Customer Retention

7 post-sale conversations you cannot miss out on

By
Isha Mandloi


Hurrah! You have captured the first sale and this is a time for celebration. All the marketing and designing paid off!


Michael and Dwight dancing
Woohooo!


This is the end of the race, right? The customer has made the purchase and now you can focus on obtaining the next customer.

Right?

Wrong.


The truth is after-order communication is what builds your brand’s reputation as a reliable, convenient place to shop. But post-purchase communication is concerned about more than simply reputation. It is common knowledge that the cost of acquiring a new customer is five times the cost of retaining a customer, and there’s a 60-70% chance that you will succeeding in making a sale out of an existing customer.


With new customers, the probability drops down to 5-20%.


Yes, the gap is THAT large. So why leave stones unturned when trying to pamper your existing customer? Start showing them that you value them right as they turn their back after completing a sale.


We have compiled a list of 7 post-purchase emails/messages that you can send to your one-time customers to turn them into loyal fans of your brand-- make sure your email marketing campaigns are ready to blow customer’s minds away!


1. Say ‘Thank You’: Show your gratitude to the customer after they have completed a sale


Right before the post-purchase remorse kicks in, remind them how incredible the decision to purchase the product was.


Usually, cognitive dissonance takes the following forms after a purchase, ie. these are the thoughts following a customer right after they have bought that smashing beard kit or the lovely jumpsuit:

Wikipedia of the elements of cognitive dissonance or buyer's remorse after a purchase

Now, to conquer these emotions of the customer and to ensure the customer experience stays top of the form, you have to hit the nail on the head and assure them that they made the right choice.


The emotional elements in the table above can be addressed simply by congratulating the customer, using language that is cheerful, and most importantly, boosts their image about themselves.


This email by Zappos brings an immediate sense of joy and intrigue, while letting the customer know that they have helped someone become happier--plus, note the customer service number in the end!


Zappos' thank you message to customers post-order
Validate their purchase.


As for the wisdom of purchase section of the table, you can follow one of two ways to combat it. One, list down product reviews for the particular purchase they have made to boost their opinion of the product or/and, remind them why they chose the product in the first place, and how it will benefit their life.


This is how Naked Wines tackle the problem. Below every order confirmation, they include the following:

Naked Wines' post-order email with bullet points reminding the customer why the product they bought is great
Love the bulleted guidelines on this!


And lastly, to fight their concern over a deal, send over a receipt that details the savings that the customer made in buying the product from your store.



Purpose Served: Allaying the customer’s concerns regarding the purchase, while simultaneously boosting their confidence in your brand.


Tone and Voice: Light-hearted, reassuring, humourous


Remember: Create an emotional connection with the customer that makes them feel included in your club: maybe post a handwritten note thanking them!


2. The ship has sailed: Update your customer when their product ships


What’s the one email from retailers we all look most forward to? ‘Your product has shipped’.


This post-sale email is of paramount importance: research shows that shipping emails have an open rate of 107% which means that individual customers open the email multiple times to get updates on their order. A shipping email is not a part of your marketing email campaigns--it is an essential, unmissable transactional email.


But that doesn’t mean your notifications have to be robotic--Firebox works magic with the copywriting, using humour to connect to their audience:

Firebox's shipping confirmation sent to the customer
All the necessary information is present! That's how we like it!


The call to action here would be the ‘Track package’ button. Now, if you use Shopify, Spocket automatically inserts the tracking for you in your Shopify orders page--and if you have configured shipping notifications, a message will be sent to the customer without much ado.


You can even customise the email in its entirety: add funky text, your logo and images as you see fit. Simply head to ‘Notification settings>Shipping’ and you can own this part of the post-order process!

Shopify's shipping notifications tab where the messages to the customer can be customized
You might need to know a bit of HTML for this


Purpose: Notify the customer about the status of their order


Tone and Voice: Professional, cheery, informative


Remember: The main motive of this email is to convey that the customer’s order is on the way. Let the tracking number and expected date of delivery dominate the email, with the rest of the decorative information fading into the background.


Simpsons gif of Homer backing away into hedge
Let the fluff back off


3. Was it worth it: Request Feedback on the Product


Give your customers the space to vent. They love the product--let them tell it to you. They hate it? Good, constructive feedback will help you polish off the rougher edges of your brand and improve upon aspects that don’t go down too well.


Send a message, asking for feedback. Amazon does it, Sephora does it, even newly-opened stores do it-- ask them to rate you on a scale of 1 to 10 or let them vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in regards to whether they would recommend your store to their friends and family.


As illustrative examples, we have compiled three emails that do the job of soliciting feedback incredibly well:


Airbnb makes a simple but strong case to why you should review them.

The review request does not beat around the bush, and informs the customer precisely how long the survey would take.


Easy-peasy.

This email incorporates the survey within, and is extremely relevant to the customer: requires a simple tap to convey what one feels about the product they purchased.


There's no harm in trying!


An incentive is always a boon!


