May 17, 2010

Post-Purchase Opportunities: How to Build Loyal Buyers

by Kristen Gregory, Manager of Strategic Services at Bronto Software

Kristen GregoryLast week, I highlighted several considerations for creating a successful product review request.  After reading a recent post by Sundeep Kapur (Email Yogi), I'd like to share some additional thoughts around how you can create a positive post-purchase experience that can lead to loyalty.

Personally, I feel like that what happens right after a sale is a defining period, and one of opportunity for businesses. This is your chance to show customers what it means to do business with your company and stand out from the competition.

Right after a purchase, you can send along "getting started" guides or how-to tips for using the product purchased. This kind of message is perfect for any kind of electronic device or product that needs assembly. Even simple purchases have potential here - think outside the box. Sell scarves? Send a message highlighting the "5 ways you can wear your new scarf!" Selling makeup? Offer tips for application. Also consider sending along product care messages -  tips to maintain or clean their product. Helping customers to make the most of their purchase can impact their likelihood to purchase again. You can also create revenue opportunity via these relationship-building emails through accessory or cross-sell recommendations.

Clearly, gathering reviews and feedback at this time is critical. I like Sundeep's suggestion of prompting customers to share photos and stories of their purchase in use via social media.

You may also want to consider sending a thank you coupon with a deadline to spur an additional purchase within a certain timeframe. Offering suggestions around how to spend that coupon (i.e. accessories for the recent purchase or recommendations based on last purchase) can boost response.

The more pleasant and valuable you can make the post-purchase period for a customer, the more likely you'll gain business from them in the future. The good news is that most of these kinds of messages can be set up as triggers to be sent automatically "x" days post-purchase. Then you can concentrate on keeping their interest piqued over the long haul using more educational content, social media dialogues and so on as Sundeep mentions. I'm also a huge fan of sending product refill requests where applicable.

If you run a very seasonal business, here are some tips to keep customers engaged in the off-season. Keeping the conversation going is key.

Kristen Gregory
Email Marketing Strategist at Bronto
@kristengreg

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Kristen Gregory, Manager of Strategic Services at Bronto Software

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