Turn a One Time Customer into a Second, Third and Fourth Time One

So much of marketing advice is dedicated to acquiring new customers. Here's the problem with focusing exclusively on new customers: acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from 5 to 25 times as expensive as selling to a returning customer. If that stat isn't jarring enough, returning customers spend 67% more money (on average) than newly acquired ones.

This isn't to say you shouldn't be focusing on acquiring new customers — a customer can't make their second or third purchase until they've made their first one — but foremost on your mind should be making your current customers very happy. Not only will they spend more money, they'll also tell other people about your business, providing free and extremely trustworthy word-of-mouth advertising.

Everything You Do is Marketing

As mildly dystopian as that sounds, it's also true. Every time you interact with your customer, you are essentially marketing your business to them. Now, that doesn't mean you need to include big flashing text in every email that says "Sale! Sale! Sale!" That kind of thing is just a small part of marketing. What it means is that you need to be thoughtful about every post-sale touch point, ensuring it presents the best possible view of your business.

Of course, to do that, you need to make sure you even have post-sale touch points to begin with. So, how should you communicate with your customers following a sale?

Communicate Before They Receive Their Purchase

Unless we're buying from an established brand — like that big one that's named after a river in South America — none of us have any idea what sort of service we'll receive from an online store. Put your own customers' minds at ease by messaging them about every step of the shipping process.

Immediately after their purchase, your customer will receive an email with their receipt, letting them know the order went through. Weebly automates this email so that you don't have to worry about it. But you should still worry about it.

You can customize this automated email so it includes your own messaging. Do so. Thank your customers for making their purchase. Give them a realistic time frame detailing when you'll ship the product out. Encourage them to reach out with questions in the interim.

You should also send them an email immediately after the product is shipped. If you mark a product as shipped within Weebly, this email will also be automatically sent. Customize it as above and also take advantage of Weebly's optional fields that allow you to note which carrier is delivering the package, alongside the tracking number. People love tracking their packages — refreshing the carrier's tracking page every ten minutes gives them something to do while they're at work.

If this seems like a lot of effort while you also have to do all the work of shipping the product itself out, note that this can easily be done via Weebly's mobile apps, allowing you to mark a product as shipped from wherever you happen to be.

Communicate Once the Shipment is Received

All your customer really cares about is that their product is the one they ordered and that it's in perfect condition when it arrives. That doesn't mean you can't make the experience even better. All any of us really care about when we go to a restaurant is that the food is good, but we'd all still prefer to sit at a nice table with a few candles as opposed to a storage crate that someone turned upside down.

Make the box look nice. It can be expensive to have your own branded boxes made, but it's fairly inexpensive to order custom packing tape.

Include a thank you note in the shipped product. Hand write a brief message if you can. Consider including some small, cool looking item that fits your brand. This could be a magnet or sticker or little plastic dinosaur.

Send a follow-up message a few days after the product arrives. You can easily create automated emails to go out a set time after a purchase using Weebly Promote. Thank them for their purchase again. Offer to answer any questions they have about the product or your services. Include a short survey asking what they thought of the process and offer them a small coupon for completing it.

Communicate Post-Shipment

Our postal mailboxes and email inboxes are flowing over with stuff that we mostly ignore. This may give you the impression that communicating with customers after a purchase is a waste of time. Are they really going to take advantage of that coupon? Will they really read your newsletter?

The answer, of course, is yes. Otherwise every company would have stopped sending us all that stuff a long time ago. The key is to stand out as much as you can. Establish a regular newsletter and keep with it; if you decide to send it once a month then always send it once a month. Build on this newsletter with email marketing campaigns that include coupons and other creative content that fits with your own brand style.

And also absolutely take the previous steps noted above. If customers have a great experience in their initial interactions with you, they'll be more likely to take action with future messaging from you.

Establishing processes that focus on retaining and bringing existing customers back to your store will show immediate dividends for your business. Which means added money you can spend on acquiring even more new customers to retain!