Most entrepreneurs spend a lot of time, energy, and resources on customer acquisition, and any entrepreneur will tell you that time, energy, and resources are the three most valuable commodities. They are also three of the most expensive and difficult marketing commodities to sustain.

I am an eager and continuous student of marketing and business. If you’re like me, you’ve probably also read countless books and articles about different marketing strategies designed to help you get more new customers into your business.

With every passing week, and with the constant expansion of the Internet’s power, it seems that there’s always some new marketing strategy or tool to learn about, with each proclaiming to be the best way to get more customers. No doubt, it’s a challenge to figure out what works best for attracting new customers to your business.

When thinking about newsletter marketing and effective customer retention strategies use the leaky bucket analogy. Think of your company as a giant bucket of water. The water in your bucket represents your customers—the lifeblood of your business. Every drop of water that leaks out of your bucket is a lost customer and lost sales, including all future revenue. Ouch!

If your company is like a leaky bucket—and every business is to some degree—then it is paramount to your survival that you continuously fill your bucket with more water. After all, no water, no business!

So the question is: How leaky is your bucket? How many holes does your bucket have that are letting your customers constantly pour out?

Be honest—does your bucket simply have a few leaks around the seams that let customers occasionally seep out, or is it riddled it with holes, and customers are gushing out from every one of them?

If I can be blunt, my guess is that your bucket has more holes than you even know about. But don’t be too embarrassed; most businesses do.

There are two ways to keep the water level in your bucket full and, therefore, customers in your business:

1. Constantly add more water, new customers, while previous customers continue to pour out.

2. Plug the leaks in your business, and keep the water you’ve already got in your bucket.