Post-sale email marketing: Extend your marketing lifecycle, and turn your customers into advocates

September 16 2020

Marketers are being called on now more than ever to drive revenue and increase ROI. Customers are one of the most important audiences for marketers to engage with – and email is a cornerstone of the digital marketing strategy.

Post-sale email marketing is about accelerating customer value – both for your business and your customers. Once the first purchase is made, it's time to pivot email marketing to engage customers, build community, and uncover opportunities for increased revenue. Customer marketing is about extending the customer experience and creating a community of loyal advocates and referrals.

No one wants to see churn rates go up! It can be a simple task to create a customer marketing email program as part of a customer service program. You don’t want to contribute to poor customer service, particularly when it costs businesses a colossal $1.6 trillion because of churn.

What are some successful elements of customer email marketing?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you send triggered emails following an order to reassure new customers and build customer loyalty?
  • Does your marketing team send customers targeted, follow-up email marketing messages? Is the content personalized for the recipient?
  • Have you integrated your CRM and omnichannel marketing automation platform to optimize the ease of your post-sales email marketing and reporting? What about your website behavior and other customer data lakes?

Be like Disney, Amazon, or the Ritz-Carlton

These companies set the bar when it comes to the post-sale experience, and that’s what drives their rabid loyalty. All consumers – whether B2C or B2B – now expect this level of engagement and service, which is why B2B firms have increasingly adopted B2C practices.

What should you communicate in that all-important post-sale time frame?

It’s no secret that customers are super-receptive to post-sale email marketing. But many B2B firms don’t seize the opportunity to create more customer loyalty and drive additional revenue during this period. Those that do get it right serve customers with engaging and relevant content – which adds value to the overall customer experience.

Things like:

  • a clear onboarding plan
  • serving up customer stories that resonate
  • including helpful contact us information on all emails
  • helpful tips, how-to guides, and manuals
  • soliciting feedback on product and services
  • complementary cross-upselling to complete the experience 

The great thing about content is that, when done right, it meets those all-important customer expectations.

Whether it's updating customers on what they need to know and when, connecting through their preferred channels, or renewing positive customer experiences, Amazon hits the nail on the head. And with the right tech, you can too.

Post-purchase email marketing best practices

Leading marketers tend to use several trusted methods when developing their post-purchase email marketing plans. Here are some of the tactics and tools that have proven successful across a range of organizations and sectors.

  • Create a customer-specific email nurture so that immediately following the purchase cycle you engage with your contacts as customers. Focus on solving the business problems customers may be facing – before they have a chance to ask.
  • Send a triggered order confirmation email immediately after an order. This is commonplace, even for B2Bs, and failure to do so may result in order cancellations. Reaffirming your customer success practices or the experience they are going to receive from your organization sets the tone for your relationship.
  • Make the customer onboarding process seamless. Keep new customers in the loop with triggered emails during the implementation of their solution or arrival of their product.
  • Your customers may fall into segments, and this can be a helpful way to develop targeted post-sale engagement campaigns. Engage them based on customer audience, industry, product purchase and even title.
  • Use customer surveys as part of your post-sale messages to collect valuable data on the customer experience and help build loyalty and trust. Use this data, plus other tools like NPS, to improve and streamline the buying process and customer experience with a continual feedback loop.
  • Renewal updates are a critical step in the customer relationship. If you’re a subscription-based business, make sure you’ve set up your renewal reminders - and that they align with your other customer retention programs.
  • Contact scoring is not just for prospects!  Use email engagement data, plus purchase history, to score customers in CRM. You may want to look at scoring based on lifetime customer value, or something as simple as how often contacts open your emails.

What to look for in an omnichannel marketing provider

Look for those omnichannel marketing automation providers that can partner with you to import website, transactional, and CRM data into your messaging platform. Holistic views of your customers will allow you to easily segment post-sale email marketing campaigns based on engagement activity. Utilize your customer data, such as location or job role, to target customers in the right way and with the right message, every time.

Look for a solution that can also enable you to set up dynamic content based on your customers’ transactional data and automatically target aftersales content and offers.

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Photo by Nicholas Bartos on Unsplash

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