You market like a maniac. You get a customer to buy. You send her the product.

The end, right?

No way.

If you stop interacting with your customers as soon as they send you their credit card information, you are missing out on tons of future sales.

You see, an existing customer – someone who’s already pulled the trigger and made a purchase – is much more valuable to you than a no-name prospect. As marketing expert Clayton Makepeace says, “Making secondary sales to existing customers is one of the cheapest and lowest risk actions a company can take. Response on promotions sent to existing customers is usually six to eight times higher (sometimes more) than promotions sent to cold prospects. Average sale is substantially higher, too – sometimes as much as two to three times higher.”

So what’s a good first step toward building that long-term relationship?

One simple strategy is to send a confirmation or welcome e-mail after every transaction with a customer or prospect. For example, if Sally Jane signs up for your newsletter or buys your cake-baking kit – you should introduce her to your business and/or remind her of the benefits of the product or service she just purchased.

A confirmation e-mail confirms a transaction. (”Thank you for purchasing our Training Your Pet at Home Manual!”) A welcome e-mail establishes the foundation of an ongoing relationship with the customer and reinforces in his mind the fact that he just made a good decision.

Says Internet marketing expert David Cross, “Businesses that send confirmation and welcome e-mails in the first few days of a relationship with a new customer are consistently able to increase sales, the number of their future e-mails that are opened, and the number of links people click on inside those e-mails.”

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