Email marketing is like going to the gym. You get stuck in the same routine, and get complacent with the results. Unless you’re being strategic about how you’re working out, then it’s not going to provide any sort of benefit or payoff. By making small changes, either at the gym or in your email strategy, you can see a huge change in your ROI
This is part four of a five-part blog series that gives strategic advice on how to optimize your email marketing strategy to attract and retain customers. For a quick refresh and warm up, check out parts one, two, and three.
In the past, we discussed ‘warming up’ with email and account sign-up, creating emails that go beyond standard personalization, and developing an engaging welcome series of emails. In this post, we are going to look at a repurchase email series that will encourage customers to become repeat purchasers.
Imagine you signed up to receive emails from a brand. At first, you receive emails that are targeted, relevant, personalized, and encourage you to finally make your first purchase. Once that purchase has occurred, your experience with the brand suddenly changes. You may start receiving too many emails that are no longer relevant, and you start to get frustrated with the brand. It feels like they spent too much time on the warm-up, and not enough on the actual workout.
We often see brands spend too much time acquiring customers, and not enough time retaining customers through repurchase series. However, our analysis shows that a customer who makes another purchase will do so quickly, many within 60 days of the first purchase. Below are three tips to help you get started with developing an effective repurchase email campaign that will retain customers beyond their first purchase:
- Thank the customer: Put a human touch on your brand, and send the customer a genuine thank you. After all, the first purchase is the first step in what will (hopefully) become a long-term relationship. Start the relationship off right by making the customer feel like they are talking to another person who treats them with respect. When you work with a personal trainer at the gym, you thank them for giving you their undivided time and expertise. The same applies to the customer and brand relationship. When a customer shops at your store, you should thank them for giving you their time.
- Give product recommendations: One way to get customers to come back is to suggest what a likely next purchase may be. It’s important that these suggestions are relevant to what the customer purchased previously. For example, if a customer purchased men’s size 11 sneakers, you might recommend that they buy another men’s sneaker, or men’s athletic apparel. To do this correctly, you should leverage info from a customer’s past purchases and interaction with the brand. If you develop a plan with a personal trainer to work on your cardio, and in the next session focuses on core strength, you would be frustrated, confused, and likely to not go back to that trainer.
- Limit transactional emails: When a customer is in the middle of a repurchase series, consider suppressing any transactional emails they might receive, or hold off on sending them for a certain period of time. At this point, customers may not need to know about your newest line or annual sale. They just want to hear what is relevant to them and their needs. It’s like if you were new to a gym, and decided to join a class mid-session. You won’t know what is going on, and will get frustrated and not return to the class. To avoid this, you may hire a personal trainer to help create a workout targeted just for your needs.
Remember, the workout doesn’t end when a customer finally makes their first purchase. As a customer makes more purchases, their lifetime value and revenue they provide to a brand increases. By using repurchase campaigns that are targeted and relevant, brands can encourage customers to take the next step in the customer journey and continue to grow the relationship.
To read more, check out my article in Target Marketing for more tips on email marketing, and stay tuned for our next Strengthening Your Email Marketing blog post, with tips to send the optimum number of emails.