Retention marketing involves relationship building over time and both parties must participate for it to endure. As online marketing continues to evolve, ensure that your retention activities cover the full array of tactics and are integrated with your other marketing plans.

- Communication. Just as relationships require involved direct, engaged communications rather than repetitious nagging messages that get tuned out, your customer exchanges must be relevant. Use your database to send targeted e-mailings based on past behavior and purchases (check here and here for more information) and create related landing pages. Also, consider consumer-controlled communication channels, such as widgets and RSS feeds.

- Web site. As your central online destination, your Web site must provide a wide range of information to satisfy all three types of customers who may be at different points in their purchase process. Be sure your Web site includes the following information: detailed product descriptions, suggested related products, best seller lists, customer comments and ratings, product support, 800 numbers, retail locations, company information, and returns information.

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