The very first sale you make with each new customer is the most important transaction that you're going to have with them. Because if you impress this customer and they have a great experience, then they're likely to come back and make subsequent purchases.
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Hello and welcome to episode 13 of The Elevatory podcast. Anna Jonak here, founder of The Elevatory. Diving in today, I want to talk to you about the importance of making the very first sale. Now to be clear, when I say the first sale, I don't mean the first ever sale for your store, although that is noteworthy. But what I'm referring to is the very first sale you make with each new customer, because it's a big deal. It's going to be an important transaction that you're going to have with them, and so much rides on its success. Because if you impress this customer and they have a great experience, then they're likely to come back and make subsequent purchases. And that my friend is where your store's growth and profit lies - with the subsequent purchases that come in after that initial sale. I'm going to say it again - your store's growth and profit lies with subsequent purchases after that initial sale.
What is a marketing strategy?
You see it costs time and money to generate awareness and get people to your website and to make sales. It used to be that with paid ads, you'd at least get your sale and make money. You would be in a position where you'd be making back your cost of goods on the sale, you’d breakeven and then you'd be making cream on top. In some cases, we're talking $1 going in and $10 coming out - a 10 times return on ad spend. But in today's market, it's very different. The ad world has changed. I know that tracking and data tracking has changed, the return on ad spend has changed. And the reality is, it's unlikely that you're going to get such a high ROAS as you used to. You might make a little bit on top of your cost of goods now for the purchase. But as a bare minimum, as you're starting out, especially with paid ads, you want to be breaking even which means you're not actually making any money. But what you are doing is growing an audience who you can sell to again and again, which is why I really want to reinforce this point. In many cases, if you focus on just selling once and to lots of people, you're not going to make any money. It's going to be very difficult for you to make much money, but if you are focusing on getting the volume of people in, and then selling to them again, and again, that is where your growth is all about. You build your audience, you get the first time buyers, and then you have them repeatedly buying from you. And that is where the growth is.
How do you develop a marketing strategy?
So with that in mind, if we want people buying again and again, and we want to get that volume of people through on that very first initial sale, there's a few things I just want you to think about. .
An offer that gets that first sale
The first is to really think about creating a no brainer first offer for that first sale. We're really helping to remove objections and lower that cost per acquisition. Obviously we don't want you to bankrupt yourself so I'm not saying put together a really silly offer that's going to lose you money, but if you can put something together that's maybe more compelling than other people out there, and is it really sweet, then you're more likely to get more people in, breakeven, make a little bit on top, and then be able to sell again and again and again to lots more people. So maybe it's a gift with purchase, maybe it's a buy one, get one free, maybe it's buy x and get y, or it's a really good discount, maybe 15% rather than 10%, which is pretty standard now, or a dollar value off your first order.
If you'd asked me years ago, I would never have said to you, “hey, offer up such great discounts and offers on that first purchase” because the market was very different. But the fact of the matter is, it's much harder to make the sale now and we want to make the sale as easy as possible, because we trust that we're going to give people a good experience. If we're making a bit of cream on top on every sale and then generating repeat purchases, then we're on the road to winning. So that's one thing about the offer that you have on the table. When people come to the site can you make it a bit sweeter so we get more people across the line.
Delivering a great experience from start to finish
The second thing I want you to think about is making sure that you are delivering a great experience from that first purchase through to the receipt of purchase and beyond. So thinking about the email communication that you have in place, the automated email, shipping tracking, postage experience, handwritten notes, anything and everything you can do to impress people so they just have such a great customer experience. Because that's helping to drive and reinforce the propensity towards people buying again after that.
Have a stratgey for repeat purchases
Point three is to really think about driving your second sale relatively close to the first one. This is without being pushy, but quite often think about putting a voucher in with the product when it arrives so they get a dollar value off their next purchase. Maybe It's an upsell email quickly after the first purchase, which is encouraging people to add additional things before the shipping gets in. Maybe it's a new customer offer that goes out two weeks after purchase with something special. Think about the use of that product and when they might like to buy again, and you're getting in ahead of the game. Just be really smart, we're thinking about how you can get in front of people who have had a good experience and encourage them to purchase again.
Alongside that, really importantly, is just to stay top of mind on an ongoing basis. These customers have bought from you, if they've had a good experience, don't be afraid to be everywhere in front of them. So think about it, I have a lot of clients who are like, “Oh, I hate getting loads of emails, or I don't want to spam people”. My inbox is full of brands and I just delete the ones like when I'm not in the mood, and I don't have the money or I don't want to spend or it's not relevant, I delete them. But I don't delete myself from their list, because I like the brand and there's a good chance I'm going to buy again at some point. So I'm just ready for them to come into my inbox and I'll open it when I'm ready. I would suggest you have a lot of people in your world like that, so don't be afraid to sell. If people unsubscribe, then they’re not right for you.But for most people, it's just not right now. But if you keep showing up eventually you'll show up at the right time.
So ongoing email marketing, thinking about offers themed promotions, retargeted ads, staying top of mind on socials, all of these things are super important.
Today is a really short and sweet episode but I really just wanted to reinforce that that first sale is so important because it is the key to growing your business. As long as you drive repeat business that's where your growth lies. We have clients within our program, who are so good at the return customer stuff, 40% of the revenue comes from return customers and their email marketing absolutely smashes it for them. Put it into context that once you pay to get that customer in your world and they belong in your list. The next time you're sending out a blast with an offer or a promotion or a new product launch doesn't cost you anything. It's money for jam, which means that your initial return on ad spend is infinitely returning, the more that they buy.
I trust that I got you thinking, and I'll see you in the next episode.
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