Jill Schiefelbein

Marketing After the Purchase: 4 Emails to Educate Your Customer (Jill Schiefelbein)

Winning Well Connection

We first met Jill in person at the National Speaker’s Association conference in Washington, DC a few years ago, and she’s become a wonderful friend as well as a deeply respected colleague. She’s been an avid Winning Well supporter from the beginning. Jill’s new book is a must-read if you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one. 

Dynamic Communication

In today’s digital world, there’s no such thing as business hours. A business can never truly be “closed” anymore. That’s not to say that your physical office space doesn’t shut down. But it is to say that your customers, and your potential customers, expect access to you 24/7. Whether that access comes in the form of information on your website, engagement and interaction on and with your social media channels, or leaving a review on a third-party site, your business is always “open.” You can never stop paying attention.

Yet many digital marketers stop communicating once their marketing is successful and a purchase is made. They effectively close up shop.

After making a purchase, customers are more likely to engage with you. In fact, 69% of a customer’s first-year spending with you will occur in the 30 days post purchase. If you’re not taking this opportunity to extend your marketing, you’re missing a potential gold mine.

Taking control of your client onboarding process and providing multiple communication touch points and proactive offers of support is a digital marketing strategy that will keep your customers engaged with your product and your brand. Here are several post-purchase emails you can send to communicate with and educate your new customer in a way that leads to further engagement.

 Post-Purchase Emails

The Welcome Email

Welcome to the XYZ family/community, and thank you for trusting us with your XYZ needs.

A “thank you” email tends to signify the end of a relationship, not the beginning. Instead, reframe your first email to your consumer welcoming them to your family/community (or whatever word best exemplifies your brand).

In this email you should provide direct contact information—details that will allow them to reach a real human as soon as possible—and any support information that the customer may find useful.

As you start to use the product, we’re always here to help. There’s also a robust online community of support documents and forums accessible to you 24/7.

Make sure in this email that you also take the opportunity re-emphasize the benefits and outcomes the customer will achieve by using your service.

The Check-In and Knowledge-Drop Email

Within the first 72 hours a customer has your product or service at their disposal, reach out. (This assumes that if it’s a product that’s being shipped that you are providing status updates for the consumer along the way.)

In this email, ask for engagement and provide value. Ask your customer to share what they’ve found most useful, helpful, fun, exciting, about your service. Then, drop some knowledge.

Share a piece of short, educational content that informs your customer of a feature of a product or an added-value in the service.

Many XYZ users find that the ____ feature is a major time-saver. Have you used it yet? If not, check out this video to see how it can make your experience even better.

The Providing Context and Action Steps Email

Gather case studies from your consumers and categorize them in a way that makes sense for your business (industry, business size, family size, etc.). Then, provide these contextual examples to your customers.

One place where many companies fall short is providing case studies, but not providing action steps. Gather success stories but be sure to break them down into manageable and executable action steps for your customers to follow. Specificity is important.

We thought you might like to see how Rosemary, a fellow hospitality business owner, uses XYZ to help mange her social media engagement.

Then provide the situation and context, the process, and the result. At the end, include the step-by-step actions your customer can take to achieve a similar outcome. This is also a good opportunity to note upgraded features that could further extend the success through a continued narrative.

To implement this plan for your business … (insert action steps).

And if you’re curious, Rosemary just started to test out the XYZ feature and we’ll keep you posted on her results! (Of course, taking the chance to link to the upgraded feature.)

The Customization Email

If your service or product can be customized, personalized, or upgraded, this is a prime email to use. Maybe you offer a free training. Perhaps you offer a user community. Propose scheduling a one-on-one personalization session. And make it easy for your customer to access these resources.

We want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your XYZ experience. If you’d like to chat with one of our product customization experts to make sure you’re getting the most out of your purchase, schedule a 30-minute session.

Then, of course, link to an easy online scheduling tool. And ensure that, when your customer schedules, she is able to input specific questions that she has to help guide the conversation.

Remember, once your marketing is successful you still have a lot of work to do. Think of the post-purchase email marketing opportunities as ways to educate your customer. When people have questions, they want answers. Be the brand that answers their questions, and you’ll make an impression. Be the brand that anticipates questions, and you’ll make an impact.

