How to do Customer Retention Analysis with SQL


Today customer retention emerges as a cornerstone of sustainable growth and long-term success. It is more than just attracting new customers; it's about keeping them engaged, satisfied, and loyal over time. This is where the power of customer retention analysis comes into play. By understanding and predicting customer behaviors, you will tailor your strategies to not only retain existing customers but also to enhance their overall experience.

However, achieving a nuanced understanding of customer retention goes beyond surface-level analysis. In today's digital era, where data is king, leveraging a multitude of data sources becomes imperative. Each customer interaction leaves a digital footprint across various platforms – be it through social media engagements on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, interactions with customer support via tools like Zendesk, or purchase behaviors tracked by e-commerce platforms like Shopify. These interactions collectively weave a comprehensive narrative about customer preferences and behaviors.

But how do you make sense of all this scattered data? This is where SQL (Structured Query Language) steps in as a powerful tool. SQL allows us to query and manipulate large datasets from various sources to derive meaningful insights. By integrating data from diverse platforms such as Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Amplitude, CleverTap, and HubSpot, we can perform a holistic analysis that reveals intricate patterns and trends in customer behavior.

Necessary Data Sources for this Analysis

Understanding your customers' journey requires a comprehensive look at the various touchpoints they have with your business. This is where the integration of multiple data sources becomes invaluable. Let's start by exploring the key data sources that can be harnessed for an in-depth customer retention analysis:

Existing Sources

  1. Google Analytics 4 (GA4): GA4 is instrumental in tracking user interactions on your website or app. It provides insights into user demographics, behavior patterns, and engagement metrics, which are crucial for understanding how users interact with your digital presence.

  2. Amplitude: This platform excels in event-based data analysis. Amplitude helps in tracking specific user actions, providing a detailed view of how customers interact with your product, which features they use, and their journey through the conversion funnel.

  3. CleverTap: Known for its real-time user segmentation and analytics, CleverTap enables businesses to track, analyze, and engage with customers based on their in-app behavior, making it a valuable source for retention strategies.

  4. MixPanel: Similar to Amplitude, MixPanel offers detailed insights into user interactions with your product. Its strong point is in funnel analysis, which helps in understanding user conversion rates and drop-off points.

Additional Sources

  1. HubSpot: As a CRM platform, HubSpot is a goldmine for customer interaction data and sales information. It tracks the entire customer lifecycle, from initial contact to closed deals, and even ongoing customer relationships, making it essential for a rounded analysis.

  2. Salesforce: Another powerful CRM tool, Salesforce provides a comprehensive view of customer interactions. It's particularly useful for its detailed customer relationship data and management features, which can help in understanding customer needs and behaviors.

  3. Zendesk: For businesses that focus on customer support, Zendesk's data is invaluable. It tracks customer support interactions, ticket resolutions, and overall customer satisfaction, offering insights into the support side of the customer experience.

  4. Facebook Insights: For social media metrics, Facebook Insights offers detailed data on user engagement, demographics, and behavior on the platform. This is key for understanding how social media interactions influence customer retention.

  5. Shopify or WooCommerce: For e-commerce businesses, platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce provide transactional data and customer behavior insights. They help in understanding purchasing patterns, product preferences, and overall engagement with your e-commerce platform.

Each of these sources brings a unique set of data to the table, painting a comprehensive picture of customer interactions across various channels. By integrating these diverse data streams, you gain a multi-dimensional view of your customer base, which is essential for effective customer retention analysis using SQL. In the next sections, we'll explore how to bring these disparate data sources together and leverage SQL for deep analytical insights.

Bringing Data to Airbook

In the quest to derive actionable insights from diverse data sources, Airbook is your ally. Airbook is a platform designed to simplify the process of data integration and analysis. It allows you to seamlessly connect various data sources, enabling efficient aggregation, visualization, and analysis of data in one unified environment.

Let's Take an Example from a Demo Data to Do the Customer Retention Analysis

To effectively demonstrate how customer retention analysis can be conducted using SQL, let's delve into an example utilizing our demo data from Amplitude, GA4, and HubSpot. These tables represent a variety of user interactions and behaviors, providing a rich dataset for our analysis.

The Demo Data Tables

Amplitude Data Table: This table offers a detailed look at specific user events and interactions within an app or website. Key columns include Event, EventType, Timestamp, and SessionDuration. By analyzing this data, we can understand user engagement patterns and identify which features or content are most effective in retaining users.

2. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Data Table: GA4 focuses on broader web analytics, such as page visits, user locations, and referral sources. With columns like PageURL, Location, DeviceType, and SessionDuration, this table helps us track how users navigate through a website and where they are coming from, providing insights into the user journey and potential drop-off points.

HubSpot Data Table: As a CRM tool, HubSpot's data is vital for understanding the sales and marketing aspects of customer interactions. It includes information like UserEmail, HubSpotScore, SalesStage, and customer Event types. This table is instrumental in analyzing how marketing and sales efforts contribute to customer retention and the overall customer lifecycle.

Example Customer Retention Analysis:

For our example analysis, let's focus on a fictional scenario where we aim to understand customer retention through their engagement patterns, purchase behaviors, and interactions across different platforms.

SQL Query for Analysis

Let's consider a SQL query that joins data from our Amplitude, GA4, and HubSpot tables to analyze user engagement and purchasing behavior over time. This query aims to identify users who are highly engaged but have not made recent purchases, indicating potential opportunities for targeted marketing strategies.

           SQL Query        Copy in Airbook        SELECT    A.UserID, A.Event, A.Timestamp AS LastEngagementTime,    G.PageURL, H.SalesStage,    DATEDIFF(CURRENT_DATE, MAX(A.Timestamp)) AS DaysSinceLastEngagement,    DATEDIFF(CURRENT_DATE, MAX(H.Timestamp)) AS DaysSinceLastPurchaseFROM    Amplitude AJOIN    GA4 G ON A.UserID = G.UserIDJOIN    HubSpot H ON A.UserID = H.UserIDGROUP BY    A.UserIDHAVING    DaysSinceLastEngagement < 30 AND DaysSinceLastPurchase > 60ORDER BY    DaysSinceLastEngagement;

Converting Insights into Strategies

The results of this analysis are instrumental in shaping targeted customer retention strategies:

Personalized Marketing Campaigns: For users who are engaged but not purchasing, personalized email campaigns highlighting new products, special discounts, or loyalty rewards could be effective. Utilizing data from HubSpot, such as SalesStage and HubSpotScore, can help tailor the message to the user's specific interests and engagement level.

Enhanced User Experience: Analyzing the Event and PageURL data from Amplitude and GA4, respectively, can identify which features or content keep users engaged. Enhancing these aspects can improve the overall user experience, encouraging users to stay longer and potentially make purchases.

Customer Feedback Loop: For users who have not engaged recently, conducting surveys or direct outreach to understand their challenges or needs can provide valuable insights. This feedback can inform product improvements or customer service enhancements.

Segmentation for Retargeting Ads: Users identified in the SQL analysis can be segmented for retargeting ads on platforms like Facebook or Google. This segmentation ensures that marketing efforts are concentrated on users who have shown interest but might need an extra nudge to make a purchase.

Loyalty Programs: Introducing or promoting loyalty programs to this group of users can incentivize them to make purchases. Offering points, rewards, or exclusive access can significantly enhance customer retention.

By leveraging these strategies, businesses can effectively target customers at risk of churning, improving overall retention rates and fostering long-term customer relationships.


In the dynamic landscape of customer engagement, the importance of integrated data analysis for customer retention cannot be overstated. As demonstrated through our example using SQL analysis, combining data from various sources like Amplitude, GA4, and HubSpot offers a multifaceted view of customer behavior. This comprehensive approach provides deeper insights into what drives customer loyalty and how businesses can adapt their strategies to enhance customer retention.

The key takeaway is the power of data integration in revealing hidden patterns and opportunities. By analyzing engagement trends, purchasing behaviors, and customer interactions across different platforms, businesses can identify specific areas to improve the customer experience. This holistic view allows for more targeted and personalized marketing strategies, which are crucial in today's competitive market.

Moreover, the utilization of SQL for this kind of analysis proves to be both versatile and powerful. SQL allows for the manipulation and querying of large datasets, making it an invaluable skill for those seeking to delve into data analysis.

As we have seen, the actionable insights gained from this kind of analysis are not just numbers and trends; they are the guiding lights towards more effective customer engagement and retention strategies. Whether it's through personalized marketing, enhanced user experiences, or loyalty programs, the data tells a story that can lead to more meaningful connections with your customers.

Therefore, we encourage businesses of all sizes to explore these methods. Start by integrating your data sources, get comfortable with SQL, and begin the journey of discovering the wealth of insights hidden in your data. Remember, in the world of business, knowledge is not just power—it's the key to growth, customer satisfaction, and success.

Embrace the power of integrated data analysis, and watch as your business transforms its approach to customer retention, setting a new standard for excellence in customer relations.