The Ultimate Guide to Driving Repeat Revenue

One-off sales are great.

You offer a product. The customer pays you for the product. Simple.

Not quite.

In the long-term, one-off sales will only take a business so far. One-off customers will eventually dry up. And businesses will find it difficult to regularly predict future sales for any meaningful revenue projections.

So, what is the alternative?

Repeat revenue.

In this ultimate guide, we will take you through what repeat revenue is, the benefits, and how you can achieve it.

For brands, better starts here.

What is repeat revenue?

Repeat revenue is the backbone of many businesses. Whether it is a B2C brand encouraging repeat purchases from loyal customers. Or a SaaS or subscription-based company that relies on regular, predictable contracts.

For these businesses, customers will purchase a product or service on a consistent basis that is likely to continue. As well as offering stability for a business, this also enables them to project future revenue accurately, as well as scale effectively.

Businesses can calculate repeat revenue based on metrics such as churn rate and user growth rate. Or, businesses can calculate a repeat purchase rate by dividing customers who bought more than once in the past year, by the total numbers of customers who purchased in the same period.

Benefits of repeat revenue

So, you understand what repeat revenue is.

But why bother driving it?

Easier to sell to

A repeat customer has a  60% to 70% chance of converting.

That’s because customers who regularly buy from you are already aware of and engaged with your brand. This means that you can skip marketing in the early stages of the buying cycle, which can be costly and time-intensive.

Increased spending

When customers make just one purchase, they are 27% likely to return to buy more. However, customers who have made second and third purchases are 54% more likely to buy more.

Meaning the more your customers buy, they are more likely to spend. So by focusing on current customers instead of just new ones, you will be generating a higher ROI.


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Repeat revenue that is predictable, such as from a subscription or contract, offers a steady and reliable income stream.

This helps businesses to determine how much they can spend on specific campaigns or activity based on their predicted monthly income.

New customers cost more

With all of this in mind, you might not be surprised to hear that bringing on a new customer costs more than an existing one.

In fact, it costs five times more. And nurturing those new customers to spend as much as your existing ones costs 16 times more.

So think carefully about where you place your budget. 

5 ways to drive repeat revenue

So now you understand what repeat revenue is, and why you should be driving it.

Let’s look at how.

Product recommendations

Amazon is the master of product recommendations. In fact, 30% of Amazon’s traffic comes from consumers clicking on personalised product recommendations.

And it’s not as simple as the products matching previous purchases. Instead, Amazon profiles their entire customer base so they can make tailored suggestions based on what their consumers search, browse, and buy.

Essentially, Amazon is putting the right product, in front of the right person, at the right time.

And you can do this too.

Cross-sell promotions

We’ve all received bad post-purchase emails. That time you saved up and splashed out on a brand new TV, just to be marketed another one a few days later. That’s hardly reflective of how shoppers consume on a regular basis.

Instead of promoting the same items, brands need to showcase related purchases. This could include add-ons or upgrades.

For instance, consumers who have purchased a new camera might need batteries. Or those who have bought a new dress might want a bag to match.

Abandoned browse and basket reminders

Over 3/4 of consumers abandon websites without completing a purchase.

That’s a lot of untapped revenue.

Abandoned browse and basket reminders are a great way to nudge engaged customers into finishing the checkout process. Whether they have gotten to the payment page. Or are simply browsing through your website.

Take this opportunity to resolve the reasons why the consumer hasn’t finished their purchase. Maybe they need some more information. Some reassurance. Or just a bit of a discount.

Replenishment campaigns

If you have regular customers who make regular purchases, why not give them a reminder when they are due to replenish?

After all, sometimes it’s easy to forget the little purchases. No matter how important.

Replenishment campaigns are ideal for edible goods, office supplies, cosmetics, and home accessories.

They are a great way to make your customers’ lives easier whilst displaying your fantastic customer service.

Customer experience

Whatever your industry, chances are you’re facing fierce competition.

And one of the most competitive areas for brands is customer experience.

Customer expectation is on the rise. Targeted, personalised experiences are no longer a nice to have. They are a necessity.

So to keep customers happy and coming back for more, brands need to offer an unrivalled experience to every one of their customers. From the moment they enter your website, all the way through to post-purchase and post-delivery.

Welcome emails

Welcome emails offer an opportunity to communicate with your audience at their most engaged.

So if your customer has just made a purchase and signed up to your brand, then get them to come back for more as soon as possible.

Welcome emails are a positive way to start your relationship to ensure a great customer experience. As well as offering key information such as delivery times, customer service contacts, and social media channels.

Even better, welcome emails produce four times more opens and drive five times more clicks than regular emails.


80% of customers prefer to purchase from a brand that offers personalised experiences. And personalised emails produce 6 times higher transactional rates than regular emails.

Fortunately, personalised emails don’t have to be complicated.