Note: This article contains excerpts from Dynamic Communication: 27 Strategies to Grow, Lead, and Manage Your Business (Entrepreneur Press, March 2017).

Winning Well Reflection

Jill has given us a fantastic blueprint to building our relationships with customers. We particularly enjoyed the notion that a purchase is not the end of the relationship, but just the beginning. We invite you to view your relationship with your team members the same way: when you hire someone, it is the beginning of the relationship. How do you put people before projects, invest, connect, and collaborate from there?

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On Being an Entrepreneur Mom: The Inside Story

There’s no better picture to sum up this year’s entrepreneur mom journey. My kids are in it with me and I with them. Seb (8) is the self-declared Chief Marketing Officer (he loves to say CMO)….he tells everyone he meets about how I can help them become better leaders. Ben (19) is a bit more subtle, but is kicking beneath the surface getting it done as the LGL Summer Intern (be sure to tune in on Friday for the Frontline Festival for which he’s an integral part).  I don’t normally dedicate a whole post to a podcast Interview, but my interview with Mary Kathryn Johnson of Parent Entrepreneur summed up the story so well, I felt it would be useful for any working parent… not just entrepreneurs. Listen Here

Why the Pic Describes the Entrepreneurial Mom Journey.

This pic was taken just before the 3 of us sang a customized-lyrics-changed rendition of Sunrise Sunset for my parents 50th anniversary party this weekend. Here’s how the pic’s a metaphor for the journey.

  • It’s not easy (Seb’s broken arm)
  • Ben’s always helping.
  • It’s not elegant (I realized the new dress shirt didn’t fit over the cast, and in the mode of just about to give a party… hacked off the sleeve).  Real Simple had a solution if I had more than 3 minutes to Google.  Plus notice the stains on his face (lovely, I know… don’t tell Martha).
  • We didn’t have enough rehearsals.
  • Thank God for clutch players.
  • We worked as a team.
  • We made important and meaningful connection.
  • We listened and blended.
  • There was joy in the song, for the singers and for those we were hoping to touch.

Thanks for being on this journey as we work together to make a joyful noise.

Namaste. P.S. If you’re interested in leadership and parenting, you can also download our FREE ebook, A Parent’s Guide to Leadership from the sidebar. For more of our family’s extended shenanigans. hr-0487-519-762--0487519762016

How To Ensure Your Greatest Fears Come True

After a hectic but fun Saturday morning of speaking on a Lead Change panel and schlepping my son to baseball practice and art lessons, Sebastian and I decided to try out the newish Ethiopian restaurant for lunch.

“Every man, through fear, mugs his aspiration a dozen times a day.”
~ Brendan Francis

The place wasn’t crowded and the engaging owner did the cooking, waiting, and busing himself. The food was amazing. I asked how long he had been in business (a year), and admitted that I had never realized the place was there. We were politely interrupted by a woman asking to see the dessert menu.

“Oh no, we don’t carry desserts. I fear not enough people will want them. Once we really get things going, I’ll feel confident to expand the menu.”

As he came back to our table,Sebastian 8-years old, apparently now my Chief Marketing Officer, offered:

“You know, I think my mommy might really be able to help you with your business (I’m now searching for a menu to duck behind). She knows a lot about leadership and making money. You see she…”

The fantastic chef shared his story: “I’m a really good cook. My friends all told me I should open a restaurant. I’m taking a cautious approach. I know this location is not ideal (it’s really tucked away), but I didn’t want to invest much in location, until I knew for sure it would be a success. I want to attract a crowd, but it’s hard.”

He must have seen me glance around (I’ve never been accused of having a poker face).

“Yeah, I didn’t want to invest too much in decor to start either. Same philosophy. Better to play it safe, it might not work out. Once I have more customers, I’ll make the place more attractive. I have a vision.”

I had already picked up a take-out menu, because I couldn’t imagine convincing my husband this was a great place for romantic dining so I asked, “have you ever considered letting your customers bring their own wine at dinner?” (several really successful BYOBs are within a 5 mile radius) in similar rustic locations.

“Oh no. The insurance would be too much, you know and there’s the fear that a fight could break out.”

