You’ve implemented a great SEO and social media advertising strategy to get your clients onto your website. You’ve nurtured them with highly-converting copy and a great online user experience. Your eye-catching call to actions sing out like angels, and they’ve added products to their cart. Amazingly, they check out. Congratulations! You’ve got a new customer!

But the game’s not over. Getting more new customers shouldn’t be your end goal in ecommerce. Loyal customers, and even brand advocates, are what you should be striving for.

It’s time to start thinking about how you can boost your customer retention – and increase lifetime value – for your ecommerce store.

Repeat Sales, Lifetime Value and Email Automation  

Lifetime value (LTV) is incredibly important for ecommerce.

There are two main ways to increase a customers LTV: boost average order value, and/or boost order frequency. And there’s one surefire way to pump both these numbers up: email automation.

We’ve covered the benefits of email over other forms of marketing before – but here’s a quick recap. There are two main differences.

  1. Superior targeting. Email allows you to target and personalise your marketing campaigns better than any other channel. From sending emails at exactly the right time in a customer’s journey on an individual basis, to populating messages with dynamically generated product recommendations – email marketers have a huge arsenal of tools at their disposal to make their campaigns as effective as possible.  
  2. Superior ROI. Email’s targeting capabilities make it the most successful marketing channel in terms of ROI. In fact, email generates more revenue for the average business than search and social combined.

You should have your new customer’s email address after purchase, and hopefully they’ve accepted additional marketing. If so – you’re in business! Email is undoubtedly the most effective channel to boost your customers’ LTV. But before you run off and create a Post Purchase email automation of your own, let’s run through a few considerations to ensure it’s as effective as possible…

Timing and triggers

Your automation should trigger after a new customer has purchased for the first time. Once that entry condition has been met, the timing of your campaigns are key.

Ask yourself what the goals of the post purchase series will be. Is your product replenishable – will they need to restock? Are you hoping to upsell them accessories? Depending on your goals and product, you’ll need to decide when the customer is most likely to purchase again, and time your campaign to fire off accordingly.

Once you have a waiting period you think is appropriate, ensure you check to see if the customer has already purchased again in the meantime before sending the first campaign.

How many emails in the series?

There’s no definitive answer to the ‘How many emails in a series?’ question. It’s heavily dependant on how expensive or complex your product is, who your audience is, how competitive your market is, and more.

However, one email is generally not enough to get the maximum revenue out of these potential repeat customers. Similarly, anything over five follow up emails is probably nudging your series into the ‘spammy’ side of the spectrum.

Generally, two to four Post Purchase specific emails should be perfect for most brands. Start off with a soft sell, and work your way up to the harder sell and added incentives.

Incentives

Discount incentives are a great way to secure that second purchase. But don’t give them away in your first email! You might be losing revenue you could have made without shaving down your profits.

If your content is engaging and convincing, your call to actions are strong, and your email is well designed, you should be able to see a decent amount of conversion before you need to offer any other incentives to win over the tougher customers.

Branding and consistency

Keep all your marketing channels consistent!

The copy and visuals of your social media pages, website and emails should all look and feel familiar – no matter where your customer is viewing your brand.

Keeping your brand’s style and values consistent across the board means your customers will be able to build up a better picture of your brand in their mind. This is extremely important when boosting customer loyalty – so ensure your Post Purchase series matches your other marketing materials!

Messaging

Your messaging should generally focus on pushing the benefits of the product. Remember that the customer has had a chance to experience it for themselves now! Reiterate why they chose to purchase from you in the first place, and remind them how good the product they now own is.

Keep your goals and audience in mind. Your content messaging should act like a bridge between the two.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is the king of email. It’s what makes your campaigns so relevant to each individual recipient.

If your online store runs with Shopify, you’ll be able to integrate the data from your ecommerce data with your marketing automation platform to some seriously impressive and effective effect. For example, you might use your their order data to recommend complementary products to customers. Or, you might segment your customers as ‘high’ or ‘low’ spenders, and tailor your campaign messaging to them accordingly.

Dynamic content makes your emails far more relevant. And relevant emails drive up to 18 times the revenue of broadcast email!

If you need any help setting up an integration, designing a strategy, or just want to discuss Post Purchase emails further, please get in touch and one of our team would love to help you out!

Matt Smith

About Matt Smith

Hi, I'm one of the two Matts here at Andzen. As an Ecommerce Strategy Consultant, I help spread the gospel of marketing automation to the online retail world. I work closely with merchants to identify opportunities to improve customer lifetime value and generate more revenue.