The Ties That Bind: 8 Ways to Engage in Follow-Up Email Marketing

October 18th, 2012 by Jessica Sanders

While there are a number of online marketing tools you can leverage to sell to and interact with customers, email marketing is one of the most valuable ones. However, you can do more than simply sell your customers with one email – following up is integral to the process.

Studies have found that 87% of sales don’t happen until the fifth follow-up, so whether you’re making a sale or showing a little appreciation, consider these 8 email follow-up suggestions.

1. Use Digital Receipts
Digital receipts are becoming the norm, and they’re a great opportunity to follow up with your customers and make an impression. Follow up with a survey at the bottom of their receipt, or point them to your social networks where they can learn more about the item they purchased.
2. Know When to Follow-up
You have the technology to discover any information about your customers’ buying habits, so why not take advantage. When are they opening your emails? What is converting from within the email? Find out when and what they want, and then be sure they are getting it.

3. Upselling Opportunities
Your customers have purchased an item from you – so what else might they like? Similar to how many other retail sites say, “People who bought this also bought __________.” This is an easy way to upsell, while staying relevant to their previous purchase and interactions.

4. Get Their Opinion
Customers want their voices heard, so seek it out. How was their interaction? What would they change? Not only will this make your business stronger, but gives them a chance to voice their feedback and feel heard. Consider sending a follow-up to the survey follow-up thanking them for answering the questions.

5. Be Thankful
You appreciate your customers, but do they know that? A simple, personalized email thank you note can go a long way. Showing that you’re thinking about them after the sale makes for great customer service; this in turn can then lead to brand advocacy and business loyalty.

6. Make Your Suggestions
If your customer has recently purchased a product, send them some FAQs and video tutorials. Get them engaging with the email in a way that is beneficial to them. If they have a new product, they may want to see how others are using it; perhaps they have a problem that can be resolved by simply reading the FAQ.

7. Offer Exclusive New Product Deals
Customers want to feel exclusive – and you can make them feel that way your emails. When a new product or service is being released, send your email list details of the new product and a discount on the first 100 purchases, for example. Be sure to include that this deal is exclusive to them.

8. Build a Loyalty Email Program
For those who have been loyal customers for a long period of time, create a loyalty program just for them. For B2C marketers sporadically send this group discounts or coupons that other customers may not get. For B2B subscribers, think about news or resource or gift certificates. This gets them thinking about your products, and gives them a reason to buy again. If anything, it’s a great way to build your brand reputation.

Follow-up emails are a great aspect of email marketing, and can be very valuable when done right. But think outside of the selling box; consider customer service and overall brand building.

As Sir Walter Scott said, “Think things through – then follow through.”


Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer. As the marketing copyeditor of Resource Nation, she touches on a range of topics such as online marketing and direct mail.

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