Once a product has been delivered to your customer (or a service provided), it is now time to keep the fires burning. Returning customers spend on average four times as much as new customers. To stay at the top of a customer’s mind, or at least visible in a crowded arena of brands, you must keep in touch through post-purchase activities.
“It is critical to bridge the worlds of automation with a human touch. Set up touch points to ask questions, and let customers know what’s going on and what will happen next. That’s where loyalty begins.” —Travis Nagle, Owner, Viesso
1. Request a product review
Customers are happy to share their experience with the product, whether good or bad. If their experience is extreme in either direction, they will certainly share their opinion without any incentive at all (although incentives work well, too).
It is important to consider your audience in your post-purchase follow up. Most customers already understand how to share their experiences online and will do so without much prompting on your part. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for every customer to share their opinion.
Depending on the type of product or service you offer, the timing of your review request email will vary. If you sell an experience, it is probably best to follow up two or three days afterwards. If you sell a product that might take a little while for them to use, wait two to three weeks before requesting review.
The email you send should be clear and direct. The subject line should also be direct. For example, “Review your purchase of product name from company.com”. Including an offer for a discount on future purchases, or a personal share link to offer that same discount to their friends once they have posted their review will go along way toward generating responses. Be creative, and offer value in exchange for someone taking the time to help you sell more products.
From 30 to 3,000
After launching an email campaign to automatically request product reviews a few days after each purchase, one Conversion Growth Program™ client saw their on-site customer reviews jump from just 30 to over 3,000 within 6 months.
It is not enough simply to ask for the review, you need to learn what will ultimately incentivise the most people to offer their opinion for others to see. This is where running multiple campaign tests and quick iterations to learn what resonates best will serve you well.
2. Send a survey
Surveys are a great source of actionable data for your brand. A post purchase survey is an excellent way to learn how you can better serve your customers online. This approach may not make sense for every brand, or for every product sold, but when used properly it can create significant value.
The most important thing to remember when you send out a post purchase survey is to ask questions for answers you care about and can act upon.
Potential survey questions to try on your site:
- How did you find us?
- Why did you buy?
- Did you have a good experience?
- What could we do to improve?
- Are you happy with your purchase?
- Would you refer us to a friend?
3. A discount with a deadline
People like discounts, especially from their favorite brands. This tactic should be used with caution. Too many discount offers can breed inaction and diminish urgency. However, offering occasional discounts with a deadline can drive huge spikes in converting traffic to your site. These are great to use at the end of a season or during a lull. A well-timed email with a strong offer (and a deadline) can generate sales quickly.
4. Upsell related products
If a customer likes what they bought from you, they may also buy a related product you recommend. Recommending a product or service related to something your customer has already purchased is a great way to provide value to the customer and generate additional revenue in the process. Just make sure the recommendations are relevant.
5. Ask for a social follow
While this tactic is not particularly important to your customer (because it offers them no value unless your social feed has great content on a consistent basis), it can be an effective way to boost social followings.
For this tactic to be effective, the email should be very clear about why someone should opt in to follow your brand online. If you are not consistently and frequently doing something unique and powerful with your brand’s social media presence, do not waste this touchpoint. Your customers will quickly perceive you have nothing to share and are just wasting their time.
6. Loyalty points
Creating an effective customer loyalty program can be a very difficult undertaking. If you are going to implement a loyalty program, the key is simplicity.
If your customers do not have to manage another account, and they can simply earn points associated with their email address, they are much more likely to cash in any points they have earned when you reach out to them via email with an offer to do so.
This tactic is only for brands ready to commit to creating a valuable loyalty program that is continually tested and improved over time. Until your brand is ready, stick to the basics and create a great customer experience worth repeating.
7. Keep following up
Email and content marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and to offer them exclusive deals and incentives that drive traffic and build loyalty. Restraint is always advised to avoid oversaturation.
Many brands miss the opportunity to leverage their growing email list. There are often so many other priorities that it is difficult to plan and manage a successful post purchase campaign. Brands who manage this well will see about 5% to 15% of their online revenue come through the email channel.
Following up with your customers post purchase may help drive sales, but the frequency and relevancy of the follow up can lead to customer burnout and decreased conversions.
By fully understanding your customer and testing each touchpoint you will turn your post purchase follow up into another healthy revenue channel for your brand.