Much emphasis is placed on the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the marketing funnel. And rightly so.
However, companies focused on long-term relationships and profits can’t overlook the post-purchase stages of retention and advocacy.
So what areas should you be looking at to make the most impact during these steps?
Maintain Your Email Relationship
Don’t get so caught up with new lead generation that you overlook upselling to your existing customers. Or even in re-acquiring clients who haven’t done business with you for a while.
Yes, they are both important aspects of your sales process, but remember, we are focusing on the post-purchase marketing funnel.
The long-term value that comes from retaining your core customers is significant relative to constant churn.
We all know it’s easier & cheaper to sell to an existing client than to attain a new one.
Email communication is one of the best, efficient ways to stay in close contact with your top clients. Despite the emphasis on other digital and social communication formats, email is among the most useful platforms to drive repeat business.
In fact, a McKinsey study noted that emails drive purchases at a rate three times greater than social media. The average order size is 17 percent higher as well.
I suggested how you can take advantage of both email & social media to increase your audience earlier this week.
Use your email newsletters and other segmented updates to offer particular customer types access to resources and information they value.
This necessary connection allows you to target customers for solution enhancements or even new buying situations.
The takeaway here is to use your emails as a journey for your clients, don’t solely focus on the clicks.
Offer Outstanding Support and Service
Your job in providing quality solutions doesn’t end at the point of transaction.
Customer satisfaction and retention only occur if a client feels supported during implementation stages too.
A huge discrepancy exists between the quality of service companies think they offer and what customers experience.
A recent Hoovers study (PDF) showed 80 percent of providers believed they gave excellent service, but only 8 percent of customers agreed.
Take care of your clients, and they will take care of you.
The Highest Marketing ROI Comes from Brand Advocates
If you can get a buyer through the purchase stage of the marketing funnel and into a position of loyalty, you have crafted a brand advocate.
People buy from people they like, and as outlined in this post, Bain and Co found that customers spend 20 to 40 percent more with companies that engage with them online.
A high-quality solution that exceeds expectations and leaves a customer feeling satisfied is the key to loyalty.
In addition to the repeat purchase value of a loyal customer, these people are out in the marketplace telling others about your brand.
Of course, effective advocacy-stage marketing doesn’t just let things happen. Ask clients for referrals after you earn trust, respect, and loyalty.
Ask for testimonials that you can use in your marketing materials or on social media.
User-generated reviews are a powerful lead generation force in the digital realm as well. For example, if you are in the business of software, invite satisfied, loyal customers, to post reviews on TrustRadius or G2 Crowd, and on other sites where people research firms in your industry.
These reviews are a significant factor in the evaluation of your business in the digital journey.
When comparing a satisfied one-time buyer to a new prospect, your best long-term value likely lies with the existing customer.
The trick is to leverage what you’ve already accomplished to convert new purchases and to generate brand advocacy.
Applying these tactics helps you succeed in these critical post-purchases stages of the marketing funnel.