After sales marketing describes what happens after you have finished dealing with a customer. Many of us make the mistake of assuming that once a visitor or a viewer has become a paying customer, our work is done. We have successfully ‘converted’ a visitor into someone who has bought from us and now we can focus on the next customer. This is the wrong way to consider this and here’s why…
In short, after sales marketing is your follow up. That is to say that this is what you will do to chase up the people who have already bought from you, it is how you will ensure that they have the best possible experience and it is – more crucially still – how you will ensure they are ready to buy from you again before they move forward. After sales marketing is sales, after sales!
You might be looking for an example at this point. Well, the most straightforward example of after-sales marketing would be to follow up a sale by providing someone with money off of their next purchase. This is particularly useful if you sell consumables (which can range from toothbrushes to diaries – anything that requires repeated orders) as it can help to create loyal customers. Likewise, it works very well for people who might want to buy the product they just enjoyed for someone else as a gift!
After sales marketing can also mean that you collect the address of the buyer and then go on to use that in future marketing. You might have a specific sequence of emails for your autoresponder that is specifically aimed at people who have already bought from you. After sales marketing can also mean getting feedback about how someone found the experience and much more!
So, what is so important about this kind of marketing? It comes down to several things.
Firstly: lead warmth.
Leads are potential customers. These are people who you have the contact details for and who you could go on to try and sell for. However, they are not customers yet.
A lead can be cold, meaning you have the means to contact them but they’ve never heard from you and they have no interest in your brand. A warm lead is someone that has shown interest in your brand, by visiting your site or maybe by signing up to your mailing list. A hot lead is someone that has spent time on your store page and lingered there! This is someone who is clearly ready to buy!
The hotter the lead, the more valuable they are to you. Being able to track leads and see how engaged your audience is (maybe someone opens every one of your emails and always clicks on the link?) can make a huge difference in showing you who is ready to market to and thus making sales.
But someone who has already bought from you is arguably even more valuable. They have not only demonstrated a very clear interest in your brand and have not only already spent time at your site, but now they have bought from you and therefore demonstrated that they are also the kind of customer that puts their money where their mouth is!
This concept is also tied closely to CLV: Customer Lifetime Value. This term tells you how much each customer is worth to you over their lifetime. How many items does a customer buy from you on average? How regularly do they buy? Do they choose the expensive or cheap items?
Having a rough value for each customer is crucial because it now tells you how much you can afford to spend acquiring them. If the CLV for each customer is around $1,000 and you only spend $50 acquiring each customer, then you will make profit over time – as long as you manage your cash flow. These numbers can all be calculated accurately but it’s only through after sales marketing that you can increase the CLV.
In marketing and sales there is a saying that says: under promise and over deliver. This means that you need to undersell what it is that you want to sell and then amaze the customer with what you deliver. For instance, you might tell your buyers that you offer 3 day delivery and then deliver in 2 days. Or you might put in a free item.
This will then have the effect of feeling like a ‘nice surprise’. The customer gets more value than they thought they would and as such, they come away very pleased. Conversely, many companies do the opposite in a bid to try and get as many paying customers as possible – they promise the world but can’t quite deliver!
Over delivery is important because it builds trust and creates a positive experience, and this results in more sales in future. This is playing the long game. And a coupon, discount code, card or anything else like that can also increase the value, while also encouraging a further purchase.
Here are some good examples of after sales service, that equates to after sales marketing:
And something even more simple is just to place a link on your ‘thank you page’. This can take the customer somewhere else, whether that’s another article on your site or even an affiliate’s site. Either way, this is a great way to avoid having a ‘dead end’ on your site that will greet your most valuable customers!