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Megan Rutherford: Sales and Marketing Column

Megan Rutherford: Sales and Marketing Column
Megan Rutherford has a diverse background in sales, marketing, and public relations. She has 15+ years of experience in helping small businesses grow their unique markets. Certified as an inbound marketer, Megan specializes in internet & email marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and more. Offline activities include direct mail marketing, public relations, and event planning.

Post-Purchase Communication

Post-Purchase Communication

Ever had the feeling of buyer’s remorse after making a purchase? The fact is that you’re not alone. Many studies have shown time and time again that purchasers regret decisions whether they be made in store or online. Small businesses need to take this into account and consider putting in place a post-purchase communication strategy. Having a plan in place will not only aid in helping the buyer rationalize their purchase decision, but also assist in furthering the potential for future sales.

The customer has already made the pre-purchase journey and now it’s time to wow them after the purchase decision is made and acted upon. Effective post-purchase communications seek to keep the conversation going and can be done in a wide variety of ways including virtually, in person, on the phone, or through text. The goal is to converse with the purchaser to create a higher level of brand loyalty and strengthen the relationship with the consumer. Here are four popular mediums for keeping in touch with customers after a purchase:

  1. Direct Mail- If an address is collected at the time of sale then direct mail is a great way to reach the customer directly where they live. From coupons, catalogs, or a personalized thank you there are many opportunities to show your appreciation for the purchase.
  2. Email- After a customer makes a purchase follow-up can take place through a variety of email methods. From emailing a receipt to e-newsletters, customer satisfaction surveys, and secret sales there are a lot of possibilities for this permission-based marketing activity. One major item to consider is that email subject lines can be the difference between an opened email or a deleted one. Another critical component to consider is personalization. Individuals feel more valued when marketing is personalized towards them instead of being generic. Many popular email marketing platform solutions offer the ability to customize emails with the customer’s name and other unique elements.
  3. Text Messaging- Text messaging packs a powerful marketing punch, not only does it typically see a high open rate, but it also has a quick time to open from the recipient.
  4. Social Media- Connecting with consumers on popular social media channels is an inexpensive way to stay in touch and can be a less intrusive form of marketing. However, it can be difficult to stay at the top of someone’s newsfeed, so this method shouldn’t be solely relied on but is a great tool to utilize in conjunction with the other methods listed in this article.

Differentiate your small business from the crowd through post-purchase follow-up to grow relationships and more sales. Email is the most popular channel for receiving messages from retailers, but don’t just solely rely on this as the only channel for post-purchase follow-up. Consumers want to hear from a business through a variety of channels.

Look beyond the sale, so it’s not just a one-time purchase and done, rather a business has the opportunity to create a lifetime brand advocate that can not only lead to more purchases but also be a good source for future referrals. No matter what mediums you put in place for keeping in touch always be engaging, add value, and provide insight. Staying top-of-mind can be extremely difficult in a noisy marketplace, differentiating a business by keeping in touch after a purchase can make a large difference. Remember that it takes more money to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers.

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