers is keeping them happy. You can resolve issues, answer questions and provide real-time customer service through platforms like Zendesk Chat.

Their free Lite version limits you to one agent and provides these features:

  • 1 concurrent chat
  • Chat rating
  • 14-day chat history

You can add the chat widget to your site, and start responding to customer messages. In today’s instant society, that’s something your customers will surely appreciate.

Customer Surveys: SurveyMonkey

Find out what your customers really think and how you can improve using a survey. It will show customers that you value their opinions and truly want to offer the best products and services.

SurveyMonkey’s free plan allows you to send an unlimited number of surveys to your customers. The plan also offers:

  • 10 questions per survey
  • 100 responses per survey
  • 1 user with commenting only
  • Quizzes

You can use surveys to see how your customers rate your service, what they like/dislike about your company, what it would take for them to make another purchase and so much more.

Gamification: Woobox

Create contests, giveaways and other campaigns to engage and retain customers using Woobox.

Their free plan gives you unlimited fans, unlimited brand pages and this condensed number of apps to choose from:

  • HTML Fangate
  • Instagram Tab
  • YouTube Tab
  • Tab for Twitter
  • Pinterest Tab
  • Pick A Winner

Woobox can also help increase customer engagement, encourage them to revisit your pages— and share your info with their friends. You can get acquainted with the fundamentals of engagement through gamification  .

CRM: SuiteCRM

To retain your customers, you need to know more about them, like purchase history, habits and personal preferences. And for that, you’ll need a CRM tool. CRM tools come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them cover the sales end of your operation, some are used by marketing. One of their main objectives is the collection and parsing of customer data, allowing you to personalize your customer communications to increase retention.

SuiteCRM provides a free option with a long list of features:

  • Leads
  • Accounts
  • Campaigns
  • Notes
  • Product Categories
  • Contracts
  • Outlook integration
  • Invoices
  • Workflow

Those are just a few of the functions of this open-source CRM, helping to provide valuable insight into customers and what it will take to keep them coming back.

Content: WordPress

We’ve all heard the saying, “Content is king.” You need to be giving your customers valuable information online, whether through blogs, whitepapers or ebooks. And one of the best sites to house and help you display all of that content is WordPress.

You can get your content up and going with the free version of WordPress, which includes a variety of capabilities:

  • Subdomain
  • Hundreds of free templates
  • Basic design customization
  • 3GB storage space

There are also a variety of add-ons you can incorporate to increase the site’s versatility.

Design: Canva

Even if you have a designer on staff, it’s nice to be able to tackle some of the easier creative tasks on your own. Additionally, you can use those newly curated images on social media and in emails to reach your customers.

Canva gives you a variety of designs to start off with — formats sized for Facebook, Instagram, presentations, blogs and Pinterest. From there, you can upload your own images or use some of their free ones. They also provide other templates and images for $1.

The free version:

  • Allows up to 10 team members
  • Provides 1 GB of storage
  • Gives access to more than 8,000 templates

It has plenty of professional, eye-catching templates, so really you just have to plug in your information. You can do as much or as little as you want with it.

Design Assets: Creative Commons

The perfect pairing for a creative tool like Canva is a resource that helps you find photos and other images that you can legally use. We aren’t all lucky enough to have Shutterstock or other paid accounts, and you need to make sure you can share the photos you come across — whether it’s on your customer blog or social sites.

Creative Commons gives you access to photos without copyrights. These are a few of the sites it searches:

  • Flickr
  • Google Images
  • Pixabay

It also allows you to view videos, music and other media you’re free to use.

Analytics: Loyverse POS

The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve and keep them — and that’s where this free tool comes into play.

Beyond features like sales analytics and inventory management, Loyverse POS also helps with customer loyalty. You can use its free capabilities on your smartphone or tablet:

  • Customer database
  • Points reward program
  • Notes about customers

With these tools, you can analyze the number of visits and purchase amounts from a customer, encourage future purchases with rewards and also save notes so you can remember their personal preferences.

Email Marketing: Robly

Sending personalized emails and newsletters will help customers feel more connected to your company and also show that you care. You can send updates, coupons, holiday messages or just notes to check in with consumers. It’s all about keeping your customers engaged.

One email marketing option is Robly, which allows you to reach up to 500 contacts for free. Beyond the normal tools (newsletter design, analytics, automation, etc.), Robly also offers these options that are especially helpful with personalization:

  • A/B testing
  • OpenGen technology
  • Robly AI

OpenGen technology allows you to resend your message to customers who didn’t open it on the first go with a new subject line. One of their other tools, Robly AI, learns your customers’ habits and predicts the best time to send each individual message for the best open rate.

VoC: Rankur

Ever wonder what your customers are saying about you? While surveys can give you a glimpse into their thoughts, they won’t show you what your customers are posting about your company online. For that, you need a platform like Rankur.

You’ll be able to see what your customers are saying about you so you can respond and improve your relationship. Here are a few of the features that come with the free version of Rankur:

  • 1 user, 2 social profiles
  • 50,000 mentions a month
  • 1 saved search (unlimited keywords)
  • 1 social dashboard
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Team and client collaboration

An added bonus is that you can also impress prospects with the way you respond to customers.

Time to Upgrade Your Digital Tools

Want to get even more from these retention marketing tools? If you’ve outgrown the capabilities with the free versions of these options, it might be time to pay for the full versions.

Generally, upgrading will allow you to have more customization, freedom and audience reach with the tools. For the most part, all of these marketing options offer affordable plans, meant to help businesses when their needs exceed the constraints of the free versions.

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Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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