Channel-Specific Growth Skills: Retention, PPC Audiences, SEO, LinkedIn Advertising, and YouTube Ads (Review)

CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree: Week 8

Week 8 of CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree covered more marketing channels including retention as a channel, PPC Audiences, SEO-driven editorial calendars, LinkedIn advertising, and YouTube ads.

Retention: the most underrated growth channel

The metrics

Increasing customer retention by 5% can lead to an increase in profits of 25% to 95%.

The likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60% to 70%, while the probability of converting a new lead is 5% to 20% at best.

Average retention for mobile applications is 40% in 3 days, dwindling to only 5% after 3 months.

The average ranges are wide, so companies can benchmark against 1) their own performance and 2) competitors. Performance data is usually private, though, so industry reports are the next best source of relevant external benchmarks.

Bending the steep drop off curve happens through activation: getting users to actually use the platform. If customers explore all the features and functionalities of the application, software, or platform, then they’re more likely to become consistent users beyond the critical first 90 days.

A big factor in a “sticky” (successful) onboarding experience is knowing why that customer is using your product. Features are worthless if they don’t address the person’s reason for being there in the first place. These insights come from customer interviews and resulting customer lifetime maps. Once you get enough data, you can create segments for best results.

Value of retention

Retention optimization has key points of focus but isn’t a science.

First, there’s onboarding (the first 90 days). 75% of drop off typically happens between weeks 0 and 1, so there’s plenty of room for improvement and potential for impact.

Beyond onboarding for short term retention, continued customer engagement is what realizes value from your SaaS product.

So what does this look like? Emails are the biggest way to access inactive users, while in-app messages can prompt product tours, notification bars, and onboarding checklists to push people forward. There’s no set steps, though, which is where testing comes in to what applies to your customers.

The goals for each stage of retention are for customers to:

· Short term retention (week 1): use product more than once

· Mid-term retention (week 1-week 4): establish a pattern of usage

· Long term retention (week 4 and beyond): rely on the product as an indispensable tool


1. Buyer attributes: what information do we know about them?

2. Behaviors: what do their actions tell us?

By combining both, you can notice patterns and start to map predictive segments. What do people who become inactive have in common? Which customers are likely to customers power users with upsell potential?

Without segmenting, you can’t see how to tailor your approach to be most helpful. Once you nail which customers need to receive which messages at which times, you can automize necessary communication flows from there.

Maximizing audiences for PPC campaigns

SEO-driven editorial calendars

LinkedIn and YouTube ads

For example, LinkedIn allows you to target by title/industry/seniority in ways that are impossible with search display ads but doesn’t offer valuable retargeting like Google Ads.

The YouTube course didn’t fully convince me on the ad platform. I came in with bias because 1) my experience with watching YouTube ads has been terrible, and 2) I’ve spoken with several marketers and agencies who avoid YouTube ads entirely. There’s little to no relevancy with the video I’m about to watch and me as a user, and most ads follow the same format or script. The course presented a good case for how to best use YouTube’s ad platform, but I wish it had addressed the weaknesses and why some marketers choose to invest their ad dollars elsewhere. As a user, I’m conditioned to auto skip or mute ads because most are so bad, so I would have liked to see more statistics on ROI and effectiveness relative to the numerous other online ad platforms.

Looking ahead

P.S. :)

Recent undergrad business graduate with a passion for personal growth, professional development, and tech marketing.