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Increase your sales and customer retention with clever post-purchase email tactics

For most e-commerce marketers, it's a standard practice to collect customer email opt-in. Thing is: we tend to use it for delivery and service follow-up only, not for customer growth.

In this case, it's wise to take this old marketing wisdom into consideration: an active customer is your most valuable asset. Acquiring a new customer will be much more expensive than retaining and growing an existing one. That's why there is a huge potential in the use of email to increase revenues via clever post-purchase tactics.

Start: ask every customer for an email opt-in. Yes, in-store as well.

Don't overlook offline channels to turn customers into new email subscribers. Promote the opportunity to receive special announcements, exclusive offers, etc. in-store. Encourage store visitors to sign up on digital signage, on receipts, invoices and product tags. Or be even more direct: have your in-store staff ask customers for their data face to face.

Include an additional contest as an effective way to motivate your new high-value contacts to register. But be 100% clear about your intentions: let people know that by entering the contest, they are also signing up to receive your emails and what their added value will be. And why not make your products the prize? It will be worth an extra trip to your store.

An example? For car maintenance specialists Midas, we leave a simple rear-view hanger in the car after every maintenance session which gives customers the chance to win back the amount on their invoice, by simply registering online.

Welcome follow-up

As soon as you've collected customer email opt-ins, you can kick off your automated welcome process. Ideally, the first email welcomes the new subscriber, thanks the customer for the purchase, confirms the excellent choice and provides details on taking advantage of the signup incentive.

That first email also validates the email address, which protects your sender reputation. It also reminds subscribers about their opt-in and confirms what they can expect from their new subscriber status. You can also use that first contact to request additional profile details. When done right, it immediately engages new customers into a long, fruitful relationship.

By building a simple scenario, the welcome email can be followed up by additional, automated messages. They keep you and your products top-of-mind and offer the newly subscribed customer information and inspiration on what your company has to offer in cross sales. Those are perfect scenarios to track new subscribers' behavior and get to understand their preferences and habits. Just so you can engage with them more relevantly, which results in higher conversions. A well-designed scenario also provides additional ways for subscribers to interact with your brand such as reviews, user testimonials and discussions on social networks.

Collect customer preferences

Giving your opted-in customers the option to update preferences via the scenario-driven emails keeps them engaged over time. It also provides you with transactional data and detailed information for delivering the most relevant email content possible. Allowing subscribers to decide on the types of information they'd like to receive, shows that you value your relationship with them.

But start with the basics

Ask every customer, both on and offline for an email opt-in. Tell them what's in it for them, and follow it up with an automated scenario, starting with a gentle and honest ‘thank you and welcome' message. From that moment on, you are securing your valuable customers for future cost-efficient follow-up communication, creating opportunities for cross-selling, loyalty and re-traffic.

Conclusion

Use every opportunity in an offline sales situation to engage your customers in a fruitful online relationship. Having a clear scenario that shows them what's in it for them at all times will help you build great new sales opportunities and enhances customer loyalty.

Posted on
Sep 20, 2013