Email Marketing Made Easy: Part 3, RetentionHow to exceed customer expectations and keep them returning for more

Hopefully you’ve been able to acquire new subscribers and convert them into buyers, but the work’s not done. Now you’ll want to keep the conversation going with these new customers, grow loyalty, and increase repeat purchases.This is where post-purchase series messages and post-purchase messages come in. Post-purchase series is exactly what it sounds like—it’s a series of messages that are automatically triggered when a purchase is completed. The goal of this series is to enhance the customer experience, so think of these messages as the voice of your customer service department. To show real value to the customer, it’s key to know the strengths and weaknesses of your brand and anticipate their needs based on your purchase data before you write post-purchase messages.Retaining #ecommerce #customers is easier than you'd think. Here are simple ways to keep 'em coming back to buy. #Webgility Click To Tweet

For example, you may ask them if they’d like help setting up a complex piece of equipment, suggest a complementary product, or check in on whether or not the product they bought was sized appropriately for them. Other added-value follow-up messages can include a thank you coupon, a helpful list of top selling products, a review request, or maybe even ask them to refer a friend. Again, think of every interaction with your customers as being a chance to spread your brand voice.

Of course, when speaking to the customer’s short-term needs, make these messages engaging and helpful so that your brand will experience the longer-term benefits of customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.

Utilize purchase data in order to send an informational and educational message as a follow up to a purchase. To keep it simple at first, just go with two data points—like last purchase date and product category purchase—to be able to put in a message that says “Congrats on your new kitchen mixer,” for example. Basically, create a segment or a trigger based off a product category, in this case baking, and send this message to everyone who’s purchased an item from that category. Take the message a step further and show value to the customers by being helpful. Include care instructions for the mixer and provide some expert tips and tricks on baking. Why not provide an essential gear checklist for baking the perfect birthday cake or a simple list of top 10 baking cookbooks? Any time you can take the opportunity to set yourself up as a trusted advisor or an expert on whatever it is that you’re selling through your website, go for it. You know your area better than anyone else, so take advantage of it and show your personality and make yourself helpful to your customers.

If you’re not quite ready for a post-purchase series, at the very least make sure that you have optimized your transactional messages. Transactional messages are a fantastic opportunity to build a relationship with your customer, because they don’t have to be opted in to. So, unlike marketing messages, transactional messages go to anyone who completes a transaction.

Transactional messages that you are likely already sending might include a purchase confirmation message or a shipping confirmation message, but there are many other available transactional messages that are right for optimization. For example, optimizing your shipping confirmation message by using consistent branding and showing off top selling products is a great way to gently underscore your brand to the customer. You can also include an email signup or introduce your social media channels in this kind of message. Just keep in mind the industry 80/20 rule for transitional messages—at least 80% should be transactional content and no more than 20% should be marketing content.

When it comes to finding the right tools to carry out your post-purchase emails, start with built-in functionality that requires the least amount of implementation. Since most commerce platforms send transactional messages, be sure those are branded, look good, and create opportunities for additional conversion. Then take a look at your welcome messages. You may not be bringing in the full purchase data from your commerce platform but at the very least you can make sure you’re triggering an automated message that welcomes people when they sign up from your email. From there, you can start to think about expanding into additional segmentation gained through our managed preference center or pulling in purchase data for segmentation of your database.

Last but not least, make sure you have integration of your website with your email marketing software. At a minimum, this integration should consist of a customer opt-in and the ability to sync the customer data from your website and your database. Then you start to get into transactional triggers like order confirmation, shipping, forgot password, account created, or maybe an expiring wish list. These are all also considered transactional triggers. So integrating those transactional triggers with your email marketing platform allows you to send messages based on those transactions. When everything is linked, your customer database will be cleaner, your communication will be clearer, and your sales will be higher.

So there you have it, how to acquire, convert, and retain customers through email marketing and drive more revenue. Through these simple stages, it’s possible to scale your business strategically, bring welcome customer service to you customers, and create an inviting environment to which they are happy to return.

Special thanks to our friends at Bronto. Bronto provides a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform for mid-market and enterprise organizations worldwide.