Post-Purchase Program-Alooza

  |  February 21, 2012   |  Comments

Done correctly, a sophisticated post-purchase program can turn existing customers into brand ambassadors and drive significant incremental revenue.

As a marketer, you've spent a lot of effort getting consumers to a point of purchase and convincing them to follow through with a sale. But what happens afterward? Sure, if it's an online sale, you send them a confirmation email - but if you stop there, you're missing a big opportunity with an engaged customer.

Post-purchase programs like customer satisfaction surveys, product reviews, lifecycle rewards, and replenishment reminders are an excellent way to keep customers engaged with your brand. With a strategic approach, you can solicit critical feedback, build upon the relationship, and gain "earned social media" that can drive additional revenue and other benefits associated with word-of-mouth marketing.

According to a 2011 survey by my company, only 45 percent of companies reported using post-purchase programs. However, a simple program soliciting product reviews can have a profound effect on generating purchases from other customers and instilling brand loyalty. The first step is to understand why customers want to engage after making a purchase and leveraging those reasons to keep the dialogue going. Beyond the sheer revenue-generating impact of such programs, post-purchase communications deepen the customer's involvement with your brand, build loyalty, and aid in improving reputation - making consumers more likely to pass on recommendations to friends.

If you look across the different types of lifecycle email communications - welcome, winback, upsell, cart abandon, etc. - a post-purchase program truly gets to the heart of cultivating an appreciative dialogue with your customers. The hope is that by reaching customers at a peak moment of positive sentiment for your brand - after receipt of their purchase - you can continue the conversation with a customer who is engaged, interested, and satisfied.

Companies are continually striving to offer ways for customers to engage with their brand. However, what is of interest to one customer may not be of interest to another. With that in mind, it's important to offer unique approaches and try different post-purchase campaigns, across different audience segments and discern what resonates with each of them.

My company recently published an email marketing guide on developing successful post-purchase programs that offered the following tips for getting started:

  1. Identify post-purchase messaging opportunities
  2. Encourage customers to participate
  3. Measure success
  4. Don't ask for too much…take baby steps
  5. Don't be generic, personalize
  6. Refer-a-friend messaging

The purchase is the ultimate goal of any marketing program, and once the purchase is made, confirmations and shipping updates usually follow. Make sure you don't let the communication stop there. By making a post-purchase email program a permanent component of your overall marketing strategy, you can drive repeat purchases, create stickiness with current customers, and build brand awareness outside your current customer base. Done correctly, a sophisticated post-purchase program can turn existing customers into brand ambassadors and drive significant incremental revenue.

Yes, it will take a little bit of work to get these types of programs started, but the benefits will certainly outweigh the effort - both in conversions and customer satisfaction.

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tal Nathan

An industry veteran, Tal Nathan has been helping organizations deliver valued and effective email marketing services for more than 10 years. In his role of vice president of client services, Nathan manages all client services for StrongMail to ensure that their respective clients receive the highest level of professional service available in today’s competitive marketplace. Previously, Nathan served as vice president and general manager of client services for Epsilon, where he led online strategy for the company’s top-tier clients, with a focus on the retail, travel and financial verticals. Prior to Epsilon, he was the vice president of client engineering at infoGroup, where he led and managed integration services for its Yesmail division. No stranger to technology, Nathan began his career at BDO Seldman, where he provided a range of business management and technology services to Fortune 500 companies. Nathan holds a BS in mechanical engineering from UCLA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Email newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...