If someone has purchased from you before (and they’re not related to you in some way), there’s a pretty good chance that they like your product. This is especially true for those of you folks running a subscription-based box service.
Your product lives or dies based on your ability to deliver quality goods each and every time. So if you deliver a dud, you’ll find out pretty quickly due to the number of unsubscribers that pile up.
But it gets a little trickier when you’re running a service-based business, such as lawn care or maid services. Even if you deliver an amazing experience one time, your happy customers may straight up forget to buy from you again.
I know, I know: you’re amazing. So it’s hard to believe that you’re not at the forefront of your customers minds during every part of their day.
But strangely enough, customers are people just like you and me. They’ve got families and jobs and hundred things to do before Wednesday. Even if the house is starting to look a little shabby, booking another cleaning is just one more item in their never-ending list of things to do.
So how do you get them to buy another package?
The key is to remind them of the value you provided in a message that is 100% about how your product or service can serve their needs.
Here are the top five actual email campaign strategies that we used to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for our company Maids in Black.
1. Get your customers to promote your brand for you
There are two constants that hold true across almost all markets. Firstly, people love getting deals on quality products. Secondly, they love being the “expert” or the one who found out about that deal first.
We sent out a campaign offering our customers a free cleaning if they shared a personalized link with their friends via email, facebook, twitter or google+.
For each person that signed up using that link, our customer would get a $25 credit. If they got enough credits, that would add up to a free cleaning, which was the headline of our email. This inspired our customers to share their link with as many of their friends as possible, in all of the different social media channels that they used.
Additionally, any friends that actually signed up would also get a $25 credit, which in turn inspired them to share it with their friends, who would then share it with their friends, and so on.
You’ll also notice that because we wanted our customers to take some kind of direct action from our email (social sharing), we made it enticing (eg. get your cleaning for free) AND as easy as possible for them to follow through (eg. just click this link to share!)
No matter how great your deal is, if it requires a lot of hoops for your customer to jump through, they’re just going to push it aside and never follow through.
Overall, this campaign allowed us to exponentially grow our pool of customers, our online presence and our social “cred” within a very short period of time.
2. Give your customers some free credit… with a time limit
Let’s pretend you have a service selling premium catnip products. Even if your list is only made up of crazy cat ladies who make all of their money off of catnip-induced youtube videos… they’re still going to put off buying your product almost every time.
The reason? There’s no sense of urgency.
Think back to your own life and some of the services you’ve purchased. Or more importantly, meant to purchase. I bet there have been countless items that you thought sounded amazing, but that you put off buying until “later.”
Why do something now when you could just as easily do it next week?
That’s why we ran a campaign telling customers that for 24 hours ONLY, we had put a $15 credit into their account.
The time limit gave our deal a sense of urgency, which meant a higher number of people opted in. No one wants to lose out on free money, so they’ll act right away to claim “their” money instead of putting it off.
3. Show your customers how your services can improve their lives (and offer a discount to sweeten the pot)
Every small business owner worth his or her salt knows that selling something is never about the actual product that gets delivered.
The best sales are made by tapping into the hearts and minds of your target audience and showing how your offerings will finally give them exactly what they desire.
Take a look at our copy in this campaign:
There are a few subtle suggestions going on in only three sentences of text.
The first is the reminder that scheduling a maid cleaning doesn’t just have to be for regular upkeep — it can also be for special occasions, such as having a few friends over.
The second is that our company (which they already know and love) can take care of all of the cleaning for them, including special finishing touches which they might not use in a “regular” session.
Overall, we’re selling them on the dream of hosting an amazing party at home, without having to deal with the before and after cleanup.
To increase the sense of urgency on the part of the customer, we also included a 10% discount for a limited time (much like the 24-hour time limit in the previous campaign).
4. Reward your customers with a free gift
Look, we get it. We know that you want to make a good sum of money from your online business so that you can finally quit your day job, travel the world, work from home in your underwear, buy a real life replica of the Iron Throne, and so on.
But let’s take a step back and remember just why you’re so lucky to be able to live the life you’ve always wanted: Your CUSTOMERS!
Always, always, always respect your customers.
One way to do that is to give them a free gift, just for using your services. This doesn’t mean that you’re a sucker, or that you’re losing money. It means that you’re building trust in someone who’s already given you their money. And it’s much easier to keep a satisfied customer than it is to get a new one.
Plus you can give them a “gift” in such a way that it actually promotes future spending from your customers on services they may not have intended to buy.
For example, in this campaign we offered our clients a free hour of either moving help or lawn service (from one of our sister companies) if they had already purchased a cleaning from Maids in Black.
Besides providing incredible value to proven customers, this free gift also signed up our customers for a completely different list (moving help or lawn services), simply because they had to claim their free gift.
A proven customer on more than one list is just a no-brainer. If you have multiple companies (or you’re affiliated with another company), this technique had the added bonus of bringing you in future sales in a way that will have your customer feeling good about it.
5. The Purchase Confirmation Email
The time after a sale has been made is the point at which a lot of online businesses fall flat on their face. They send a quick “Thank you for your purchase” email, count their dollar bills and don’t worry about contacting that customer again until the next product.
All those businesses are forgetting two major principles.
Number one: You want your customer to keep coming back again and again.
That means that even when they’ve done what you want (bought your product), you still want to work on providing as much value as possible to them so that they’ll continue to use your service.
Number two: A customer is actually more likely to make a purchase (or do some other positive action, like sharing a link) right after they’ve bought something.
Why do you think Amazon upsells you on other books or games you might like right after you buy something? That’s because they know that you’re likely to spend money again, and probably even right that second.
In this email campaign, we sent out a message to all of our customers a few days before their cleaning was scheduled. By tactfully reminding our customers that they’ve already spent some of their hard-won money on us, their trust in our company is reaffirmed.
Our reminder message is also a thoughtful value-add for them, since if something has come up and they need to reschedule, we’re given them plenty of notice to do so.
In the same email, we also re-used our social media campaign detailed above about getting a free cleaning if they just shared a link about our services with their friends.
Since these kinds of customers had already made the decision to buy from us, they were extra motivated to use our share link since they could potentially get our entire service for free.
This kind of email can be sent out right after your customer makes a purchase, or in the case of a service-based business, a few days before their scheduled date. Either way, you’ll be reminding your customers that they already put their trust in your company, and that they can get a deal just by sending out a few links.
Although each of these campaigns were a little bit different, each one succeeded because we focused squarely on the desires of our audience.
No matter how good a service we provide, none of our customers care if we increase our profits this quarter or get more social exposure. They care about getting the best possible service possible, and especially if they can get a deal out of it.
If you want to grow your online business, replicating these 5 campaigns can easily skyrocket your revenue and success.