Creating a unique product or service is a major challenge in today’s market. Is there really that much of a difference between Nike and Reebok sneakers?
In fact, a positive brand image is what plays first fiddle in the decision making process. There's a huge number of factors that can enhance or damage your brand’s image. However, many businesses tend to forget about one key factor that affects their image in a big way — post-purchase marketing. Actually, it may even be that post-purchase experience alone becomes the reason your customer comes back to make another purchase.
What Can You Gain with Post-Purchase Marketing?
According to an eCommerce study by Shopify, it’s 10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to entice an existing customer to make a purchase.
Another study suggests that regular customers can bring businesses up to 500% more revenue than new ones.
Therefore, ensuring long-term customer relationships should be a priority for any business.
The Goals of Post-Purchase Email Campaigns
Generally speaking, the goals of the post-purchase service are:
- show customers you really care;
- dispel their doubts and fears;
- encourage more purchases.
Specifically, the post-purchase support is all about the status of the order and delivery: it aims to provide guides and tips on the use of the purchased product, express gratitude, or ask for feedback on the quality of the service or product.
It’s hard to imagine a channel more suitable to convey all these messages than email.
Despite some heralding the “death of email” over more modern platforms like texting and social media, good, old-fashioned email remains one of the best ways to seal the deal, engage customers and encourage repeat purchases.
However, as you’ll see below, companies shouldn’t neglect other direct marketing channels.
Let's look at what the post-purchase marketing cycle looks like in practice.
Attention and Care in Post-Purchase Emails
The purchase should please not only you but your customer as well. When it comes to online retail, enjoying it immediately is not quite possible as the customer will have to wait for delivery. So make this hold-up enjoyable, help the buyer rationalize the purchase!
Thank You for Your Purchase
Let your “Thank you” deliver at least a piece of the value for which the user has paid.
Ecrafta sells T-shirts with funny prints and inserts cute corporate animation into their thank-you emails.
The Crate & Barrel online store sells furniture and interior elements for lovers’ elegant things. A delicate and nicely designed email certainly puts customers a step closer to their dream home.
Take note that the customer service number is also added to the email — the prospect of assembling the furniture on your own can scare anyone off.
Before asking for feedback on the purchased product, calculate how long it will take customers to receive and put it into use. Usually, it is not more than a week. After you fix upon this time, launch automated series of such messages:
In order to make review requests more persuasive, you can entice the customer with some kind of a bonus.
Asking to Share Information about the Product
For the customer to want to share your products with their friends, you need something unusual. Harry's “Thank you for your purchase” email offers to enter the email addresses of two friends to send them promotional coupon codes on behalf of the buyer. Why not?
Thank You for Sharing
If the customer has told their friends about you one time, you want them to continue doing so in the future. It would be great if your “thank you” would possess some practical value rather than just being polite.
Doubts and Fears, Be Gone: Transactional Emails
These emails accompany the transaction from confirming the method of payment to the delivery notification. And the more stages you automate, the better.
Internet purchases often require trust on the part of the user — they first transfer money and only then receive their goods. Most probably.
Transactional emails make the deal as transparent as possible so that the customer could be calm and happy. And for the brand, it is an additional opportunity for communication, and it’s a crime to throw it away.
Introduction to the Stages of Purchase and Delivery
Launch an automated campaign for everyone who buys from you for the first time and tell these new customers what steps the purchase will take. Zulily did it perfectly in their post-purchase email.
Payment Method Confirmation
Take care of the customer’s security, their personal data, and bank account. They will appreciate it.
After you’ve made an order, Pizza Hut sends a notification on the selected payment method and other order details.
Apart from basic order details, consider including in your order confirmation email the expected delivery time, just like Gilt did it.
Many brands encourage subsequent purchases with bonuses that are credited after the payment. Inform your customers on how many bonuses they have earned and explain how they can use them.
Processing the Order
The next stage is “Your order is being processed” email. Whether this message is really necessary to include in your post-purchase series is up to you. But if 70% of e-commerce companies do it, probably, it makes sense?
Send a customer a short notice telling their order is on its way.
You can make this type of email festive by supporting it with gifs, emoji, or just a cute picture.
The delivery confirmation email can contribute to the post-purchase customer experience in several ways: notify on that the order has arrived and is ready for collection; contain thank you bonuses or promo codes; ask for feedback or product review.
Get People to Buy More — Motivational Messages
When the recollection of the satisfactory shopping experience is still fresh, it’s easier to encourage new purchases and prolong the engagement with your brand!
To offer a discount on the next purchase delivery is a very popular trick. The sooner the new purchase is made, the greater the discount. You can send an email like this immediately after the first order has been paid for.
In this email, offer what might complement or upgrade the already bought products.
Remember, we promised to tell you about additional direct marketing channels that encourage repeat purchases?
Here’s a short mobile push notification by Uber: a simple design and brief message make it a perfect reminder of the service.
The same can be done with the help of Viber, WhatsApp or web push. There, the text will be enhanced with a picture and action buttons.
You can use all these channels for automated post-purchase campaigns at eSputnik.
Survey on the Shopping Quality
This survey differs from product feedback. It aims to check the quality of the post-purchase customer engagement not of the product itself.
If all your efforts did not lead to an immediate new purchase — do not despair!
Instead, send a reactivation email to those customers who have not bought anything for a long time. A good discount will be a significant reason to return to shopping.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use all these strategies at once. Choose those that fit your business model best and win your loyal customers over.
Post-purchase marketing is the most promising investment in the future of your business!