Your team just clinched another new customer. That’s great news. But before you celebrate, think about the next step in the sales process.
Communication plays a critical role in fostering customer loyalty. To transform buyers into die-hard advocates, it’s important to improve your post-purchase emails.
“For a business to thrive, it must provide customers with long-term value that translates into repeat purchases and, thus, increases the customer’s lifetime value to the company. And that is where carefully crafted post-purchase emails come in,” says entrepreneur and marketer Danny Wong.
It’s time to lay the groundwork for more sales. Let’s learn five strategies to ace post-purchase emails.
1. Focus on Relevant Interests
When you’re not interested in something, the easiest thing to do is to ignore it. You mentally set whatever it is aside and move to tasks that hold more value.
In the world of email marketing, relevancy matters to your customer. If it doesn’t offer value or bring an inkling of benefit to the individual, there’s really no reason why they should care.
A relevant message after a purchase may include a receipt with the total amount, a status update about the delivery of the item, or contact information to connect with customer support. Customers desire transparency and want reassurance that they made the right purchasing decision.
“Keeping customers up to date with the status of their purchase, especially if there is a delay or another issue, is important. In fact, consumers decide not to do business again with a brand because of lack of transparency about the status of their purchase delivery,” writes Alexa Lemzy, a customer service expert and content author at TextMagic.
Below is a post-purchase email from Amazon. Along with the order total, you’ll notice a proposed delivery date and recommended items.
As you create a post-purchase email, it’s vital to ask: why should my customer care? The goal is to exceed customer expectations by delivering messages that speak to the buyer’s needs and interests.
2. Segment to Nurture Relationships
Email marketing isn’t a cookie-cutter tool because every customer isn’t the same. You may cater to eight different buyer personas—each with distinct characteristics.
So sending a generic post-purchase email will get overlooked by your audience. To nurture more customers, you’ll want to use segmentation to send relevant emails.
“Segmenting your email list helps you speak more intelligently and directly with your customers, giving them information that they want at the opportune time. And when you do it right, the payoff can be huge,” states Joe Stych, marketer at Zapier.
Segmentation enhances relationship building, giving you a chance to effectively communicate with consumers. You can drop the blanket language in your email conversations.
For instance, a major holiday may be around the corner. So your team wants to send all new customers post-purchase welcome campaigns wishing them a wonderful holiday season.
Rather than delivering a bland message to every new customer, segmentation by location makes it possible to tailor your email to mention nearby festivities happening in the customer’s area.
You also can segment emails when it’s necessary to speak your customers’ dialect. (Your team doesn’t want to get caught describing a carbonated beverage as “pop” in Louisiana.)
Segmentation is the focal point to personalizing the post-purchase experience. You’ll build better relationships quickly.
3. Engage Based on Behavior
Only a few decades ago, business teams made wild guesses about their customers’ spending habits and shopping behaviors. Marketers relied on gut feeling and historical data to drive their future campaigns.
Lucky for you, technology is advancing rapidly and you can get real-time data about your consumers with a few clicks. And thanks to Kissmetrics Campaigns your team can nudge customers toward brand loyalty with behavior-based emails.
You can determine which post-purchase messages to send based on customer behavior, like purchase amounts, website visits to a specific product page, date of last purchase, or a combination of these actions.
Let’s say you want to invite only your most loyal customers to a VIP rewards program. You may segment your list to deliver this post-purchase email to customers who’ve purchased more than $5000 in the last month and rated your support team with 4 stars or above.
If you sent the same email to everyone on your list, you may engage people still getting to know your brand. Consequently, they wouldn’t be ready to be part of the loyalty program.
New Thrive Market customers receive 20% off their first three orders. After the first order, the eCommerce retailer sends a post-purchase reminder email (below) to entice consumers to take advantage of the remaining offer.
Pinpoint opportunities to customize your post-purchase emails. Sometimes it takes monitoring and understanding your audience’s behaviors.
4. Evaluate Email Frequency
Your customers receive emails on a daily basis, whether it’s from their best friends or work colleagues. So knowing how often to send an email is just as crucial as the content of that email.
Nailing down the right email frequency for your target audience helps you understand when to engage and when to leave your customer alone. People need personal space online, too.
Your post-purchase emails can add up fast. There’s the order confirmation, the shipping confirmation, the product review request, and the reorder email. And don’t forget your five-part welcome campaign.
Before you know it, you’ve sent your customers 10 emails in one week. Sending lots of emails in a short period of time can lead your subscribers to email fatigue. This problem results in customers ignoring and deleting your emails or worse, unsubscribing from your mailing list.
You can combat email fatigue by observing your engagement metrics. Check your open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates to spot any fluctuations in activity. Experiment with delaying general email campaigns until after a customer receives her post-purchase emails.
Swamping customers with emails isn’t ideal. So assess the value of each message and whether another email helps or hurts your brand.
5. Run Tests to Optimize Campaigns
It’s easy to set up your post-purchase email campaigns and forget about them as you work on more pressing issues. When specific business operations are working well, complacency may have your team missing opportunities to do better.
Running routine tests to optimize your campaigns is not only a good business practice, but also an essential process to learn which emails resonate with your audience. Plus, you can identify changes in customer behavior and adapt your campaigns accordingly.
With Kissmetrics, your team can track purchases from email campaigns. You’ll know exactly which campaign engaged consumers when they bought your product or service.
This report is valuable for tailoring your email campaigns. For example, if a customer bought your product after engaging with your blog newsletter, your post-purchase campaigns may include recommendations to specific blog posts to encourage repeat orders.
Or what if you notice a sharp increase when you send 15% discount reorder emails compared to a 5% savings? Now, your team can adjust your strategy to fit the customer’s desires.
Don’t be afraid to run multiple tests to learn your post-purchase email sweet spot. It’s only by analyzing the data that you can satisfy your audience and boost your sales.
The Power of Email
Email isn’t reserved just for gaining a prospect’s attention pre-sale. It’s also an effective tool for nurturing customers into retention.
Revamp your post-purchase email by staying relevant to the recipient’s needs. Send emails that engage customers based on their behavior, not unfounded hunches. And optimize your campaigns by running experiments.
There’s power in email. Now, it’s your turn.
About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.