It’s been a while since I was active in the dating world, but a lot of my single friends constantly preach that it’s “all about the chase.” Make the other person want you and then pump the brakes just a bit because as the saying goes, “you always want what you can’t have.” This might hold true in the world of all is fair in love and war, but in the email marketing world, it is not all about the chase – it’s all about the follow-up.
Long gone are the days when the role of the company ended with the sale.
In this age of email and social marketing, you aren’t maximizing your revenue if you aren’t soliciting ‘Forwards’, ‘Retweets’ and ‘Likes’ as soon as you earn your customer’s business. In a nutshell, the life of the eTailer extends far beyond the Thank You page at checkout.
Unfortunately, there are still far too many premier companies who fail to master the art of the post-purchase follow-up. For those of you who still believe that the sale is all about the chase, it’s time to take a step back and digest these five tips for post-purchase email marketing:
1. Send a Survey
The post-purchase survey is ideally delivered via email a few days after sale completion and gives eTailers the opportunity to ask for feedback on their checkout process, selection, customer service and overall user experience. This shouldn’t be confused with a review because this is just to garner feedback on the user’s buying experience, not the product itself. This particular method of contact is vital to the continued evolution of your business and will undoubtedly earn the respect of your customers. There aren’t many things more refreshing than a company eager to get immediate feedback, whether positive or negative, and have the humility to acknowledge their constant quest to improve their business. Additionally, this can always provide for some excellent testimonials.
2. Invite Your Customer to Follow Social Channels
As I detailed in my previous blog, “A Look Behind the Mask: Humanizing Your Brand Through Social Media,” every company should be taking advantage of social media to give their customers a glimpse into their personality. However, as it pertains to post-purchase email correspondence, promoting your social media networks is the way to go to keep these customers living and breathing your brand. As long as you are consistently delivering unique, quality content while sprinkling in some promotions and giveaways, these customers will continue to keep putting dollars back into your piggy bank if you keep them engaged and invite them to tune into your social media channels.
3. Ask for a Review
This is the most time-honored of the tips, but that doesn’t mean its purpose doesn’t still resonate and that it isn’t still a vital component for massaging the customer life cycle. This particular means of follow-up is paramount to the continued success of your business and its ability to provide honest feedback to fellow customers and instantly add credibility to your company. Additionally, these reviews provide outstanding unique, quality content to add to your product pages and boost your search engine rankings. In the example below, Nordstrom reached out to me 2 weeks after I purchased this watch – I appreciated the well-timed follow-up and it was refreshing to know they cared about my opinion. Another option is to offer an incentive for the review – many companies offer a Free $25 gift card or 20% off a purchase. The discount offered will be paid back many times over for the valuable feedback and the search engine rankings boost.
4. Keep The Emails Coming
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve realized this is the post-purchase email marketing follow-up method most often mismanaged. While there is a fine line between a steady stream of emails and crossing the line into “auto-delete” status, most companies completely drop the ball when it comes to consistently touching base with their customers. Whether it be to solicit reviews, remind them to link up socially or even to re-engage with newly released products or specials, companies can’t let their campaigns go dormant, or the customers will do the same. Some customers will inevitably go rogue, but you must stay consistent and stay fresh on their minds with new content and you will groom a dialed-in and loyal fan base.
5. Send a ‘We’ve Missed You’ Email
In the previous tip, I mentioned that some customers would inevitably go silent. More often than not, it isn’t personal. Customers get busy just like the business owners do, and they inevitably fall off the sale wagon. However, if you can master the art of the “We’ve Missed You” email, the long lost customer will be a thing of the past. Dick’s Sporting Goods recently sent me an email with an offer for 20% off my next purchase within 48 hours. It successfully re-engaged me and enticed me to do some browsing when I may have not gone back to their site for months. Not to mention, it added urgency to the matter with a 2-day sale window.
If eTailers can begin incorporating these five simple tips for the tail end of 2012 and carry that momentum into 2013, they are sure to see an uptick in email responsiveness and customer engagement.
In this age of social networking and electronic communication, it’s no longer enough to just say thanks for the purchase and move on. Post-purchase is the perfect opportunity to collect data, garner feedback and continue to massage these customers so they keep coming back for more.
When it’s all said and done, you want to make sure your post-purchase email marketing is focusing on the art of the follow-up and not merely the mastery of the chase.
Want some help? We are definitely not lacking follow-up here at Groove Commerce so if you want to fine-tune your Online Marketing, contact us today!