Building brand loyalty and retaining customers begins with the initial interaction. But many retailers fall short when it comes to this phase of the customer lifecycle. As a result, retailers find that customers maintain long periods of purchase latency, remain one-time buyers, or simply don’t buy at all.
Online apparel retailer, TeeTurtle noticed that its customers maintained an average of about 90 days between purchases. To combat this, they implemented Turtle SNAP-- Sales Nurturing Autoresponder Program-- with the goal of decreasing the amount of time between each customer’s purchases while increasing the number of purchases made overall.
Through this initiative they have seen the average time between purchases decrease from about 90 days to 30. Since then, TeeTurtle has also seen an 18% increase in opens and a 146% increase in clicks thanks to their revamped Welcome Series and Post Purchase Thank You campaigns.
Let’s look at some best practices that you can implement as you introduce new customers to your brand and welcome them into your family.
A Few Overarching Suggestions
Here are a few general practices that are crucial in each stage of the welcome series:
- Strive to thank and welcome new customers in a relevant and timely manner
- Every communication with your customers is ultimately an extension of your brand, so your brand identity should be emphasized throughout each message
- The B2C relationship can grow mundane; look to engage with your customers in a personal and exciting way
Newsletter Signup Series
Not every consumer that engages with your brand is necessarily a customer. Even so, you should strive to give them the best experience with your brand possible! Go beyond the basic confirmation email by sending warm and inviting messages. Welcome new newsletter subscribers and showcase why they should purchase from you in the future:
- Offer a discount incentive to encourage purchases
- Highlight the quality products you sell using attention grabbing visuals
- Tell your brand story to connect with consumers on a more personal level
- Reinforce your stellar return policy or other differentiators
First Purchase Series
Standard post-purchase emails focus on the customer's order details: what they bought, how they bought it, where it’s being shipped, customer service contact information, etc. Let’s be honest-- it gets old! Retailers should understand that the key time to strengthen customer relationships is immediately after their first purchase, while the brand is at the forefront of their mind. To cultivate this relationship, it is important to reach out to customers regularly with messages that have a personalized and engaging tone:
- Include product recommendations triggered by the customer’s purchase history; feature images of popular or relevant products
- Offer suggestions on how to best utilize purchased products
- Provide alternative incentives for repeat buying that will appeal to your specific consumer base (e.g. TeeTurtle offers free digital wallpapers and sees opens of 62% and click of 29.5%)
Another facet of the Welcome and First Purchase series is the social connect email. While the key time to strengthen the Business to Consumer (B2C) relationship is immediately after their first purchase, a hard-sell email campaign won't cultivate a two-way relationship with buyers. The social email allows you to engage with customers via social media so that when they are ready to make another purchase, your brand will be fresh in their minds. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of the social connect:
- Highlight your brand’s presence on different social media sites; include accessible links to these profiles
- Encourage customers to engage with your brand by joining the conversation on these social media sites
- Use images to demonstrate the ways you interact with your customers through social media, with photos of contest winners, Facebook-exclusive sale announcements and engaging tweets