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#2.17: The “After They Buy” Issue

1 > Send a confirmation message
2 > Get them to opt-in to your list
3 > Develop a follow-up series
4 > You’ve got to see this: An Email Newsletter How To

1 > Send a confirmation message

If you perform any sort of transaction on your site, send an email confirmation to your buyer. It will set the buyer’s mind at ease knowing that the transaction went through. Although confirmation messages aren’t new or novel, the contents can set you apart from the competition. The ultimate goal of the confirmation message is to give the customer a great experience. The confirmation message can be used to accomplish several goals, such as set expectations (like giving a delivery date), provide an itemized receipt with a unique confirmation number, offer up the ability to click to a URL to track the order, and supply customer service contact information for questions and concerns.

The lesson: Shoot out an instantaneous email confirmation after someone buys from your site. The message should be filled with useful information that will reinforce a customer’s positive experience and build loyalty. It will save money from calls to customer service.
2 > Get them to opt-in to your list

What is a better time to get your customers to opt-in to your newsletter than when they are checking out of your site? The customer obviously enjoys your site enough to buy from you, so get them to subscribe for all future promotional emails. Figure out exactly when it works best to get the customer to opt-in to your newsletter — it may be when the customer is filling out the address and credit card information or it could be on the confirmation page. Either way, a simple mechanism to opt-in to a newsletter should be prominently displayed.

The lesson: While you have the customers’ attention, get them to sign up for your list. At no other time will you have 100% attention.
3 > Develop a follow-up selling series

Some products or services have a lengthy sales cycle. And some products are worth pitching an upgrade or cross-sell. After a customer buys or requests more information from your site, work on upgrading the offer. Send a series of email messages offering helpful tips and upgrade opportunities. An interested customer will be willing to get a reasonable number of follow-ups. One company, for example, sends its white paper in a four-part email series over a two-week period that teaches the benefits of the product. Well-crafted sales documents fashioned in the right format and in the right order can make the sale for you.

The lesson: Let technology do the work for you. For products or services with a lengthier sales cycle, start early by implementing an automated sales pitch.

4 > You’ve got to see this: An Email Newsletter How To

Much of what we talk about around here is email newsletter publishing. If you publish or intend to publish an email newsletter, then here is a must-read. The e-book is titled E-Newsletters that Work: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Creating, Writing and Publishing an Effective Electronic Newsletter, written by Michael Katz. The informative 70-page e-book takes the reader down the comprehensive road of newsletter format and layout, delivery and list management, and creating unique content. The book costs $19.95 and is available for immediate download.

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