Top 10 Places to Find Lost Leads No. 1: Key - Your Past Purchasers

Jeannette LeBlanc

Updated: May 17, 2019 · 6 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

looking for lost leads

“Ready or not, here I come!”

Remember those endless summer days as kids? Hiding and waiting, hoping not to be discovered? Or feeling absolutely certain that your playmates had disappeared into thin air, never to be found?

When it comes to the endless quests for leads and conversions, digital marketing can often feel a little like seeking the best hiders in the entire neighborhood. Sometimes you may even feel ready to quit and walk away.

Don’t do that.

Much like Hansel and Gretel, your leads have left a trail of breadcrumbs. Fortunately for you, birds don’t favor digital breadcrumbs, nor have we seen any witches in the woods lately.

In this series of blog posts, we’ll expose 10 places your missing leads might be hiding and show you how to bring them back into your sales funnel.

Have you ever shopped with your favorite online retailer, put something in your cart and never completed the purchase?

If yes, turns out you’re not alone. Research shows that although abandoned carts lost almost 4 trillion dollars, 63 percent of that total may be recoverable via the use of savvy email marketing. 

Why do shoppers abandon purchases? According to Moz, an authority on inbound marketing and SEO, the top reasons include:

  1. Unexpectedly high shipping costs
  2. Not yet ready to make the purchase
  3. Comparing prices between competitors
  4. Price was too high

It costs far less to retain a customer than it does to attract a new one, and it is easier to convince a previous purchaser to press “buy now” again than it is to convert someone who has never bought from you before. Your past purchasers are already familiar with you, your products, and your services. And they were receptive to your messaging in the past. This means the hardest part of your job—earning someone’s trust—is already done.

Encouraging a past customer to buy again, often called remarketing, has impressive success rates. According to Salescycle, remarketing email open rates average 57 percent and a 30 percent conversion rate (versus a typical 21 percent open rate and 3 percent conversion rate).

All you need to do now is to do a little experimentation to figure out the best incentive to bring those customers back to purchase again. 

12 proven methods to encourage past purchasers to buy again

1. Ask them to join your list. Whether you add a checkbox to the order button that says, “Yes! Send me current coupons and special offers” or add a subscription offer to your confirmation email—extend an invite to help your purchaser remain connected.

2. Maximize the potential of your post purchase emails. Don’t waste an opportunity. Open rates on post-purchase transactional emails (such as the order or shipping confirmation email) are very high; people want to make sure their purchase went through correctly. After you’ve provided the necessary order information, you have the opportunity to drive more engagement. Consider including:

  • Related products/best sellers: Do not underestimate the power of letting customers know that others who purchased their product also often purchase other specific and complementary products.
  • Upsells: Do you offer products that improve or build on the one your customer purchased? Don’t forget to let them know.
  • Related content: Do you have a related blog article, instructional YouTube video or FAQ page for the purchased product or service?  Send it to your customer.
  • Discounts: Post-purchase emails are a terrific place to offer discounts, especially if they apply to the related products or upsells you are offering.
  • Helpful information: Make sure your customer feels confident in their purchase by providing them with information on product care, returns, exchanges or shipping details and links, as well as by providing contact information for customer service or technical support.

3. Institute a dedicated follow-up campaign. Send targeted, regular engagement emails to all past customers. It’s important to stay top-of-mind so that when a customer is ready to buy again, they think of you first. And by regularly emailing them (with their permission), you keep the lead warmer. If the contact goes cold, you’ll have to work harder to re-engage them later.

4. Create a loyalty club. People like to know they are special, and becoming a VIP customer creates a sense of loyalty to your brand by allowing them to earn points or rewards for their purchases.

5. Reward customers for their purchase. Offer a surprise discount or credit to returning customers as a way of saying thank you.

6. Remind past customers of any coupons or points they have earned. If you use an automated email marketing service, you can set up an auto reminder email that sends just before an offer is set to expire. This is not only thoughtful, it also creates a sense of urgency and can give an extra boost to sales.

7. Create a series of time-sensitive early offers or elite deals only available to VIP customers. This cultivates a sense of exclusivity and speaks to a universal fear of missing out—both strong purchase motivators. Consider a discount, a product upgrade, or special edition.

8. Don’t forget the power of a sincere thank you. A personalized thank you campaign for purchasing, subscribing or writing a review lets your customers know that you appreciate them.

9. Delight them—just for the heck of it. You don’t need a reason to do something amazing for a great customer. Think of ways you can offer your best customers a wonderful surprise or extra delightful experience. There is a good chance they will reward you with future purchases.

10. Let them know you miss them. Has it been a while since your customer has visited your site to make a purchase? Creating a simple “We miss you!” campaign can help you reengage these customers by letting them know about new products or services. Consider creating a “discount ladder” where you offer progressively higher discounts at 60, 90, and 120 days and keep the products or services mentioned relevant to their past purchases.

11. Does your product or service have a finite shelf life? Whether you are selling a product that will run out or expire, or a service or membership program that only lasts for a specific amount of time, be sure to remind customers ahead of time when it is time to re-order or renew, an easy thing to set up if you have marketing automation. Your customer will appreciate that you took the time to make sure they were not left in the lurch.

12. Ask for feedback. Asking your customers to rate their purchase experience or the product they received is effective on more than one level. Not only does it give you another chance to interact with your customer, but it also lets your customer know that you value their feedback. Positive reviews function to help future sales, as they reassure buyers that they are making a good purchase decision. Finally, you can thank a customer for a review with a special offer. Even a negative reviewer can be transformed into a repeat customer if you respond with care and concern.


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