Post-Purchase Marketing: Increasing Retention Rate In eLearning Business
How do you imagine the end of your sales funnel? Even if you believe that the final customer journey destination means the successful deal closing, it’s not that simple. We invest too many resources, time and passion into getting customers, so it would be absolutely wrong to lose them after a single purchase. How to avoid things going that way? We decided to benchmark eLearning marketing fundamentals against the ones of eCommerce, and the answer has been found on the spot – think about the post-purchase experience and post-purchase marketing!
What Is A Post-Purchase Experience?
Imagine you are buying something absolutely new and unexplored. Maybe you have read few testimonials, online reviews or something else, but mostly you don’t know what to expect from the purchase.
Finally, you go the “checkout” page, pay for the items you ordered, and this is the moment where your post-purchase stage starts. Starting from this point, the majority of new customers are extremely impressionable and opened for any brand or product messaging. Frequently, your new customers need to be guaranteed that they made the right choice.This opens up great opportunities for those, who want to establish a strong, customer-oriented brand with a high loyalty rate.
For digital-only eLearning products, we may divide post-purchase marketing strategies into 2 flows: Post-Purchase Marketing for Communication and Post-Purchase Marketing for Retention.
However, the tools stack stays the same. Let’s dig deeper.
Customer As A Medium
Your actual customer is probably the most trustworthy communication channel. People tend to rely on what others say more than on your brand/product messaging. It’s strange, but most entrepreneurs still don’t even consider customers as a potential medium that may connect their business with their customers’ network.
In this context, the positive post-purchase experience is your entry door to the “customer as media” channel. The success formula stays simple: If they love you, they share the information about you with others. For the post-purchase marketing in eCommerce industry, online retailers use variations of the following scheme:
Tools stack looks quite similar for all industries. 84% of eCommerce business owners say they prefer to develop a consistent omnichannel customer journey and one of the most important retention points is a strong post-purchase strategy that includes at least some of mechanics listed above.
Simultaneously, according to the Support.com’s report on consumer’s personal brand experience, more than 40% of the surveyed consumers said that the post-purchase experience was probably the most impressive and engaging part of their entire interaction with the brand.
All facts say that we should use it in the eLearning industry as well. In return, some eLearning entrepreneurs say digital-only products have quite limited post-purchase marketing prospects.
Is It Really So?
Take a look at this Post-Purchase Marketing Template updated for digital-only products category:
It is clear that only two “tools” are inactive for our case: Shipping Notifications (because internet connection is a default shipping method for the whole market) and Instagram-friendly Packaging (original and extraordinary package customers would like to post on Instagram. In our case, digital products don’t have physical packages, so this point is inactive).
Finally, you have at least 10 great post-purchase marketing mechanics you can use for your eLearning product. Let’s explore some of them.
1. Copy-Driven Thank You Page And Community Invitation.
“Thank You” page is the first step your customers make after purchase is complete. Please, don’t leave them alone there :) Consumers want you to be right there, ready to share their happiness together. It’s hard to be literally close to them, especially when you sell digital-only products, so use a strong copy to make them feel you really care.
“Thank you for your purchase” is not enough. Strengthen your copy with relevant motivation attributes, that will drive strong desire to get the product ASAP (launch a trigger) and make them feel a part of a respectable community.
Copies specifics should be defined by your brand’s positioning, messaging strategy and key benefits you build up your marketing with.
2. Immediate & And Long-Term Social Media Activations.
Most users are sociable, so use their social activeness to promote your brand after they purchased an item from you. As soon as people become customers, they tend to tell other people about their choice, especially if we talk about eLearning products.
Let your fresh customers share their happiness immediately after they bought your product. Use share buttons together with strong CPA on your “Thank You” page or email. To make the sharing experience more attractive, create the unusual visual image and engaging copy for your post-purchase sharing post.
Education is always about self-development. Self-development is always about new challenges. For example, let your newcomers boast of their ambitions/ honor/ persistence and give them an opportunity to share their feelings with friends.
If you want to achieve a long-term effect, try to initiate a constant reflection on the topic, close to your product. For example, if you are a fitness expert, launch something like “90 days body-wake up challenge”, create a hashtag and constantly support the flashmob with your brand messages.
3. Personalized Email Marketing & And Onboarding Activities.
Everything is simple. Don’t try to develop an “all-in-one” approach, it doesn’t work. Customers give you their personal information, basic info about their career or education status, preferences and they do expect to get an individual approach, based on information they provided.
At least, use MailChimp or CampaignMonitor email-automation to create different user segments and set up automated letters due to the CLS (customer lifecycle stage) of each customer segment. Besides, make sure your CMS “doesn’t forget” the items or services your customers have already bought. It will help you to pin-point the right audience for your new products in the future.
It is extremely efficient in online retail and brand strategies for craft goods. However, you may (and should) also use it in your eLearning marketing activities.
Users love stories. Even if you think your customers buy educational products because of clear, rational motives, it’s not always so. In our marketing practice, we use the specific term “emotion of rationality”, that precisely explains to us how all this stuff works in educational products industry.
In other words, sometimes people feel the necessity to do something irrational. This is something that will help them grow bigger, earn more, or become healthier. This is the gap where most of the educational products get their market share: when people feel this need, we are here to satisfy this need.
Use this gap to tell your audience a strong story that will reflect with their ongoing needs. Tell them about success stories, your life experience that changed your mindset, or something inspirational in general.
People come to you when they need to become stronger or smarter. Tell them a story, they would believe in and share.
5. Product Quality And What Other People Have To Say.
Finally, your product has to be good. At least, it has to acceptable, or you won’t meet customer’s expectations, and it means irretrievable failure for your post-purchase marketing efforts.
On the other hand, a lot of people don’t know how to indicate the quality level of any educational products they get, especially if they are new in that particular field. In this case, think about your Word-Of-Mouth strategies and make people believe that it was really worth their time.
How to do it? Let them rethink their educational experience and ask to leave a short feedback on the most useful part of your program or product. If your product was OK in general, and the most useful part was probably really good, then you will probably win a good testimonial.
6. Price Dynamics.
The topic is worthy of a separate article, but let’s stop at the 2 simple rules:
- Be very careful with your pricing politics. Don’t make significant discounts on a product you’ve just sold to a large group of your existing loyal customers. Why? These customers may be disappointed if you change the price from 30$ to 20$ a day after they bought it. Be consistent.
- If your price is about average, be sure to give your customers a reason to advocate for their purchase (unique selling proposition).
That’s Enough In Most Cases
Besides the unobvious communication perspective, properly set post-purchase experiences increase the general retention rate for your single customer.
Have you already used any of these mechanics?
Do you have any alternative methods to make your customers stay happy after the purchase?
Let’s talk, rock on the comments!