Make the aftersales experience count
Post-purchase marketing should be at the vanguard of your strategy, because once you acquire new customers it’s a waste to forget about them. In fact, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does retaining an existing one. As with any time in the lifecycle, the success of your aftersales marketing hinges on the customer experience.
Every brand now vies for their customer’s attention not with product or price, but a personalized experience. Consumer expectations have shot through the roof, their demands for tailored one-to-one experience now having shifted fully online. McKinsey claims the pandemic has transformed consumers’ lives, and that shoppers have “covered a decade in days” in the adoption of digital. Traditional offline shoppers have had to pivot to online shopping overnight – which has put pressure on brands to replicate that personal in-store experience digitally. Moving forward, businesses need to nail their messaging and customer experiences if they wish to compete in this new ‘home-demand’ economy.
Transactional vs. marketing
Post-purchase marketing covers everything from transactional updates like order confirmations and marketing promotions like upsell product recommendations. But, it’s important to remember that your customer perceives all your communications equally: it’s just marketing. With this in mind, it’s key to keep messages looking consistent, because a harmonious brand experience will drive your competitive edge. Customers will feel satisfied and value your brand more.
What’s more, the post-purchase experience sets the scene for a continued healthy relationship between brand and customer. Retention is a key business pillar for every brand, especially because it’s much more costly to acquire a customer than retain one. And yet, many marketers pour their focus into pipeline and acquisition – even though there’s a bounty of sales opportunities in their post-sale marketing that will convert faster. After all, your existing customers know you, have a relationship with you.
Ok, so what is post-purchase marketing?
Essentially, it’s the transactional and marketing messages you drip-feed customers after a completed purchase. Hand-holding customers is important in our digital age because of all the ambient noise. Once a shopper places an order online, they want reassurance that they completed the order successfully, plus an idea of when it’ll be delivered. They’ll likely want updates about when it’s dispatched too, in case they forget about it.
Psst! With dotdigital Engagement Cloud for Magento, you can send transactional updates via SMS in app. Plus, using our Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration, you can trigger transactional emails from lists in CRM too. You don’t need to settle on plain transactional templates either; brand your post-sale emails so they reflect all your other marketing comms.
After a customer receives their order it’s customary to follow up with a ‘thank you’ and review, maybe including a little incentive. Asking customers about their experience and purchase helps you improve your online shopping capabilities and products.
The next stage is promotional and editorial content. Remember, customers who’ve bought with you once are likely to buy again. So, mix relevant product recommendations based on past purchases – like ‘also bought’ and ‘best next’ – with exciting editorial such as product help guides and inspirational articles.
For more insight into the kinds of post-purchase messages you can send, plus all the relevant product recommendations, download our post-purchase marketing guide here.
Post-purchase marketing automation programs
Post-purchase marketing is much more than just an order confirmation. Automation tools are a great way to plan out all of your customer lifecycle messages. Here are some effective aftersales programs you can consider:
Build engagement and loyalty over time, pre- and post-purchase. Deliver on your subscription promise with engaging and valuable content, including both promotional offers and top editorial picks.
Once customers purchase, or the more they purchase, you can enroll them onto a loyalty program. Just set your criteria and start boosting the value of your customer’s overall experience, with perks exclusive to them.
Reserve this premium program for your customers that spend big and frequently. Here, you’ll want to showcase your most exclusive content, invite-only events, and limited product ranges.
SMS: an effective post-sale marketing tool
SMS marketing, when used in conjunction with email marketing, can be a highly engaging way to connect with customers. The channel boasts unbeatable engagement rates, plus cuts through the white noise better than email. Your customers don’t even need an internet connection for you to reach them, either.
The beauty of text messages is that they’re highly contextual, so using them as part of a wider marketing program helps drive relevancy and engagement. You could, for instance, incorporate SMS into your aftersales program for transactional updates or loyalty series for product drops. Likewise, SMS can complement your product recommendations push in email too.
When it’s all said and done, SMS is easy for marketers, novel for customers, and a smart way to communicate post-sale. And with dotdigital, sending your transactional and broadcast SMS is simple via API.
For more info on the golden opportunity of SMS, download this guide.
It’s time to take post-purchase marketing seriously
If you’re a marketer that doesn’t have control over transactional campaigns, it’s time to take ownership now and consolidate all post-sale messages under one roof. Keep your email design branded, your SMS and email messages coordinated, and your content super-relevant. This will help make the post-marketing experience more holistic and personalized, delighting customers at scale.
Want to find out more about post-purchase marketing? Check out our guide to all things aftersales here.