Follow up emails are not just for winning customers. Closing the first deal is only part of the conversation. Here is how retention follow up email can keep customers coming back for more.

 The 6 types of retention follow up emails:

  1. Welcome email
  2. Help email
  3. New product launch email
  4. Renewal email
  5. Referral email
  6. Customer appreciation email

One of the first rules of business is that it is harder to win a new customer than retain an existing one. It’s also more expensive. It costs 5 times more to win a new customer than to keep one you already have.

On average, a loyal customer is worth 10 times as much to your business as they spend on their first purchase. When you turn a first-time buyer into a loyal customer they will:

  • Buy more products from your organisation
  • Spend more money
  • Recommend you to their network

However, a majority of organisations put the emphasis on sales reps bringing in new business. They do not make customer retention a priority. Existing customers are taken for granted.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Email is ideal for customer retention

Email is an easy and economical way for sales reps to keep in touch with existing customers and turn them into loyal ones. Your marketing team are likely to be keeping in touch with your database using automated emails, but when salespeople send emails with a personal touch, it’s even more effective.

Email enables you to carry on the conversation you were having with them before they purchased your product. You can use email to gain more knowledge about your customer. You can use it to solve their problems. Even better, you can also use it to communicate how much you value their custom.

Follow up emails are adaptable to many different situations, each one an opportunity to further cement your relationship with your customer. Here are 6 ideas:

1. Welcome email

Once a customer has purchased your product, it’s not the end of the relationship. It’s the start of the next stage. Start it off in the right way with a follow up email that thanks your customer for their purchase, reassures them that they have made a good decision and lets them know you’re always on hand to help.

A retention follow up email like this boosts retention because it makes your customer feel good about your brand. Your customer will have experienced times when they have made a purchase, and have never heard from the company they bought from again. They will be thrilled when they discover you are not one of those companies.

In this follow up email, as well as all the ones to come, it’s important for your customer to see the email has come from you, rather than an automated system. Be informal. Write like you talk. Make use of as much personal information as you can.

‘Hey Steve. Thanks for purchasing [PRODUCT X]. It’s great to have you on board. I know it’s going to really help you [BOOST YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT]. Remember that if you need anything at all, you can call or email me anytime.’

2. Help email

Even if your product is genuinely easy to use, you will have customers who have trouble using it. If your customers can’t get your product to solve their problems straight away, they may stop using it and never buy from you again. They could even ask for a refund.

A simple retention follow up email can help you avoid this situation. All you need to do is check how they’re getting on with your product. Your customer will appreciate the effort you have gone to and it will boost their perception of your brand.

You can also look for a chance to deliver more value. When your customer replies with some feedback, it could help your product team come up with new ideas for features.

‘Hi Hannah. I’m writing to see how you’re getting on with [PRODUCT X]. Remember, I’m always around if you need any help. Plus, we have a library of help videos on our site. If you have any feedback on how we can improve [PRODUCT X] we’d love to hear it. Hope to hear from you soon.’

3. New product launch email

When you launch a new product and are looking for sales, where better to start than your existing customer base? They already know your company and they have already bought from you.

A retention follow up email to your customer list is the ideal way to drive curiosity and awareness. Make sure you highlight the benefits of your new product and how it complements what your customer already knows about your brand.

Remember to make sure the email is from you, rather than your marketing team.

‘Hey Taylor. How’s it going with [PRODUCT X]? We’re now launching [PRODUCT Y] which powers up your Instagram presence, just like [PRODUCT X] does for Facebook. Is this something you’re interested in? Let me know and let’s schedule a call about it.’

You could also send a similar type of email if you’re running a special offer or a price promotion.

4. Renewal email

If you sell a subscription product that has to be renewed every year, you need to let your customer know when it’s time to renew. It’s unlikely your customer noted the renewal date when they first bought your product.

Your marketing team will be sending them automated reminders about this, but a personal email from you could help seal the deal if they are undecided about renewing. It’s also an opportunity to re-engage with your customer. Make sure they know you’re available if they need you.

However, the primary goal of this retention follow up email is to secure the renewal, so make sure you remind your customer of the difference your product is making to their lives. Create a sense of urgency, that they will be missing out if they don’t renew straight anyway. Finally, make renewal a quick and easy process.

‘Hey Anna. Just a quick reminder that it’s time to renew your membership with [PRODUCT X]. It runs out on Friday 7/12/18. I don’t want you to miss a day of [PRODUCT X] [BOOSTING YOUR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT], so let’s get this tied up. When’s a good time to talk about this?’

5. Referral email

If you can get a happy customer to tell their friends about you and make them become customers too, it boosts customer acquisition as well as retention. On average, customers who come from referrals spend more money over a longer period.

Ask customers you know are happy and are gaining value from your software to help you. You could even if offer them an incentive for doing so. A retention follow up email is a great way to do this.

‘Hi Holly. I’m so glad you’re getting so much benefit from [PRODUCT X]. I was wondering, who else can I help? Is there anyone you know that could benefit from [PRODUCT X] the way you have?’

6. Customer appreciation email

Our final email is a simple retention follow up email designed to let your customer know how grateful you are to have them onboard. We all like to be told we’re appreciated. Your customer is no different. It lets your customer know you care and boosts retention by strengthening the bond between you.

If you are able to keep an eye on how often a customer uses your product, you could email them when they have reached a certain level of usage. Tell them they have qualified for a different product or service that you offer.

A pat on the back like this is sure to make them smile.

‘Hi Alan. I’ve just seen that you have added your 1000th Facebook follower using [PRODUCT X]. Congratulations! It’s great to see you gaining so much attention using [PRODUCT X]. Believe it or not, this qualifies you for a FREE month’s membership to [PRODUCT Y], which does the same as [PRODUCT X], but for Instagram! Write back to me and I’ll send you the code to get you going.’

Final tips

You can send any of these emails today to strengthen the bond between you and your customer, boost how they perceive you and increase those all-important retention rates. Here are 3 final tips for follow up email success:

  • Draw up a strategy for your retention follow up email campaign. Map out your customer journey after the first purchase. Think about how email can push your customer along the path. Think about the right number of emails to send to a customer, so they engage with your brand without feeling that they’re being bombarded.
  • You don’t need to write long emails. Just a few sentences should be fine. Remember to add the personal touch.
  • Monitor which follow up emails get the most engagement. Refresh the content on the emails that aren’t working until all of them are performing well.

Once you have set up your system for your follow up emails, it should run very smoothly. Just set aside a small amount of time every week to keep it up. Then, all you need to do is watch your retention rate grow.