In the “old days”, that is to say, before the advent of e-commerce and online shopping, the trrriiinggg of a shop doorbell as a customer left a retailer’s premises with their newly-purchased goods, was generally the end of the transaction.
Today, however, things are very, very different. Online shopping has created a whole new playing field when it comes to attracting new customers and encouraging repeat business from existing customers.
Post-purchase email automation, for instance, is one of the many new methods that online businesses have had to adopt in order to keep existing customers returning to buy more stuff.
In those sunny, far off days of bricks-and-mortar shopping, a shopkeeper could rely on passing foot traffic, window displays, and good old-fashioned customer loyalty to keep his or her shop doorbell (and the cash register) ringing.
These days, your online marketing has to be right on point if you want to keep your e-commerce business’s virtual doorbell ringing. And post-purchase email automation is just the thing to maintain that cash till ring of success.
What is Post-purchase Email Automation?
Post-purchase emails are messages you can send out to your customers after they have completed their transactions.
These messages will:
- Nurture your customers
- Keep them informed and interested in your business
- Encourage them to return for repeat transactions.
By automating these messages, you can send appropriate information to exact segments of your customer database, at exactly the right moments based on certain “triggers” such as:
- Shipping details
- Product updates
- Servicing requirements.
The Benefits of Post-purchase Email Automation
Many online business operators may already have a selection of automated email workflows set up for things such as:
- Cart Abandonment
- Welcome emails
- Browsing behavior
But post-purchase emails are often overlooked as an option for encouraging and retaining existing customers, even though they are a perfect method for keeping those customers engaged.
By sending these messages, you are keeping your brand and your products firmly in the customers’ minds, giving them peace of mind and reassurance that you have their best interests at heart, and letting them know that you are there for them in the future when they are ready to make further purchases.
Advantages of Post-Purchase Email Automation
The fact that the recipients of post-purchase emails are already satisfied customers (presumably) means that a lot of the hard work has already been done.
- You have all of their contact details
- You know what sort of things they like
- You have collected data about their browsing and purchase behavior.
Research suggests that post-purchase emails have a 217% higher open rate, a 500% higher click rate, and a 90% higher revenue per recipient return than other automated email strategies.
So by sending these post-purchase notes to your customers, you can:
- Create an exception customer to retailer experience
- Collect testimonials and feedback that you can brag about on your business’s website
- Lay the foundations for additional purchases
- Tempt them further with special offers, add-ons, updated versions, refills, servicing, or even giveaways and vouchers.
Think of your post-purchase email automation as being like Apu in The Simpsons saying: “Thank you…come again.”
People like to be treated kindly, to be remembered, and to be nurtured with friendly person-to-person contact.
Post-Purchase Emails: Keep ‘em Coming Back For More
The old adage “treat’ em mean and keep ‘em keen” doesn’t apply to online marketing. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Customers are fickle, easily-scared creatures, so your post-purchase email automation strategy has to be very carefully constructed and managed.
New Customers vs Repeat Customers
It costs a lot of money to attract customers. Marketing analysts, who love to figure this stuff out, reckon that it costs ten times as much to get hold of a new customer as it does to convince existing customers to make a repeat sale.
So once you have them, you want them to keep coming back to your online business.
They’ll Tell their Friends
A study conducted by global management consultants The Bain and Company discovered that repeat customers refer 50% more potential buyers than one-time customers do.
When your existing customers are happy, they’ll tell their friends about it. So by nurturing your loyal customers you’ll be creating a kind of fan club for your business who will happily sing praises about you to their friends.
How to Set Up Post-purchase Email Automation
Setting up a system to keep your existing customers happy, informed, engaged, and returning for more is pretty simple.
If you already have automated email workflows set up for other parts of your marketing strategy, you are 90% of the way there.
But, as always, there are certain components that need to be carefully designed and implemented in order to make post-purchase automation reap the rewards that you want it to.
The software that you choose should be based on the amount of email traffic you intend to send, and how much segmenting (see below) that you want to include, and how far your marketing budget will stretch. It should be adapted to the size of your business.
Break your customer database down into segments based on:
- Their shopping behavior
- How often they make additional or repeat purchases
- Age, gender…as many different things as you can think of.
That way, you will ensure that you’re sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.
Your segmenting system will also return useful data about how customers are reacting to your emails.
This will enable you to weed out those customers who don’t respond, and to make subtle changes to your emails based on what works and what doesn’t.
Timing Is Everything
Tailor your email workflow to send out appropriate messages at the correct time. These could include:
- An immediate post-purchase Thank You note
- Confirmation of shipping
- Updates of delivery times
- A “how was it” message asking for a review or testimonial
- Information about various product updates or additions
- A purchase anniversary note
- A message about your customer’s loyalty.
It’s easy to get too friendly or annoying with automated emails. So make sure that you are staying in tune with your customer’s needs and responses.
Customize your content as much as possible based on each customer’s behavior. Open with a personalized and engaging subject line, and keep your content brief, friendly, and easy to understand.
Use these emails as a way to strengthen your brand identity and your customers’ faith in your products and services.
And above all, try not to be a spammer…no one likes that!
Keep Your Store’s Virtual Doorbell Ringing With Post-purchase Email Automation
There are many consultants out there who are absolute experts in designing automated email workflows in general, and post-purchase email strategies in particular.
So if you’d like some help and advice about setting up the perfect, user-friendly post-purchase email system for your e-commerce business, get in touch with one of them today.
Just email them…that should do the trick! Trrrriiiiiiinnnnnngggggg……