Turning One-Time Shoppers into Lifetime Buyers with Ecommerce Autoresponders

As an online merchant, you’ll find yourself exploring every possible channel to gain new customers. From Google Adwords campaigns, banners and ads and affiliate networks to running one time offers on deal websites like Groupon, you’ll do whatever it takes to earn their business.

If the cost involved in the acquisition of new customers is too high, you might find yourself selling at a minimum profit or even taking a loss on some orders. For example, you may run a “group deal” campaign where you sell a $20 certificate for $10 and pay 25% of the return to the company running the campaign for you. You just sold $20 worth of products for $7.50.

This is the point where back-end selling—or the art of turning buyers into repeat customers—becomes a necessity. But where do you start, and how do you accomplish it effectively? The key is to nourish a strong after-sales relationship with your customers. That way, customers have incentive to spread the word about your online store with their family, friends and colleagues. So you haven’t only retained the original customer; you’ve encouraged that customer to bring you even more customers.

In a sense, autoresponders differ from traditional newsletters because they send out a finite number of emails as a part of a campaign. An autoresponder campaign is a series of messages programmed to send out automatically on a predetermined schedule.

Autoresponders represent a great ecommerce tool that you can implement on your online store to start generating sales right away. The customer should see these emails as personalized messages that you prepared just for them.

Autoresponders after the First Sale

The first step: after a buyer places an order from your website, you want to express that you appreciate their business. You’re looking to earn their trust and establish a relationship, rather than trying to upsell them via a newsletter.

Activity-based Autoresponders

Consider creating multiple autoresponder campaigns that go out to new customers based on their activity. First, establish rules based on the type of customers (for example, wholesalers versus retailers) or customers that placed orders over your average order amount. You can also create campaigns that target customers who purchased a specific product from your store to offer add-ons, up-sells and new models.

Automation Means Less Work for You

The most important benefit is the ability to “set and forget” your autoresponders. After the campaigns have been configured, your autoresponders should run on autopilot. After all, the point of an autoresponder strategy is to save you time and effort on marketing to your existing customers. That way, you’ll have more time to work on drawing in more new customers to build your business.

Autoresponders are new in 3dcart 4. In the following weeks we’ll be providing details on each one of the new features on 3dcart 4 and how these can easily be implemented within your 3dcart store to increase conversions.

About the Author:
Jimmy Rodriguez is CTO and co-founder of 3DCart, developer of an e-commerce suite for businesses of all sizes. As an authority on e-commerce best practices, Jimmy combines more than 8 years as an e-commerce developer and web programmer with SEO, social marketing and business intelligence.