Okay, I don’t know about you, but the last fear on my mind when I plan for an evening of romantic ethnic dining (in a Suburban area) is a brawl. His fears were driving his business plan. A coat of paint, some sorbet in the freezer it wouldn’t take much. What was he really afraid of?

When Fear Takes Control

Fear based thinking happens in big business too:

  • “Let’s be like Zappos and truly empower our customer service reps to do what’s right for the customer. BUT if they need to give a credit over ten bucks they need to bring in a supervisor.”
  • “Forbes and Fast Company have great ideas about leadership. Joe has fantastic business results, and everyone wants to work for him, but, his approach is still unconventional for our culture. Not sure he’ll play that well in the board room, better promote the guy that leads like us.”
  • “Sure access to social media at work would help our employees promote our company, BUT what if they say something stupid?”
  • “I have a great idea, but what if my boss hates it? Better to lay low and do what she thinks is best.”

Don’t let fear stop your greatness. We need your creative cooking in our neck of the woods.

Transitions: My First Week As An Entrepreneur

As my regulars know, I’ve recently left my job as a Verizon Wireless executive to pursue my entrepreneurial dream. I promise that my blog will continue to be about ways to support you.

With that said, I’ve received so many wonderful notes and lots of questions about what’s next as an entrepreneur, that I figured there were others who were curious, but not asking. I imagine my own angst can be helpful to others in the midst of such transitions. I would love to hear your stories.

Q&A On Early Transitions

Question: What’s your biggest surprise one week in?
Answer: My new boss is a handful.

Her heart’s in the right place, but she’s hard to keep up with. Her passion is contagious, but sometimes it just wears me out. I think sometimes she forgets we’re just a small team. I’ve tried to explain, but she’s got this new entrepreneurial spirit thing going. Not sure she’s listening. You see, the tricky part is, my new boss is me. I’ve become the boss I wish I had, and I’m swimming in imperfection.

I suddenly have a new realization of what it must have been like to work on my teams all these years. I’m having flashbacks to what one of my leaders said after working with me in a new gig for a few weeks. Yikes, we’ve been running so hard, my watch is spinning around on my wrist from all the weight I’ve lost.

Back then, I took it as a joke and a compliment. We were having fun and had great momentum. But maybe, this sweet Southern gentleman was also kindly trying to tell me to slow down, that I was creating a cloud dust of deliverables that were hard to keep up with.

A week in to being my own boss, I’m experiencing what my own teams have felt from me passion, impatience, extreme focus on results, and lots of work.

It’s a humbling exercise to be the visionary and the one who must execute. I’ve got more to-dos than I can possibly do.

Question: Did you leave Verizon because you hit a glass ceiling?
Answer: No.

Verizon leadership goes out of their way to develop and promote women. I have been surrounded by amazing women and men mentors and examples over the years, and continue to have these supportive people in my life. I left from the right box on the grid.

If I hit a ceiling, it can better be described as an authenticity ceiling of my own making. I have very strong leadership values which I stick to. It became more important for me to lead in the way that I felt most compelled to lead than to organize my leadership around what would best position me for the next level.

Question: Aren’t you scared?
Answer: Of course.

Entrepreneurship is highly personal. There’s no one to blame but me. Every swing and a miss, makes me sad. But the base hits are worth it. But besides all that, it came to a point that I was more frightened of the consequences of not doing what I felt most called to do.

I don’t want to leave this world contributing less than I should. I resonate with Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on innovation. It’s starting to feel that I’m supposed to be responding to things happening through me. That’s hard to ignore.

Question: What are your first steps?
Answer: Head clearing, strategic planning, website/video development, building on partnerships, and book launching.

Honestly, I need some unwinding. I’m mixing in some yoga and kickboxing with the strategic planning and other work. I am resisting the urge to do too much doing until my priorities and strategy are solid. With that said, I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the leadership media crowd in support of my book launch.

I’m spending a lot of time in interviews, podcasts, and other media responses. That’s been a BLAST. P.S. If you’ve enjoyed the book, I would love to have you write a short review on Amazon with all the media commotion, we could use some help in the basics.

I’m also delighted to be collaborating with a highly talented group of management consultants in a group called Agamie, each of us bringing different areas of expertise. We have some exciting possibilities brewing.