You can create surveys on SurveyMonkey, Typeform or Paperform painlessly, and collect data--good reviews can be used on your store to boost the credibility of your brand, and bad reviews can help you improve your store. The significance of this email from the perspective of a customer is that they understand that you care.


Purpose: Entreat the customer for an honest review that is mutually beneficial to your store’s betterment and the customer’s experience.


Tone and Voice: Helpful, to-the-point


Remember: Make sure to give the customer enough time to actually use the product, and decide how they feel about it. It would be wise to send the email over a day or two post-delivery.


4. Go the extra mile: Give them an offer they cannot resist


Surprise your customers with an exclusive access gift card or a snazzy discount coupon: provide them with a reason to come back! Now, these type of post-order emails need not go out to your entire email list, but your star customers definitely deserve an extra incentive to shop with you again: customers that purchase double your average cart value, or ones that are effusive with praise about your product.


You can offer these extras in a number of ways, from discount coupons, handwritten thank you notes, a special goodie thrown in with their next order or simply access to your latest collections. In the long term, you might also want to consider a special programme for your loyal customers.


A pleasant surprise!


Since social media and word of mouth are a powerful tool in driving business, you can utilise it in combination with the discount offers as well, by creating a referral system:


The subject line? Free socks are not a myth.

Not only does this drive in more traffic, but also incentivizes your current customers to make another purchase. Make sure to time this email well--a week or two after the initial purchase would be appropriate.


Purpose: To acquire new customers at minimal costs, as well as to retarget the current customers.


Tone and Voice:
Enthusiastic, clear


Remember:
The subject line is the key to perfecting this email: 33% people open emails based solely on the subject line, and yes--make it less than 50 characters as 67.2% people use mobile devices to view emails.


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5. Tricks of the trade: Give additional value


Why limit yourself to just transactional or marketing emails? Your marketing strategy should involve creating a bond with the customer than is deeper than a superficial product-to-customer relationship. The most successful brands topping in customer loyalty, are ones that cultivate trust and understanding with their audience, such as Netflix or Starbucks.


Framebridge, the custom framing solution, guides people on how to hang their pictures:

Okay, we're intrigued.


Informational emails that go beyond your product to cater to the common interest that the brand and the customer share can be used to build a relationship with the audience. Send an email that educates the customer!



  • If you have an ecommerce store for clothing, you can highlight the latest trends in fashion or speak about 10 outfits that every person should own.
  • If you have a bath and beauty products focussed store, you can write in about skincare routines and articles such as ‘10 fruits that make your skin glow’
  • If you have a pet store, make sure to loop in animal videos, favourite animal movies, recipes for dog treats and so on.


Customer engagement is an important factor in deciding whether a customer will continue using your product or shift to a competitor: by showing you care beyond the monetary value of a customer, you are proving that your brand is reliable.


Create content relevant to your customers’ interests and lead them to it.


For example, Homepolish, the interior design company, send emails that detail aspects of designing homes:

As someone interested in interior design, I can truthfully say I read more than one.



Purpose: To establish a long-term relationship with customers.


Tone and Voice: In-line with the general tone of your store.


Remember:
Make sure that the content you are creating is relevant to the audience you are targeting, and ensure that customers have a way to opt out of such emails.


6. What next: Upsell/Cross-sell


Now that you have a fair insight into the behaviour of a customer, owing to their first sale, make the most of it by recommending products that are compatible or similar to their choice.


If you customer has purchased a pair of shoes, perhaps socks or shoe polish would be of interest to them. Swap around products in your emails to find the perfect ancillary products for every sale.


This email can be delivered right as you confirm the first order or weeks later: but product recommendations are an excellent strategy to retarget your customers and invite them into more purchases.


Dollar Shave Club sends product suggestions surrounding the product the customer added to their cart:

The consistent tone and design make it work!

If you have a product that runs out or wears down after a certain period of time, a replenishment email is what you ought to queue up! Beard cream, for example, may last a person, a month or so--after which you can remind them of the benefits of using the product, and tug them towards the purchase.

'10 days until the bowl is empty' really elicits a response


Purpose: To bring the customer back to your store for a second purchase.


Tone and Voice: Personal, reasonable, convincing

Remember: Personalise! Without personalisation, this email is a hit or miss--with relevant recommendations, it is a gold mine. Track your customer’s behavior and send recommendations accordingly!


Final Thoughts


These 6 conversations are a great start to a strong customer-brand relationship, but they are not all. Every single communication you have with the customer counts, whether it is through customer support channels or via your digital marketing campaigns. Leave a mark--and a positive one at that! Hit your customers up on their birthdays, on the one-year anniversary of their first purchase, and make them smile!


Additionally, it goes without saying that email is not the only medium to handle post-order communications. Most brands lean into multiple channels such as Facebook messenger, SMSes and even Instagram DMs. Automate what you can.

Lastly, make it personal. The bright side of being a small retailer is that you can connect on a human level with your customers. Use that to the max!


With a solid post-purchase strategy in place, those customers will not be able to resist from giving your store a second glance!

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Isha Mandloi

Isha is a content creator at Spocket. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses. She creates insightful content focussed on ecommerce, marketing and growth.

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