Learning to Leverage Post-Purchase Data to Shape Your Marketing Campaigns

Marketers know that it is usually cheaper and easier to entice an existing customer to make repeat purchases, and yet so many still like the new, shiny appeal of the not-yet customer.

Rather than putting all your attention on tracking data related to pre-purchase behaviors, also focus a little of that energy to observing what your customers do post-purchase as well. While an often-overlooked part of the consumer journey, what customers do once they’ve bought something from you can provide valuable insights that can help shape your future marketing campaigns for the better, and it can improve customer lifetime value as a result.

While we discussed how to attract repeat customers post-purchase in this post, here we’d like to show you how data from post-purchase campaigns can help you better reach customers moving forward. Here are the post-purchase signals that you need to watch to ensure that you continually deliver value for customers.

Track Relevant, Personalized Offers

Your marketing efforts shouldn’t cease as soon as a purchase is made. Rather, they should continue, targeting what the customer needs after she’s already bought a product from you. Your strategy here will look remarkably different than it did when you initially introduced her to your brand and enticed her to buy from you. The key is making those post-purchase offers highly personalized, based on what you now know about your customer.

Customers are most likely to respond to personalized offers; in fact, 73% of consumers want to do business with brands that use personal information to create a more relevant shopping experience. Because you know some things about your customers (what they’ve bought, maybe some demographic data about them), you can begin to tailor your marketing offers to increase repeat business.

Let’s say a particular customer purchased a set of baby clothes from your online store. You know that she has a baby because she also signed up for your Parenting Tips emails. With this information, you could set her up to receive customized offers via email or send her retargeted ads for other relevant baby products.

But simply sending her off down a customized marketing path isn’t enough. You also need to pay attention to what she does with those offers. Is she more inclined to take advantage of one over another? This is valuable wisdom you can use to shape future post-purchase campaigns.

Monitor What They’re Talking About on Social Media

This is, of course, easier if you have a relatively small client base. Listening on social media can help you not only understand what your customers care about, but it can also help you capture great opportunities to be of service beyond the purchase.

Maybe you interact with a long-term customer on Twitter, and you see him ask for recommendations for accounting software. You don’t sell accounting software, but you have a great referral for him. Simply by providing him with a no-strings-attached recommendation, you’re coming across as helpful. That keeps you at the top of his mind, which is always a good thing.

You might also find an opportunity to do more business by listening on social media. Maybe a customer who didn’t realize you offered printing services in addition to selling office supplies mentions a big presentation she has coming up. You reach out with a special discount on printing services, and bam! You’ve got her business.

Understand Why Customers Disengage

As important as monitoring positive post-purchase behavior that leads to repeat sales, it’s also imperative that you pay attention to when people drop off of your radar. You might start to notice trends, like a high number of unsubscribes from your post-purchase email series after the fourth email sent. This could indicate an issue with the content of the email or the frequency you’re sending them. Recalibrate your efforts to see if that improves results.

This isn’t the time to stick your head in the sand. Instead, use the opportunity to understand how you’re failing to keep past customers’ attention, and brainstorm how you can fix it. After all, there’s a 60-70% likelihood that an existing customer will buy from you again…assuming you listen to their needs. Don’t rest on your laurels, thinking the way you’re marketing post-purchase is flawless and in need of no modification. Instead, constantly assess results and look for weaknesses to fortify.

There’s some amazing data that comes after a purchase, if you’re willing to pay attention to it. Determine what’s most important for you to listen to (clickthrough rates in emails, coupon codes redeemed, et cetera) so that you cut through the massive amounts of information to get to what matters most in helping you streamline your marketing campaigns, both before and after the sale.

Treat the post-purchase component of the consumer journey as completely separate from pre-purchase. It needs its own metrics and its own goals, and your campaigns should never cross. This demographic — those who have bought from you already — has its own needs, and you’d do well to listen to them and fill them. You can do that by letting that post-purchase data guide you.