Attracting new leads to your business is just one part of running a successful company.
While it’s true that you need to look for ways to connect with potential customers through landing pages, social media ads, content marketing, and so on, it’s also worth thinking about what you’re going to do with those customers after they convert.
Turning one-time consumers into repeat clients is where the big money comes from.
Acquiring a new customer costs up to five times more than converting an existing one. Onn top of that, returning customers are up to three times more likely than their peers to purchase something. One survey of eCommerce apparel brands from Bain & Company even revealed that the fifth purchase a customer made was usually around 40% larger than their first.
If all that wasn’t enough, how about the fact that repeat customers are more likely to advocate for your brand and drive new leads your way?
So, how do you build those relationships with existing customers?
You need post-purchase emails.
The Most Important Post-Purchase Emails
Post-purchase emails are exactly what you would expect.
They’re the emails you send to a customer after they’ve made a purchase. Ideally, these are the first messages in a journey that will transform your customer into a repeat client and advocate for your brand. There are various kinds of post-purchase email you can send. However, we find that the following options are usually the most effective.
1. The Onboarding/ Welcome Series
Welcome emails are a common part of virtually any email sequence. They’re one of the first messages you’ll send to your customer when they agree to sign up for your email newsletter. However, welcome series content can also be extremely useful for post-purchase interactions too.
If someone buys one of your items, and subsequently gives you their email address as part of the process, this is your chance to give them a full introduction to your brand.
In the welcome series, you can provide insights into the kind of things that your customer can expect if they choose to continue their relationship with your company, such as extra discounts, or bonus deals.
You don’t have to design your welcome series email specifically to sell. You can also use it as an opportunity to welcome your customer to your community and thank them for their purchase. Make your customer feel special, and they’re more likely to stick with you.
2. Post-Purchase Discounts
If you’ve already convinced a customer to buy something from you, then they’re already aware of the benefits of your products or services. That usually means that if you target your customer at the right time, they’ll only need a little nudge to make another purchase.
Customers like to buy again and again from the same business once they feel comfortable with them. However, it’s up to you to get your users into the habit of buying from you. Only a third of customers that buy a single product from a retailer will buy another. However, studies show that more than half of customers that bought two products will buy a third.
Giving your customers an extra nudge with a coupon code or discount could be the ideal way to get them back in the buying journey again. While you could send someone a discount as part of the welcome email, it’s usually a better idea to give it a little while. Allow your customer to receive their product and see how great it is before you encourage them to purchase again.
For instance, PhotoBox ensures that a customer has had enough time to receive their first photo book before they send a discount for another:
3. Cross-selling and Upselling
A great way to incentivize your customers and develop a stronger relationship with them after a purchase, is to cross-sell, or up-sell. Essentially, this means that you introduce your customers to products or accessories related to their last purchase.
According to 2020 eCommerce trends, personalized emails are some of the most important tools you can use for strengthening customer experience. Around 2 thirds of customers are more likely to purchase something when they get a shopping experience that’s suited to their interests.
Online apparel company, Sambag, gives its customers an entirely personal experience by sending them a custom list of clothes that match their latest purchase. This is an excellent cross-selling strategy that really shows customers how much Sambag understands them:
Looking at what your customers have already bought from your company will give you a good insight into the kind of products you should be suggesting to them. There are plenty of tools in email marketing software that can help you automate this process and create more dynamic emails that adapt to your customer’s interests.
4. Loyalty Program Emails
As we mentioned above, one of the best things about your existing customers, is that they’re more likely to convert into people who are willing to advocate for your brand. Once your customers know that you’re a reliable brand that delivers high-quality products, they’ll feel more open to the idea of being on your loyalty or VIP program list.
With loyalty and VIP programs, you drive more sales and develop a loyal base of customers. Your clients love been recognized and incentivized to continue shopping at your store. At it’s most basic, a loyalty program will create repeat customers by pushing your existing clients back to your store to buy more of the items that they like.
However, you can also take the program a step further and offer rewards to customers who refer someone to your website too. This is an excellent way to strengthen your brand presence in any industry and start gaining more sales opportunities.
Notice how the HeadStartShop gives its customers a range of ways to take advantage of loyalty program perks. You can earn points with social media likes (engagement), get points when you shop online (conversions) and refer friends:
5. Review Requests
Repeat customers aren’t just beneficial to you because they can make more purchases and push new leads in your direction. They can also be an excellent source of social proof, which is essential to building your credibility as a budding brand.
Reviews can be surprisingly difficult for small businesses to access, but they make a huge difference to your sales. 93% of customers say they consider the reviews a brand already has when making a purchase.
Ask your audience to leave a small review about the recent product that they purchased in exchange for a chance to win something in a prize draw or get a discount off their next purchase. A bonus bribe can be an excellent way to get your customers to take some extra time out of their busy day.
Remember to personalize the review with a picture of the product that the customer purchased, like Casper does in the example above. It’s also a good idea to make the review process as quick as simple as possible – your customers can’t afford to waste time.
Don’t jump in with a request to early either. Give your audience time to actually put your product to the test before you ask for feedback.
6. Re-purchase Emails
Finally, if you know your customer is buying an item that they might need to stock up on in a while, like shampoo, or snacks, then remember to send a post-purchase email asking them whether they’re ready to make another purchase.
It’s important to get the timing right here. Send the email too early and your customer won’t be ready to buy from you again. Send it too late and there’s a risk that they’ve already replaced your product with an alternative.
To get the most out of your re-purchase emails, remember to think about things like personalized suggestions that remind your customers of the products they already love. You can also add a discount into the mix to make the idea of buying something for a second time more appealing.
Making the second purchase as simple as possible is also a good idea. You could think about having a system in place that automatically adds all your customers previous purchases to the basket when they click on the CTA in your email.
Alternatively, why not give your clients the option to sign up for an automated subscription for the items they like most? You could give them a small discount if they set their account up for recurring purchases.
Making the Most of the Post-Purchase Email
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s important to constantly search for new potential customers to help your business survive. However, you can’t afford to overlook the consumers that you’ve already converted too. Post-purchase emails give you a way to convert one-off shoppers into loyal advocates for your brand.
Sending regular post-purchase emails at the right time to your audience could ensure that you have a more consistent source of income to keep your brand growing.
Remember, your relationship with a customer doesn’t stop after they hit the buy button.