Brands can begin by using a first name in the subject line or email body. Or use purchase and behavioural data to offer recommended products, or to cross-sell and up-sell.

There are so many options to personalise emails. Age, gender, location, purchasing, and browsing habits. And even the weather.

Anniversary emails

To keep customers happy, make them feel special.

Birthdays and anniversaries are the perfect excuse to do exactly this. And they’re simple, but highly effective. In fact, birthday emails generate a 481% higher conversion rate than other promotional emails.

Sending an email on a special occasion reminds your customer of your brand, and helps build a positive brand relationship.

Of course, any sweeteners you can offer, such as a discount code or freebie, might be that extra encouragement to come and purchase from your brand once again.

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails have some of the highest open and engagement rates within email marketing.

And that’s not surprising. As customers want to know exactly what’s going on with their order once they click ‘Buy’.

Because these emails perform well, they are prime real estate to drive repeat revenue. So make every word and image count.

But transactional emails are also a great way to showcase how trustworthy your brand is. If a customer feels comfortable and confident in making purchases with you, they are more likely to buy from you in the future.

Order confirmation

Arguably the most important transactional email is the order confirmation. Without it, customers will start to worry that their payment has been made, but the order hasn’t gone through.

Treat these emails similarly to a welcome email. Include the most relevant and useful information for your customer to help reassure them. Such as delivery estimates, customer support numbers, and returns policies.

Delivery updates

Next day delivery is no longer a nice to have, it’s the norm. And any unexpected delays can result in frustration and unease from the customer. As well as lots of calls and messages to your customer support team.

So put your customers’ minds at ease by offering them delivery updates at every step of the way. And use the opportunity to upsell any ‘fast’, ‘next day’ or ‘VIP’ delivery options you may offer.

Post-purchase review

Let your customers know you value their opinion, even after they’ve purchased.

Post-purchase reviews are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and to gauge how well you are doing, or how much they are enjoying the product.

Don’t forget to offer clear instructions for getting in touch with your support team, in case they’ve had a bad experience.

Related products

Once the customer has purchased from you, be a useful brand by offering them related or add-on products that they might not have thought of.

Related product emails, whether they are up-sell or cross-sell, are a great repeat revenue stream. And are also a great way to offer customer support and service by promoting products your customers actually want to see.

RFM modelling

RFM modelling refers to recency, frequency, and monetary.

Essentially, how often your customers purchase. And how much they spend.

RFM modelling allows brands to score customers based on the above. It offers an extension of segmentation, enabling brands to segment their customers based on specific RFM categories that they fall under.

Regular customer

As you’d expect, this refers to your standard customer. Not to be mistaken with your ideal customer. These may be your ‘bread and butter’ customers and are likely to make up most of your database.

You may want to opt for regular communications, updates, and promotions to keep this segment steady and content with purchasing from you.

Big spender

As the title suggests, these are the customers who spend the most money with you.

They could be divided into regular purchasers who spend a lot, or customers who only buy occasionally, but buy big.

As these are your highest spending customers, treat them like VIPs and be sure to keep them in the loop regarding your higher-end product launches.

Frequent purchaser

Similarly, frequent purchasers may spend a lot. Or they may simply purchase smaller, cheaper items from you frequently.

These customers are clearly engaged with your brand and are loyal. So reward them for this with discounts and loyalty perks.

Lapsed customers

You can also identify the customers who haven’t purchased for a while, and encourage them to re-engage with you and your brand.

Tell them what’s new in your business. Let them know about your latest offers. Or simply ask for feedback to help your brand improve.

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Loyalty programs

9% of customers say that loyalty programs have an influence on the brands they buy from.

In fact, customers spend 67% more when they have joined a sustained customer loyalty program.

While they may not offer a short-term strategy, in the long run they offer a fantastic source of repeat revenue from highly engaged buyers.

Traditional loyalty programs

Traditional loyalty programs target your frequent, high spending customers. A brand can be sure that this type of customer will continue to spend, and therefore rewards them for that.

This means providing a VIP treatment that other customers don’t have access to. Such as exclusive discounts, private events, or pre-launches.

Rewards programs

Reward programs offer customers discounts, credits, and points based on how much or how frequently they spend.

A classic example of a rewards program are coffee shop loyalty cards. Where after buying 10 cups of coffee, you get one free.

Referral programs

These programs are very effective in helping a brand increase their prospect base.

It harnesses established loyalty between a customer and the brand to encourage customers to recommend and refer others. In return they will receive a reward, such as a discount or a prize.

This is essentially ‘word of mouth’ advertising, but with benefits for the referring customer.

Looking to drive repeat revenue?

Great. We don’t blame you.

Fortunately, our friendly team of experts can help.

Get in touch with us for strategic and tactical advice to help your business drive repeat revenue.

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