Most marketing funnels focus on taking your leads and converting them into customers.
It makes sense. Without customers, your business doesn’t exist. But if your customer journey stops at the point of making a sale, you’re missing out on an absolute marketing gold mine: your own customers.
Selling to an existing customer is easier and less expensive than selling to non-customers. They’ve already shown confidence in you. They know the benefits of having your product. They’ve formed a relationship with you.
And, we're pretty sure, you like them a lot, too.
So, what’s the next step in that relationship? It starts with a great post-purchase email sequence—the kind that can help turn your customers into repeat customers and vocal supporters of your brand.
Combined with the workflow I’m about to show you, it’s a complete post-purchase system that will help you tack on additional revenue to new purchases automatically.
Step 1: Tag Customers and Send a Thank You Email
After you make a sale, you want to be sure to have an automated system in place that:
- Fulfills the order.
- Alerts your marketing system that the purchaser is now a customer, not a prospect.
- Sends a confirmation email.
Since your cart software likely routes orders for fulfillment, let’s start with Step 2 and begin building a simple upsell workflow. (Note: When you’re ready to implement this, you can follow along with the full upsell workflow here.)
Then, apply a tag to identify purchasers as customers. You won’t use this tag immediately, but it’ll really help you out down the line when you want to send different messaging to customers or exclude them from promotions for the product they already bought. If your integration passes through specific product data, be sure to include that information in your tag name for even more segmenting possibilities later on.
While you’re at it, you can also tell Drip to record a conversion. This helps you assess the value of your subscribers and the value of a given campaign or workflow. (If you haven’t set up a conversion, simply go to the Analytics tab, click Conversions, and create a conversion goal with a dollar value corresponding to the purchase value.)
Consider these steps housekeeping. Your subscribers won’t know any of this is happening behind the scenes, but they will experience the benefits in the form of highly relevant campaigns in the future. Now, let’s turn to what they will see: your thank you email.
You can use your thank you email to warm up customers for an upsell, or simply help retain them if you operate on a subscription model. Your business model will suggest different kinds of thank-you email content. Try the following ideas to start:
- For information products: Invite customers to get started right away and prepare them for success by sharing the most important or easiest-to-implement sections right away.
- For software subscriptions: Include information on signing in and getting started with the product. What are the first few steps for success with your software?
- For coaching and consulting: Provide information on how to sign up for their session and how to prepare to get the most out of a coaching call.
- For physical products: Let them know when to expect delivery and any important setup information. If your product is more straight-forward, invite them to share pictures of the product in action on social media.
Step 2: Send an Accountability Campaign to Make Sure They’re Using (& Loving) Your Product
Software companies often send out an onboarding sequence to new customers to make sure they’re succeeding with the product and motivated to continue their subscription.
There’s a version of this concept that works even if you’re selling something less complex: the accountability campaign. An accountability campaign allows you to check in with your customer, be sure they’re using your product, and address any questions they might have for you.
For instance, if I sold my ebook to someone, I could just hope that they find the time to read it, or I could check in with additional insights that help them through the material in the book.
In this example, I start off with some of my favorite quotes from the book, send specific lessons from a chapter, and finally provide advice on implementing the lessons from my book. I spread out the emails over a few days so customers can actually read my material.
This campaign serves to boost the sense that I am an authority to listen to and will warm up my readers even more to the idea of an upsell to my online course. In this example, Ask a Manager uses a follow-up to ebook sales to recruit affiliates.
You don’t need to be selling an ebook to follow up with your readers. If you’re selling fitness videos, ask them how they’re doing or whether they’re seeing results. If you’re selling a physical product, check in to be sure they’re using it properly.
Or consider simply asking for a review. If someone hasn’t really engaged with the product, this may inspire them to spend more time trying it out. If they are using and liking it, they’ll be inspired to spend some time thinking about your product’s good points—and, of course, potentially sharing their review with the world.
No matter what you’re selling, you can probably think of a way to check in and be sure your customers are getting the most value possible out of your product.
Step 3: Automatically Upsell Customers Who Didn’t Purchase Another Product
Finally, it’s time to make an upsell. You can set up a fork in Drip in order to run this part of the workflow at the same time that you’re sending your accountability campaign.
The time right after purchasing is probably your best time for email opens, so for most businesses, it makes sense to send your upsell campaign around that time. But if you want to wait until after your accountability campaign ends, just add this section to your workflow directly after that campaign instead.
Before launching your main upsell workflow, you’ll want to set up another workflow that tags customers who purchase your other product.
Then, jump back into your upsell workflow and add a decision that will check for the tag for your other product. Customers who buy both my ebook and my course will only get the accountability campaign, while customers who only buy the ebook will get an upsell campaign for my course.
In your upsell campaign, you can use your knowledge of what your customers have already purchased to your advantage. In upselling ebook customers to purchase my course, I might showcase how the material in the course builds on my ebook content.
You can also use testimonials or case studies as social proof that your other product complements the purchase they already made. Or you can offer a discount or free sample as a thank you for purchasing, which will encourage them to get the complete package from you.
Once customers purchase your upsell offer, stop sending them sales emails by building a goal into your workflow. This will pull them out of the upsell workflow once they buy.
After your upsell campaign is complete, you can use the tags you assigned in this workflow to optimize your ongoing emails depending on whether subscribers are customers or not.
If nothing else, you want to be sure to send sales emails only to subscribers without the customer tag. But even in emails that you do send to your entire list, you can be sure to include a sales message only for subscribers who aren’t tagged as customers. Just use the Liquid markup outlined in the third section here.
Could your business benefit from an automated upsell sequence? Let us know how you’d use this system in the comments!
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