February 7th, 2014
Once you’ve got the sale, the work has just begun. Businesses can retain more customers and save money in the process by focusing not just on getting the sale, but creating an experience that makes your customer want to come back and even refer more business to you as well.
Post-purchase engagement is an important part of inbound marketing, and we’ll take a look at some cool ways you can interact with your customers after they’ve made a purchase in this post.
Companies put a lot of time, effort, and money behind the acquisition of a new customer. A LinkedIn article written by Colin Shaw noted that it costs a company 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. The same article also mentions that, according to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling a product or service to an existing client is in the neighborhood of 60-70 percent, while the probability of selling to a new client is only 5-20 percent.
Considering this data, as well as the heaps of studies and statistics that show customer retention is a more economically sound business strategy than customer acquisition, you would think that companies would place more emphasis on keeping current clients happy. According to Econsultancy, however, the exact opposite is true: “Both companies and agency clients are significantly more likely to be focused on acquisition than retention (44% vs. 16% for companies and 58% vs. 12% for agency clients).”
Essentially, even though the data overwhelmingly suggests that companies and agencies should be focusing on customer retention (an important part of the inbound marketing methodology) rather than new customer acquisition, many are not doing so. Why is that? Well, for starters, client retention hinges on genuine, well-executed client engagement, which is not easy, as anyone who has worked in customer service will tell you. It can take a long time to cultivate a level of understanding that allows for effective customer engagement. This process of customer engagement, as described by Customer Engagement Strategies, involves four basic stages:
Each of these stages is aimed at improving the customer experience to a level that builds loyalty and leads to repeat business. But even for companies who place a high degree of emphasis on creating the best possible customer experience, there still remains a widely ignored step in the customer engagement cycle: post-purchase or post-conversion engagement.
When you consider the effort expended in actually getting a customer successfully through the conversion process, it isn’t hard to understand why post-conversion engagement is still a relatively untapped area. However, making the effort to follow through after a conversion has been made and personalize the post-purchase experience can help companies tap into the benefits of client retention.
Basic post-conversion engagement strategies are usually automated processes or messages that include:
Each of these post-conversion message strategies presents an opportunity to create a more personalized experience for customers, which often leads to repeat business.
In addition to letting customers know that their online purchase was successful or that their product has shipped, businesses that engage clients with strategic post-purchase emails send the message that they care about more than just making the sale. Email marketing software provider SilverPop mentions seven frequently used post-purchase email messages:
With each of these post-purchase messages, the basic strategy is to create additional touch points to keep customer engagement fresh while encouraging feedback and incentivizing future purchases.
Usually, the thank-you pages we come across after signing up for a newsletter or completing an online purchase are anything but engaging. However, smart marketers know that to ignore the opportunity presented by a thank-you page is to leave money on the table. A “thank you” is nice, but a “thank you” with some engaging content is even better.
Whether the goal is to build brand awareness, increase sales, or encourage customer feedback, thank-you pages provide the chance to further personalize post-purchase engagement by:
The importance of customer engagement is clear. By focusing on and personalizing customer engagement after a conversion has occurred, you can build brand loyalty among customers and set your company apart from the competition. After all, the relationship has only begun with the first purchase.
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