The first 30 days are critical to customer retention in eCommerce. Failure to capitalise on this timeframe could see your road to profitability evaporate. That’s why we created the Traffic Maximizer Strategy.
The data behind the first 30 days
Analyse any cohort chart in eCommerce (especially DTC) and you’ll quickly see that a lot of repeat purchases happen again within the first 30 days of a customer buying, irrespective of industry.
To illustrate my point, here are a couple of examples that aren’t FMCG:
Heavy duty goods brand:
If you dive into an FMCG brand (i.e. supplements, nutritional products, etc), you’ll see this trend is exaggerated even more.
For consumer packaged goods, it’s not really surprising to see strong repurchase rates within the first 30/60/90 days. After all, these products are designed to be consumed and repurchased within an allocated time frame, hence what makes them ultra-competitive industries.
But for fashion (apparel, jewellery, etc) and heavy-duty goods (car parts, furniture, etc), you wouldn’t typically expect such a high repurchase rate within this period of time.
Yet you continuously see customers coming back to purchase within the first 30 days when examining cohorts.
There’s another issue to be aware of here, and that is declining email engagement rates after the initial subscription. If you analyse segments by the time they joined the list, you’ll see a sharp decline post-30 days in engagement for most customers.
This is a problem when it comes to driving returning customer revenue. If you go into Google Analytics or look at any attribution tool, you’ll see that conversion rates from owned channels such as email tend to be significantly higher than other sources. This makes sense, of course, since these subscribers aren’t prospects - they’ve already converted and know your brand.
Does this mean that you should discard customers and not try to communicate with them after this period?
Absolutely not - that would be ridiculous, and I’d never recommend this. In the charts above, you can still see a majority of repeat purchases still happen after the first month.
However, from an operational perspective, eCommerce businesses thrive off cash flow, and if you had the option to maximise LTV as quickly as possible, I am pretty sure most of us would opt to do so, rather than wait for a prolonged period of time.
That’s why the Traffic Maximizer Strategy was created: to amplify this window of opportunity to send as much traffic back to the website as possible within the customer's first 30 days, in order to drive repeat sales.
- A lot of repeat orders happen within the customer’s first 30 days after first purchase
- Traffic from email/SMS shows higher conversions than other channels
- Engagement from owned channels drops significantly after 30 days of acquiring new customers
Therefore, we want to capitalise on this window of opportunity. Enter the Traffic Maximizer Strategy.
The Big Idea? Part 1: Gamify the Post-Purchase Journey
I have consistently found creative ways to drive over 10% click rates in multiple subsequent emails within the customer’s first 30 days of purchasing.
One of the main ways I’ve been able to achieve this is by gamifying the post-purchase journey.
How do you do this? By creating highly ‘clickable’ emails that achieve the following outcomes:
- Eliminate buyers remorse
- Build brand affinity
- Provide a positive onboarding experience
- Increase returning traffic from email
Here’s my preferred format on how to execute this strategy:
- Set the tone of emails to follow from the very first interaction
- Trigger the subsequent follow up content
- Redirect content to a dedicated landing page
This is the format I have found best to maximise engagement over the course of 30-days for the customer.
Here’s an example of how this could look in real-time, using a series of emails from Spotlight Oral Care as an example:
In this first email, you’re setting the tone for a powerful brand value proposition and tapping into a motivational buying point for consumers. This builds anticipation for the subsequent emails while simultaneously lowering buyer's remorse and bringing the customer into a more encompassing brand mission.
The next day, you trigger a follow-up email that builds upon this precedent:
What happens when a customer clicks the email and engages with the quiz? They’re directed to a dedicated landing page:
At the bottom of the landing page, you can have dedicated cross-sells or another CTA to collect more zero-party data, or any objective you wish to focus on.
The point is to make this series as engaging as possible with as many positive touchpoints for the consumer.
You can build a series of emails stretching up to 14-30 days to capitalise on this increased attention period, and I have had success going up to 20 days with emails every 1-2 days.
“What if it’s too much for the consumer and they don’t want to participate in the quiz?”, I hear you say.
Simple: give them the option to opt out and rejoin the regular email communications once the flow has finished like this:
You can then attach a custom property to the customer in Klaviyo and abstain them from receiving the rest of this quiz series. This way you can keep unsubscribes down and engagement as high as possible.
Here’s a visual overview of how the flow might trigger and tie everything together:
The sky is the limit here in terms of creativity so don’t hold back. The only rule I have found to apply is to consistently focus on delighting the customer to maximise the effectiveness of this strategy.
- Set the tone at the beginning of the post-purchase flow about what is to come
- Invest as much time as possible into creating the necessary assets in this flow. You can’t wing it and direct people who click the buttons to random product pages; they’ll unsubscribe and be annoyed
- Give customers the option to opt out of the flow to mitigate churn
- Optimise the landing pages for cross-sells where relevant (tie the product into the content and you’re winning even more)
This is just one part of the Traffic Maximizer, however. There’s another very important, complementary strategy that runs in tandem with it, which I’ll discuss below.
Part 2: Lock in Your Transactional Touchpoints
There is a reason why I keep beating the drum about transactional touchpoints: they can drive astronomical click rates back to your website while simultaneously reducing support tickets.
Transactional email & SMS drive north of 20% click rates. That traffic can be going back towards a dedicated tracking page on your website that not only provides a great customer experience but also has carefully displayed cross-sells to increase conversions.
My go-to software is Wonderment, and these are the core 7 transactional touchpoints I’d recommend everybody to optimise.
Your dedicated branded tracking page is critical to optimise here. You should have the following components:
- Tracking block
- Upsell/cross-sell block
You will be surprised how much revenue these flows generate just by virtue of sending traffic back to your website.
Learn more about how to set up a fully fledged transactional strategy here.
Part 3: Super Clickable Email Ideas
It should be evident at this point that the key to making this strategy successful is by generating highly clickable emails that delight your audience and add value to them.
Here are a few more ideas from some of our recent clients.
I love how Feey provides a positive customer experience here by asking customers to let them know how their plant is doing post-purchase.
When a customer clicks on a button, they are directed to the appropriate landing page where they can get assistance (if the plant is in a bad condition).
Feey are also able to collect invaluable information on customer behaviour and challenges they need to focus on in their business.
Breinfuel shows that sales-related emails don’t have to be 1-way focused and boring.
Wild provides a masterclass on how to build a tribe of engaged customers.
The first 30 days are an incredible opportunity to capitalise on the excitement and provide an amazing, engaging customer experience.
Blend together transactional touchpoints with gamified emails and A/B test the results against a more conventional approach to see if it provides a positive uplift to repurchase rates.
further in depth reading
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