Retention, the Holy Grail of our Industry

When it comes to retention, information is Batman, and data analysis is Robin.

Itay Barak is a retention and business development expert with years of industry experience, and a co-founder of Digital Platinum Ltd & 


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Oh, how they love those words around here: ‘Trader’s Value. Trader’s Value’. That’s all I hear all day long! Well, I say: increasing is not enough. Let’s go for maximizing it!

Hmm. But, how?

I have 3 words for you: retention, retention, retention.

Itay Barak
Itay Barak

Retention is all around us: it’s what makes relationships ‘tick’, it’s what helps you keep the good employees in your company and what helps you maintain a good relationship with your mother-in-law.

It’s what you do when you compliment your spouse, family and friends, when you show personal interest in them. It’s the basic social skills we all possess, or aspire to, in order to maintain healthy and long-lasting relationships with the people around us.

But how do we apply that to business? Moreover – to our business?

Simply complimenting a client on his haircut won’t do here. While congratulating him on his recent successful trades or offering a birthday gift may actually fit in. But that’s hardly enough.

While personal attention goes a long way, it’s only half the story. A good retention plan is basically made of the following two principles:

  1. Know your customer – get as much information as you possibly can on him.
  2. Use your knowledge – target the client based on the information you have gathered.

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting the information on your client. It is simply the cornerstone of your retention plan, and you cannot do without it.

To get more out of your clients, you need to know them, and you need to understand them. You need to know what they like, what their favorite assets are, favorite hours of the day to trade, what is their available fund, their average deposit, when their birthday is, what they do for a living and preferably – what they had for breakfast and what’s the name of their pet.

Ok, ok, you got the point, right? Information, information, information. And now you’re probably wondering: How do I get all that information?

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting the information on your client

Well, a good place to start would be your ‘know your client’ database. While this section is required from us for regulatory reasons, it also holds huge marketing potential: you can learn a lot from it, including your client’s risk appetite, size of available funds, does he trade with other brokers? Is he active in the financial market?

From there you can deduce a lot about the optimal way to address each client. And each piece of information can contribute something to your strategy:

The type of banner or funnel that got a client to you can teach you a lot about his interests and level of experience in the market. For instance, is he looking for academic resources or trading tools? Is he new to the financial markets or not? This can also help you in evaluating the type of risky traders you’re better off avoiding.

Here’s a simple example of a rather basic use of information: say that James from Canada got to your site from an article about the recent trading trends on ‘Bitcoin’, through a banner saying ‘Join a team of experts, enjoy our vast education materials and learn from the best.’

So James read the article, clicked on your banner and completed his registration, in which one of the required fields was birth date. Now, imagine that James’s birthday is coming up this month. Think how much power you have, knowing that fact:

You can personalize your conversation with him, send him a birthday card or even a gift. He will most likely appreciate the gesture, especially being a new client, and ultimately you are more likely to keep him as a client and get a deposit from him in return.

each piece of information can contribute something to your strategy

You can also make good retention offers to James based on his country of origin, his interest in bitcoin and in education. (Like offering eBooks or webinars, or sending him offers in his native language or related to local holidays and the likes.)

I`m sure that you already thought of at least 10 different offers you could make, based on that information…

Now James is not unique! You have hundreds and thousands of ‘James’s’ in your customer base, and that’s where you should start testing all of your ideas. Remove the non performing clients, keep the good ones and work on improving them.

Another way of looking at the basic elements comprising retention in our business is by addressing 3 focal points:

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  1. Segmentation
  2. Targeting
  3. Offers

Of course, all of the above cannot be achieved without a most thorough analysis work: to improve your retention rate you will need to really dig into your database and spend many hours analyzing your reports.


Well, it’s not that I love excels (only on weekdays), but you really can’t do without it and the likes of it in order to carry out a successful retention strategy. When it comes to retention, information is Batman, and data analysis is Robin.

Of course, a hands-on approach to the market, a creative mind and a basic understanding of human psychology are also required, with a special emphasize on traders’ psychology.


The bottom line is, whatever is required – do it. It will definitely be worth your while.

I’ve been practicing various marketing methods for many years now, specializing in all aspects of gaming, performance-based marketing and online trading, and I can tell you that if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t get better and earn more without taking a deep look inside. Without really digging in there. That, and never to eat a burrito on the street at 2 in the morning.

So I think by now you basically got the point of me being a strong believer in information. But it’s not just getting the information that allows you to become great at retention. It’s knowing what to do with it.

For that you need to have an offers bank available: you have to address each client group with both the right offer and the right message:

A client that has recently had a winning streak needs a different approach than the one who has just lost his entire deposit. But each group can be motivated to act and deposit by using the right method. That is the key point here. That is why I call retention “The holy grail of business growth”.

You simply can’t base your entire business plan on getting new clients and first time deposits over and over again. YOU need to have a great retention plan and a professional retention team. And that’s exactly what the big brands know. That’s what helps them get big and stay big.

On segmentation alone, I could write a whole book. But until I do, I can simply say that you need to create the right groups of traders in your system, mainly based on their recent activity, i.e registration; first / second deposit ; first trade ; winners / losers ; VIP’s etc…

You need to have a creative set designated and designed especially for each group. And do not think that content is not a key element here too!

While I said that for us, information is the king, a strong, well-written content, using the right tone of voice, is not to be undermined. Nor is a good, UX design for your written materials, emails, landing pages etc.…

You need to have a good creative team to back up your retention plans. You need to know the main market events and even local holidays of your clients, and have the right offers made to them at the right time.

Another part of a good retention method is knowing your product: You need to fully know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you are offering at any given moment.


Combining your knowledge of your clients with your knowledge of your business will enable you to reach a profound decision on how to address each client and what to offer him. And when you offer the right kind of product / service, not only are your chances of selling higher, but he would feel much better about your business, knowing you are highly professional.

I am a great believer in retention, and I think that mastering the art of retention is what we should all aspire to in relationships, both in our personal and professional life.

I believe retention should best be regarded as an investment. An investment in the future of your business.

In the end, it’s all about synergizing all the information you have in order to create the right message and offers and deliver them to the right client, at the right time.

Some of the resources required for a good retention strategy you already have in your business. Some require some training for your employees and sales person. Some aspects will require you to hire a dedicated person or use an outside company.

The bottom line is, whatever is required – do it. It will definitely be worth your while. If you want to succeed, there’s really no other way.

Like we say in our business: “You can’t profit if you don’t invest.”

Good luck everyone.

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