Hot Air Balloon Garland Kit from Especially Paper
Getting a current customer to buy again is way easier than getting a new customer. And happy customers are the best marketers by far.
But how exactly do you get that repeat business? How do you get your customers to remember you when they need to buy a gift (ahem … the holidays!) or a friend asks them for a recommendation for the exact product you sell?
Send them emails! Like your Facebook page! Follow you on twitter and pinterest! Right?
What does all that mean? Basically, it means that unless someone gives you their email and says you can send them promotions, you can only email (or send an Etsy Conversation) about a specific order.
Never fear, though. I’m here to give you 4 concrete ways to keep the conversation with your customers going!
Before we begin there are two things you need to market to your existing customers.
1. You need an emailing list. Email marketing sites make this super easy and include forms and links. They let you email a bunch of people at once and customize the email with images and a template. I am a big fan (and user) of Mailchimp, because it’s easy to use and free to get started. Plus, Mailchimp shares silly links and videos! You can also check out Emma, Constant Contact, or iContact.
2. A Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account. I know it seems silly to some, but social networking can be a great way to easily interact with customers and remind them about your business.
Ok. Let’s get talking! Here are my 4 tips for staying in touch with your customers to promote repeat business and word-of-mouth marketing. And, really, who doesn’t want those?
1. Ask them to join your mailing list after purchase and before delivery
You probably send them an email confirming the order, right? If so, now’s the time to ask for their email, like, or follow. If you dont ask, you definitley won’t get it.
However, it’s important to remember that at this point in the transaction, you are an unknown to the buyer. Yes, they purchased from you, but they have no item to love and no wonderful relationship.
You need to give them a reason to join your mailing list. The reason should be compelling to a first time buyer.
A reason such as:
* Free shipping! Let them know that you will refund their shipping charge if they join your mailing list.
* Is there a complimentary item you could give them a discount on? i.e. If they purchased a necklace, are there earrings or a bracelet they could add for 40% off?
* What about a $5 Amazon gift card? You should think outside the box here. Remember, the ability to re-market to an audience who already loves your product is incredibly valuable.
You may need to experiment with different offerings. Different types of customers (new vs. repeat, high vs. low priced item) may respond better to different incentives. Experiment until you find what works for you and your business.
Don’t forget to tell them what they will hear about on your mailing list: new items, sales, exclusive discounts.
2. Follow them on Twitter
Try googling their Etsy name and email address to find them.
Note that Twitter and Pinterest are really the only social networks where it is acceptable to follow people you don’t know personally. Don’t try this on Facebook!
Once you’ve followed them, add them to a Twitter List. That way you can go to Twitter, click on your list and see only what your customers are saying.
You should respond to their tweets – in a personal, authentic way. You should not tweet at them with promotions and discounts and new items. Twitter is about having a conversation.
This technique can also work on Pinterest, but is a little more challenging as you’ll need to keep track of your customers Pinterest name separately. That said, it’s probably worth setting aside 5 minutes of your time on Pinterest or some time each month to check out the pins of your customers.
Remember to always treat your interactions with customers on social media as you would a friend (not a used car salesman). Did a customer tweet or pin about redecorating their office? Respond with a tip of your own!
3. Send a QR code and a link to your mailing list sign up in every order
What’s a QR code? It’s that black and white square digital thingy that you see everywhere. Someone can scan it with their smart phone (using one of many apps) and their phone will go directly to what ever link you specify.
I love MOO cards for this — you can create a business card with you brand AND create a QR card to display right on it.
Kaywa, Scan, and Esponse will all create a QR code image for you to add anywhere.
Don’t forget to also include the link itself – not everyone has smart phones or knows about QR codes. Try using bit.ly to create a short link that is easy for your customer to type into their browser.
Make sure you give them a reason (see #1) to join your mailing list and tell them what they will get in the emails. In this case — post purchase — they have received their amazing, wonderful item and it’s top of their mind, so general discounts on their next purchase should be really effective here.
4. Follow up when sending your item and after the estimated arrival date
Because you are writing about a specific order, this is OK. But no more emails after this unless they join your list!
Make sure that every email you send includes a link to join your mailing list and links to your social networking sites and website. Let them know how to contact you!
When you’ve sent an item, email with the tracking number (if you can) and an estimated arrival date. Then let them know that you’d love their feedback and can join your mailing list for more updates and specials. Keep it simple and grateful.
When following up after the estimated arrival date, ask if everything got there OK and if the item met their expectations.
This is the best time to ask for a testimonial. Testimonials are the best forms of marketing. Ask for photos of them using/wearing the item. Show them that you care about how they use the item. Many people will not respond, but those who will will give you wonderful things to share with current and potential customers.
What are your tips for getting your customers to engage with your brand, remember you, and follow up? Have any of these worked for you?
Rebecca Miller-Webster – Patterned
Rebecca Miller-Webster is the maker of Patterned, an online customer communication hub for creative businesses. Rebecca has been involved in the handmade community since the early days of Etsy and has seen it from the perspective of a buyer, seller, blogger, and advertiser. Rebecca enjoys making jewelry, ribbon work, and music. However, her favorite thing to make is software to help people and make their lives better! Rebecca lives in Queens, NY with her Buffy-loving, baseball-obsessed husband, crazy black pug, and sweetest little rescue dog.