The post-purchase follow up is a tricky practice. Marketers either overstep their boundaries and lose repeat customers, or fail to sell at all, throwing potential profits down the drain. Solicitation is not evil in and of itself; it just has to be subtle enough to capture repeat business without disgusting customers.
This fine line is difficult to achieve, but it is very possible. Here are some marketing methods you can use to re-capture business from your previous customers:
If you do not have social media profiles, it’s time to get with the program. Social media provides an unobtrusive way to market to your customers. Instead of shoving your products down your customers’ throats in future emails, invite them to join you on your social profiles. They won’t feel like you are trying to acquire their repeat business, but you will garner their attention in the process. Tell them why they should join by offering them incentives like special Facebook discounts and Twitter-only coupon codes.
Once they become fans/followers, offer them continuous valuable content that will endear them to your brand. As engagers on your profiles, they will remember your store when it comes time to make a purchase. Keep your fans/followers interested by offering discounts, promotions and exciting contests on your social profiles.
Instead of begging for your customers to come back, consider sending a nice email saying you miss them and would love to have them back. The only way this correspondernce is effective is if you send along a nice discount with your message; one that rivals the norm. If you are accustomed to sending 10% off promotions, offer 20% to this customer. And add a time limit to the promotion to make the customer feel the urgency. The small amount you will lose for this order, you will regain in future orders. Since these customers most likely forget your store because they haven’t seen correspondence in a while, most likely they will welcome the email and the discount.
Don’t Stop Sending Emails
You would not need a “Missed You” email as often if you followed up your customers’ purchases with valuable emails to your customers. Whenever you offer new products, special promotions, or seasonal discounts, email your customers about it. Use creative ways to attract them to your social profiles. Run contests on your blog and email your customers to enter. If you avoid the hard sell and offer value with your emails, you can acquire many repeat customers.
The One-Time Sale
Sadly, this repeat marketing does not always apply for one-time purchases like wedding dresses and maternity clothes. For some, repeat purchases may occur when the customer has another baby or someone else in the family gets married, but generally, this does not bring in a lot of repeat business. If this describes your industry, send follow-up emails, but tailor them to sharing and customer recommendations. Past customers will know other future brides and expectant mothers, and will gladly become a brand ambassador if they engage with and value your brand.