You just got your first few sales or broke a new sales record… you know your product is going to be a hit and can’t wait for their excitement to start pouring in with amazing reviews, testimonials, and word of mouth referrals and sharing!!
You wait… and wait… and then start to wonder.
Did they not like the product?
Would they not recommend it to a friend?
Will they come back to buy again?
If you’ve been around the block for awhile, you know that keeping an existing customer is not only more profitable than finding new ones, but it’s also easier. When someone is already familiar with you and your product; there’s a lot less work to build trust and earn that next sale. In fact, one study from Marketing Metrics shows that the likelihood of converting an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent; whereas the probability of converting a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent.
Plus, repeat customers are more likely to spend more, up to 33% more than new customers.
So how do we make sure our customers come back with that cash money?
According to a study by Bain & Company, 60-80% of customers who say they are satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them; often due to a lack of connection.
But it makes sense. If you don’t give them a story to connect with, or they can’t remember where they bought their favorite necklace, or just know you as “that Etsy shop”, then it’s going to be really difficult to generate positive reviews and repeat business.
The good news: you can change that relationship!
(Let’s start with this f’n hilarious party pineapple. The fruit literally symbolizes those intangible assets we want in a brand: warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality.)
3 Ways to Turn New Buyers Into Raving Fans
1 | Send a Thank You Email Series
- First Email: Thank your new customer for their purchase and let them know what they can expect from you in terms of emails (overview of what you usually send to your newsletter subscribers). Remember to keep them in mind — what do you offer that would excite them or keep them interested to stay on your list?
- Bonus: Invite them to respond with a simple question. Think about your total brand story, what could you connect over with your customer? Your customer is the most engaged after completing a purchase – they’re excited! there’s anticipation! Keep that conversation going.
- Second Email: Sent 5-7 days after purchase, share your brand story with your customers, being sure to focus on the details that matter to them. Pick a new or favorite product category to highlight at the end. This email helps build a relationship with the customer by following through on what you said they could expect in email #1 and reinforcing how your brand benefits them.
- Third Email: Surprise + delight! Send a special gift to your new customer with a discount promotion (or an alternative discount idea). Put a time limit on the promo code to encourage use, such as 5-10 days. This email can also highlight a happy customer’s review and your dedication to providing great customer service. Remember that the main goal of this email series is to solidify your relationship with them. An extra sale would be wonderful, but it’s more important to get them thinking of you as a trusted brand.
- Alternate Idea: Send a promo code for “you and a friend!” to also encourage sharing their experience and helping to promote your brand to a new audience.
Better yet: Send a surprise thank you note a month or so after their order. Imagine how you’d feel as a customer getting a fun piece of mail, no strings-attached, handwritten by the business owner!
If you don’t yet have an email provider, I recommend stopping right now + getting set up! The art of recurring customers is in the follow-up and the best way to do that is directly.
How to send a hassle-free email series?
Use automated email sequences!
I recommend MailerLite or ConvertKit – both will save your time when setting up your automated sequences (ie. setting up a welcome email to send out based on each subscribers timing that you determine); making each customer feel supported and valued without additional work on your end!
2 | Ask for the Review
I think we’ve all had those moments we’re totally in love with something we bought, but we just don’t take the time or forget to let the seller know how freaking much we love it!!
So don’t be afraid to follow up with a direct ask.
Include the ask as a follow up to your thank you email series (within a timeframe that you know they’ve received the package). Again, I recommend positioning it with their needs in mind. Saying, ‘I hope you love your product, please tell all your friends!’, comes across only as benefiting you, instead of helping them.
Instead position it as wanting to know their thoughts or feedback and how thrilled you are they choose your shop; and then put in a quick plug if they loved it to either share with a friend or ask for a review. (Pro tip: only ask for one or the other in each email. Giving people too many choices often results in no action.)
Other ways to ask for reviews/shares:
- Include a notecard with each package. Include where or how to share (for example, with a specific hashtag on Instagram).
- Send a handwritten thank you note and ask them to let you know how their experience was
- Send some free samples with their main package
- Send a discount code if they leave a review
- Setup a refer-a-friend program so they earn a bit from the sales they send your way!
Getting a new customer review or seeing them share with a friend also gives you another opportunity to reach out and thank them or follow up to their comment; which deepens the relationship.
Think of the last time you had a quick conversation or back + forth with it brand? It matters, right?!
3 | Invite Them to Get Social
One of the biggest mistakes we make in connecting with our customers is assuming that they’re following us everywhere. We think that since they’ve made a purchase or joined our mailing list, surely they’re already following us on Instagram, right?
I can tell you that’s not the case (both from my business and personal experience).
And that matters because what you share and the kinds of conversations you have can vary a lot by platform. The fun informal natural of Instagram, for example, lends itself to connecting on a very different, more personal level (I mean in most cases of small businesses, you’re seeing the real owner in their home or shop or meeting their family as the behind the scenes!)
So encourage them to join you on your favorite platform (like Instagram) and give them a specific reason(s) why they should follow you.
- Do you share behind the scenes?
- Do you give VIP sale offers?
- Exclusive first dibs?
- Chat about issues they face (for example if a children’s brand, help and advice new moms may be looking for)
If you’re struggling to get a conversation going on Instagram, I encourage you to check out IG90: Creative Instagram Plans.
The problem likely isn’t *how* you’re using the platform… as much as it’s how you’re telling your story with Instagram.
And I’d venture a guess that your hang up with converting customers is probably not Instagram-specific. (Meaning you can take these lessons and apply them to your website, Facebook, etc as many other students have!)
For so many of us small businesses, Instagram “isn’t working” because we don’t yet understand how to share our story in a way that grabs our audience’s attention and brings them into the conversation.
It’s okay – it’s not your fault! All the training out there has you programmed to believe you’re not using Instagram “the right way”.
But I don’t agree.
You need less information + overwhelm about “how to use the platform technically” and more on “how to position your brand + products, and then share that story through Instagram.”
IG90 shows you how to set a foundation for your customers. give them what they need, share your story (and no, not really *your story*, but the one that matters to them), and show up for them every day.
To learn more, click here.
So please, remember this party pineapple next time you earn a new customer. How will you welcome + invite them to connect with you?