Finding the right email cadence post-purchase can be daunting. How do you establish enough communication to be top-of-mind without being a pest? Most marketers are guilty of over communicating with their customers. A 2015 study by TechnologyAdvice reports that 43% of the people they surveyed feel they are receiving too many marketing emails. At the same time, you want to make sure you’re not under emailing your customers either. So, how do you find a balance?
Below we’ll dive into the best practices for establishing a great post-purchase rapport with your customers. The fact is, moderating your email frequency isn’t as important as providing relevant content.
Understand the Emails You’re Sending
Keeping a record of every email you send is crucial. A great place to start is by listing all your flows and campaigns. Start by mapping out your active flows in a table like the one below:
Next, it’s important to consider the possible overlap between flows and campaigns.
Think about scenarios like these:
- Is a customer also subscribed to your newsletter?
- Did they recently sign up? If so, are they receiving a welcome series?
- If a customer makes a purchase and abandons a cart the next day, will they be added to two separate flows?
Asking these kinds of questions lets you troubleshoot the issue of overlapping emails, which can lead to customers receiving too much email in one day. These emails can be unrelated, which creates an overwhelming and disjointed experience.
Once you’ve mapped out your overlap, it’s time to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. To get a better look at how your customers might experience overlapping email, let’s look at a tale of two customers.
Dan Osrig is subscribed to your newsletter and receives daily email updates. Phil Meltman is not, and receives no regular communication from your business.
On day one, both Phil and Dan make a purchase through your online store. Two days after purchasing, Dan viewed an item on your site and abandoned a cart. Phil, on the other hand, hasn’t interacted with your brand since his initial purchase. Here is a look at a calendar view of the emails both Dan and Phil are receiving:
Wow, Dan is receiving over six times the number of emails Phil is, even though he purchased a product on the same day!
After your three-email post-purchase series ends, Phil won’t receive another email from you until he qualifies for your win-back series in six months. Unless, of course, he takes an action in the meantime (signs up for your newsletter, abandons a cart, etc.). Your challenge is clear: you need to figure our how to stop overwhelming Dan with emails and stay in touch with Phil.
Use Exclusions to Stop Over Sending
You can avoid over sending by adding exclusions to your flows once you have all your emails mapped out. This will guarantee that you are not over-sending. This means excluding customers who are on your newsletter list or are receiving another series besides your post-purchase emails.
Stay Relevant by Segmenting Your Post-Purchase Flow
An easy way to prevent customers like Phil from falling out of touch, is to create another post-purchase flow specifically for customers who aren’t receiving any other emails. These emails should be sent one to three months after a customer makes a purchase, before they start receiving a win-back series.
The content of these post-purchase engagement emails should correlate directly with the product a customer bought.
For example, let’s say you have a third customer, Evan Clover. Like Phil, he purchased a product and didn’t take any action on your site afterward. Evan bought a watch and Phil bought a pair of sneakers. Even though they demonstrated the same post-purchase behavior, they should not receive the same post-purchase emails since they didn’t buy the same product.
There are a number of ways you can segment based on the particular products Evan and Phil bought, as well as the categories they bought from. You might include dynamic product recommendations in your post-purchase series, or you could include trending or bestselling products from the categories they purchased from. You can also use prior purchase behavior to segment your post-purchase emails. If it’s the first time Evan has purchased but Phil is a repeat customer, you can tailor your message to reflect that you appreciate Phil’s continued business or add him to a VIP program.
Finding the right cadence to your post-purchase email communication doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Follow these steps to manage the process:
- Map out all of your campaigns and flows
- Investigate different customer experiences post-purchase
- Set up exclusions
- Segment post-purchase flows
At the end of the day, the frequency of the emails you send is less important than how relevant they are to your customers.