The buyer’s journey doesn’t end at SALE

You know what they say, about how it’s more difficult to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing one? They’re absolutely right.

Picture it: you’ve made the sale. You got your foot in the door. You built a rapport, made a business case for your product or service, and converted a tire-kicker into a buyer and everybody walked away happy.

Now imagine that you never reach out to them again.

You never contact them to let them know about a sale, special or deal. You never reach out to upsell them on a complimentary product or service. Heck, you never wish them happy holidays!

You’ve put a ton of time and effort into a one-time transaction. And then walked away.

Crazy, right?

Too many businesses are doing this. They aren’t keeping their customers informed about what’s happening, and as a result, are sacrificing repeat sales. And who is picking up the slack?

Their competitors. Because they’re doing the legwork to woo and keep customers – including yours.

Who uses email? Everybody!

I know what you’re thinking: no one looks at email anymore. Everyone’s on social or text and email is dead.

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Almost everything we do relies on email. It’s on every business card, it’s behind every social account sign-up, it’s how the big players are reinforcing brand loyalty.

Are you leaving that money on the table?

The big brands know that email has a HUGE return on investment – as much as 4400%. They know (and now you do, too!) that a customer email list can be a real money-maker and leverage the heck out of it.

After all, when someone gifts you with their email address, they’re doing because they like you (they really like you!) and they want to hear from you. They are inviting you into their personal inbox and giving you a chance to grab their attention again in the future.

But if you don’t make use of that invitation? You risk disappearing from their memory. And when they need a new product or service like yours, they may go elsewhere. They may have no idea you’re still in business. You’re just not on their radar. They may not even remember that they bought from you in the past, and head straight to your competitor instead.

Okay, no one wants that.

But where do you start?

Unlock the potential of your customer email list

First off, start collecting those email addresses, if you haven’t been. You’ve gotta start somewhere!

Next, think about what kind of email marketing makes sense for you and your business. You want to build a sustainable process that doesn’t overwhelm you, especially if you’re a solopreneur or start-up. Do you want to encourage repeat business? Do you want to upsell existing clients on new services? Do you want to keep your customers warm until you’re ready to knock their socks off with your next big thing?

Once you’ve figured out your goal, then consider the tools that help you achieve it. If you’re starting small, then a free service like Constant Contact is probably a good place to start (Disclaimer: Unrivald Digital is a Constant Contact partner). Tools at the introductory/free price point allow you to segment your list, create custom campaigns and leverage a library of templates that align with your goal.

Wait a minute – segment your email list?

That’s right, segment. Basically, it recognizes that not all your customers are created equally and are therefore not all interested in the same things. You can divide your list in many different ways – by size of spend, by type of product purchased, by where they are in the buyer’s journey, and so on. Say you’re a salon offering both hair styling services as well as aesthetics: you might divide your clients that way, but also create a segment for your most loyal customers who come in most frequently or one for customers who take advantage of both services.

Why does list segmenting matter?

Take our example of a salon. If your aesthetics service has a higher margin than hair styling, you may want to get more hair customers to use those higher-cost services. So, a message targeting them, perhaps with a coupon or a two-for-one deal, is going to make better business sense than sending a coupon to everyone – including those already using the service at the regular price! Enticing more customers to consume both services (and keep doing so, after doing so once) is a good way to use segmenting to increase the spend of customers who are already walking through the door..

What’s your email message?

Once you’ve figured out your goal and your segments, you’re ready to think about messages. Though you may have a similar intention for each segment (buy now!), how you frame that intention will impact what your audiences do.

Back to our salon example. If you’re asking your hair clients to add aesthetics to their visit, you probably want to recognize their loyalty as hair customers first before offering them an enticement to spend more at your business, such as a one-time coupon. If you’re trying to get customers who already use both services to do so more frequently that message may be different – maybe in the form of a loyalty program where the reward is a price discount that they receive once they’ve hit a certain number of visits.

In both cases, you’re asking for more money, but the way you ask (and what you offer as a reward for the desired behaviour) could be very different. And because those lists are mutually exclusive, you can prove which call to action is most effective.

Remember that customers give you their email address expecting something valuable to them. They’ll tolerate a generic message to a point, but if you use email to try to sell them on a product or service they’ve already bought, it’s a one-way ticket to unsubscribe.

Successful email can mean successful business

This is email marketing 101 – there are lots of other ways to mine your email list for gold.

And of course, you want to be constantly growing that list, getting your message (and products and services!) in front of new eyeballs. And there are other considerations, like timing and frequency of messaging, personalization, subject lines and preview text, graphics and fonts that play a role, but the most important part of email marketing is to do it.

Get addresses, divide up your clients, and then send them relevant targeted messages that add value to them and give them a reason to keep following you.

Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, you can begin connecting your email marketing activities to your sales activities, with messages customized to where a customer is on the buyer journey, developing and deploying lead magnets to grow your list, and marry your website traffic to your list.

In other words, you can begin to steal business from your competitors, instead of them picking your pockets!

If you’re ready to dive deep into email marketing, give us a call!

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Gary Pitcher

Web Developer

Gary has forgotten more about technology than most of us will ever know. He’s worked in dozens of industries in a wide variety of roles and solves difficult problems recreationally. By the time you’ve formulated your question, Gary already has an answer, which would be annoying except he’s so darned nice about it.

Adrian Proctor

Web Developer

When you put Adrian behind a keyboard, magic happens. On stage, that means he’s making music. At work, he’s bringing website designs to life. Adrian is probably the quietest member of the Unrivald Digital team, but when he speaks, we all listen because we know he’s got something important to say.

Shaheen Bhimani


Shaheen is the guy you want in your corner when you’ve got a complex problem to solve in the next 15 minutes. He’s part MacGyver, part Tony Stark and part while still being the nicest guy in the room, hands down. His soft-spoken, down-to-earth vibe and ability to deliver makes him a client favourite.

Blair Shunk


Whether leading a meeting, riding his motorcycle, or running in the Banff Jasper Relay (for which he was Race Director for many years), Blair connects with the world around him. He inspires his team to work hard while never forgetting the value of the relationships he builds with clients.