Don’t stop at the sale!

I know that lots of email marketers use autroresponders. I’m not going to sell you on the value of using an autoresponder, because I think that’s already clear. Using one effectively is what I’d like to talk about.



I see it happening in two different ways. I either get great emails prior to a purchase, then they stop. Or I get some “how to”, or up-sell emails after I’ve purchased.


‘Customer Interaction doesn’t start or finish with the sale’

The Funnel


Many of you have heard of the sales funnel, which is still a great proven theory,  however the funnel now has two cycles. As I mentioned way back in January, ‘Retention is the new Acquisition’, so it’s very important to continue to engage with new customers way past the point of sale.


Most people will sign up pre sale at the point of interest. This could be to a newsletter, or blog updates, or a free trial of your solution. At this stage, you’d continue to follow your sales and marketing plan to try and complete the sale. At the point of sale, within your GetResponse campaign, you can ensure the customer is moved from pre-sale emails, into post-sales emails, or what I call the post-sales funnel.


Here are 2 good reasons to pay attention to your post-sales funnel. According to a report by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company:


  1. Acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing customer, depending on marketing methods employed.
  2. Over a 5-year period unsubscribe rates could reach as high as 50% if databases are left dormant and new subscribers left out in cold.


Post-Sale Funnel Tactics:


Appreciation

This is a given. Once a sale has been made, make sure your follow-up email is relevant and send it ASAP. I know some of you have to also send invoices or recipes, but try to combine this into your ‘thank-you’ email. Being bombarded with 3 or more emails directly after purchasing can be off putting. Remember, too-frequent emails is a major cause of unsubscribes.

Note : It’s important to make the unsubscribe option very obvious here, and to be very clear about what they will receive if they choose to continue. Mention the expected frequency of emails, and either a brief description of the topics or a list of the email subject titles, so there are no surprises.



Education

If the subscriber has chosen to stay, it’s up to you to ensure that he/she is getting the most satisfaction from their recent purchase with a series of follow-up emails. Between 3 and 7 post-sale educational emails is a good range, (depending on frequency standards and preferences). Surveys and Multimedia are really useful tools during this stage to keep customers engaged, get feedback, and provide video tutorials for those who prefer it.


Note : Monitor the results of your emails daily. If one email in your cycle returns lower than expected results, it can have a domino effect on the following emails. So if you spot a decline, try to act fast. Analyze the content. Maybe split test for the next couple of days with something new and see if your results improve.



Support

At the end of the educational cycle, remind your new customer that you are there for them and inform them just how to get in touch. Include contact points like phone and email, but also your social links. We also highly recommend a second set of educational autoresponders for advanced users. Give your new customer the opportunity to learn more if they choose.


Note : The second set of autoresponders should be opt in rather than opt out. You’ll get much better results if your audience has chosen to receive additional information from you. After all the work you’ve put in, you don’t want a spam complaint!



Take Aways

It’s important to engage your customers throughout their experience with your company and your product. Helping a customer gain the highest possible value from your product or service will increase the chance of repeat business and overall satisfaction. So stay in touch with relevant, useful emails, but make sure you engage according to their preferences, not yours. And don’t forget to make it easy to unsubscribe from any autoresponder series. Use these guidelines, and you should fill that post-sale funnel with repeat sales and happy customers. Good luck!


Do you have your own post-sale tactics?  Share them with us in the comments below! Your ideas are always welcome!


Until next time,
Mick

  • http://www.gmail.com Avinash Kumar

    Three points are basicaly useful of the customer.1st is Appreciation.2nd is Support.3rd is Awareness.

    Support–basicaly this points says if we support the customer in each and every way,how ever we are suffering in loss,,it doesnt matter.,main issue is satisfaction,and if they will satisfy with our products and feature,,,thet will buy defenitly..so we should support 24 hour,,,honesty way…

    Appreciation—if we appriciate to the customer they will co-operate..appriciation should be in different way may be as soon as possible,,by offer,,by discount or different way..they will attrect with my goods..because this time is suffering from comptation…price should be available to the customer in cheap rate..and quality should be best…quantity doesnt matter..the will buy if my rate will be high no issue…

    Awareness—by mail,by adding via newspaper or via media,,,give the view or idea about the goods,,abut the use,,means how to use?how to available easily..shiping charge is not taken by us….

  • http://Rebuilding David Trujillo

    That is very good and sound advice. When I first started that was definitely one of my problems. Worrying about a sale and not following up to support the customer. Thanks

  • http://www.josephszenasi.com/ Joseph

    If we offer support and are nice to them they will recommend us to their friends. That’s one of the fastest growing methods.

  • http://www.quarter4.com Mark Reade

    Clear and to the point, I particularly identify with the reference to the cost of securing a new customer compared to retaining an existing customer. All to often in the chase for new customers businesses overlook their greatest assets, i.e. their existing customer base. The most effective growth strategy I have found, for small to medium sized business, is to focus on their after sales pipeline instead of chasing news customers. Conversion rates are better, referrals are better and what’s more they are far more willing to go out of their way to resipricate than a cold prospect. My money is with the client that you already own rather than the one in the street yet to be converted.
    Great article, keep them coming!

  • Mick Griffin

    @Avinash – Great examples of how to do this via email marketing. Please, maybe you have other best practices you could share with the GetResponse community.

    @David – Thanks for your comment. I think it is a natural reaction to think about new sales and something that we shouldn’t neglect, however when the hard work of converting a customer has been done, we have to work to keep interacting with them.

    @Joseph – So true. Word of mouth is becoming more and more powerful with the rise of social media. Studies show that people will now go to a brands social pages before making a purchase to see what the community is saying

    @Mark – Complete in agreement with you. As I just mentioned, new sales should never be neglected however the potential growth within your current customer base is always underestimated.