You’re hopefully still basking in the glow of a successful holiday email-marketing season that garnered many new customers for your brand. Now it’s time to work on building long-term relationships and turning those first-time purchasers into loyal, lifelong customers. How? Post-purchase email campaigns are a key way to help retain customers and drive more sales.
Retaining Customers Is Much More Cost-Effective Than Acquiring New Ones
There have been a lot of studies done to support the fact that it costs much more for a company to acquire a new customer than to keep a current customer happy. Here are a few examples:
- Acquiring a new customer is 6 to 7 times more expensive for a company compared to keeping an existing customer.
- Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits from 25% to 95%.
- Returning customers are about 2 times more likely to convert compared to existing customers.
What Are Post-Purchase Emails?
Keeping new and current customers happy—that’s where post-purchase email campaigns come in. Post-purchase emails are messages sent to customers soon after they’ve made a purchase and often include such transactional information as order confirmations, receipts, and shipping updates. In addition, smart e-commerce retailers are realizing that they can capitalize on their customers’ excitement about making a purchase by creating post-purchase email campaigns that go beyond simply providing transactional information. In this way, post-purchase and transactional email campaigns can go a long way in nurturing loyalty and encouraging future purchases.
Post-Purchase Emails Experience High Engagement
According to a 2018 email-marketing performance benchmarks study by Return Path, post-purchase emails have exceptionally high subscriber engagement compared to all the other types of emails analyzed in the study. For example, post-purchase emails generated the highest read rate (44%) and lowest delete-before-reading rate (7%) of any email campaign type. This compares to abandoned-cart campaigns, with a 20% read rate; newsletters, at 18%; and promotional messages, at 19%.
Customers Like to Feel Appreciated
To help determine what retailers should be doing to nurture customers and encourage loyalty post purchase, the shipping and delivery solutions platform, Narvar, surveyed 1,000 online shoppers. When asked how they wish to be communicated about a product they purchased online, 94% of the responding shoppers said via email. And when asked what types of information from a retailer would make them feel more satisfied with their purchase, their feedback included:
- 61% of respondents said a simple “thank you” from the brand
- 25% of respondents said examples of how other customers are using the product
- 22% of respondents said personalized recommendations
- 17% of respondents said follow-up content on product usage.
7 Types of Post-Purchase Emails to Nurture Customer Relationships
One of the best ways to boost customer retention and increase customers’ lifetime value is to improve their satisfaction with your brand by engaging with them post purchase. Here are some tips for crafting the perfect series of emails to send as part of an effective post-purchase email campaign:
- Order-Confirmation Email. This is the first post-purchase email-marketing campaign that you should send to your customers. It instantly gives them peace of mind that their order went through without a hitch. Here are some tips for what to include in your order-confirmation emails to take them beyond the ordinary, drive more purchases, and increase overall revenue:
- Say thank you (as we learned above, that’s what customers really want to hear)
- Always include branding elements (e.g., colors and logos) consistent with your website and other email communications
- List the products that the customers ordered in the confirmation emails
- Consider sending product recommendations based on products purchased
- Go beyond order and shipping confirmations to include a coupon code that encourages a future purchase.
- Post-Purchase Email Campaign to Nurture New Customers. Did your 2017 holiday email-marketing strategies successfully attract new customers? Consider creating a segment of new customers and developing a post-purchase email campaign with the specific purpose of building a long-term relationship and transforming them into lifelong customers. Include limited-time discount offers to help encourage another order. And if you have a loyalty rewards program, invite this segment of new customers to join.
- Product Review Request. While customers are still excited about their new purchase, strike while the iron is hot by sending a product review request email a few days after the product was delivered. Not only is the feedback useful in finding out what customers think of your products (and if any improvements may be needed), but positive reviews can be used to help sell products to other potential customers.For example, 70% of mobile shoppers said that they would be more likely to purchase a product if the website had customer reviews. Plus, 86% of customers reported that product reviews are an important resource in their purchase journey. Yet less than half of consumers said that they write reviews for the products they purchase.In addition, consider including an incentive in your post-purchase product review emails. In other words, give a discount off a future purchase for customers who submit a product review.
- Product Recommendation Email. Based on the customers’ recent purchases, send recommendations of products in which they’d likely be interested. This is highly relevant because it relates to a product already purchased. Adding a discount may also help optimize engagement and drive more sales.
- Product Education Email. This type of post-purchase email should be sent within a couple of days of product delivery and should provide information about how customers can get the most out of their products. Depending on the product, this could include step-by-step instructions, frequently asked questions, or a how-to video.
- Re-order/Replenishment Reminder. This type of post-purchase email is a great way to help increase the lifetime value of customers. Certain types of products eventually need to be replaced, such as beauty products, foods, and vitamins. Sending a well-timed replenishment reminder—based on the average time between purchases of a product—could help drive more sales and revenue.
- Referral Program Invitation. Getting your satisfied customers to refer your products to their friends and family is one of the best ways to successfully grow your business. And encouraging your customers through a post-purchase referral campaign that offers a valuable incentive for referring a new customer is key. Be sure to check out the following FulcrumTech article for tips on how to optimize your referral email campaigns: “Referral Email Campaigns—6 Ways to Boost Your New Customer Acquisition by as Much as 25%.”
Need help keeping your new and current customers happy and increasing their lifetime value? Contact the email-marketing experts at FulcrumTech and we’ll help you develop a comprehensive email-marketing program for 2018 and beyond that effectively nurtures and converts all levels of prospects and customers.