Question: What’s the focus of your new company?
Answer: Helping companies achieve transformational results by building rock-solid front-line leadership teams.

The new website coming in early May will share the whole story stay tuned.

Question: Do you have other books in the works?
Answer: Yes.

Overcoming An Imperfect Boss is tapas. It will be an exciting 2 years.

Question: Will Let’s Grow Leaders stay the same interactive community?
Answer: You bet!

Only stronger. We have many new subscribers, and more people joining the conversation. Amen. If you’ve never shared a comment, join the fun. It’s much more exciting to be involved.

How To Be A Successful Intrapreneur (Even If You're Old)

I’m sick of being told how to win the hearts and minds of millennials. I’ve never bought into the notion that an entire generation of human beings falls into a prototype we can master. I’ve been brewing this sentiment for decades. I thought the HR meetings I attended as a young HR leader (including charts of “what Gen Xers need”) equally silly.

There’s a spectrum of humans in every generation.

The world changes fast, the generations work to adapt. We ALL need to learn to navigate the evolving landscape. That’s what I found most intriguing about millennial, Dan Schawbel’s, new book: Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success He’s a millennial giving advice to other millennial. It’s full of fantastic advice for millennials, and some for the rest of us.

How to Become an Intrapreneur

What moved me from reading to giving Dan a call was his advice on Intrapreneurship (see definition). Intrapreneurship can serve as a gateway to acquire entrepreneurial skills for later use, or as a way to make a difference and get noticed in your current company.

Dan’s advice on WHY to be an Intrapreneur

Intrapreneurship.

  • Allows you to create new positions and advance in your career faster than you might have been able to on the regular track
  • Gives you unique experiences that differentiate you from your peers.
  • Is less risky than being an entrepreneur because you’ll have the corporation’s resources available.
  • Can be a bridge to becoming full-on entrepreneur later on

Not just kid stuff.

So how do you know if Intrapreneurship is right for you? Dan suggests that if half or more of the following statements are true for you, you should “definitely” consider pursuing intrapreneurship

  1. You’ve got a passion for something your company isn’t doing right now.
  2. You see opportunities that other don’t.
  3. You’re creative and innovative in your thinking.
  4. You’re willing to take risks.
  5. You’re a great networker and can build cross-functional relationships
  6. You’re a natural salesperson.
  7. You’re good at working on teams and collaborating.
  8. You’re politically savvy and understand how your company operates.

What I didn’t see on his list is be “under 35.”

Want to be an intrapreneur? If you are a millennial ask these questions:

If this was your company where would invest?
What’s the next break through idea?

If you are over 35 ask the same thing. It’s not too late.

What are you waiting for?

Want to learn more from Dan? Join him for a Free Webcast on September 10th 5:30-7:30 pm EDT 

Note: While I was writing this post, the guy on the train next to me (not a millennial) and I got to talking. He shared, “Oh, my company is all about this. You come up with your transformative idea and then you have to sell it in.” That’s how they break through. He was headed back from such a meeting. Game on. His big question, how do companies track the success of such adventures? We chatted about Google’s approach and others. Who’s got examples?

How To Be A Successful Intrapreneur (Even If You’re Old)

I’m sick of being told how to win the hearts and minds of millennials. I’ve never bought into the notion that an entire generation of human beings falls into a prototype we can master. I’ve been brewing this sentiment for decades. I thought the HR meetings I attended as a young HR leader (including charts of “what Gen Xers need”) equally silly.

There’s a spectrum of humans in every generation.

The world changes fast, the generations work to adapt. We ALL need to learn to navigate the evolving landscape. That’s what I found most intriguing about millennial, Dan Schawbel’s, new book: Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success He’s a millennial giving advice to other millennial. It’s full of fantastic advice for millennials, and some for the rest of us.

How to Become an Intrapreneur

What moved me from reading to giving Dan a call was his advice on Intrapreneurship (see definition). Intrapreneurship can serve as a gateway to acquire entrepreneurial skills for later use, or as a way to make a difference and get noticed in your current company.

Dan’s advice on WHY to be an Intrapreneur

Intrapreneurship.

  • Allows you to create new positions and advance in your career faster than you might have been able to on the regular track
  • Gives you unique experiences that differentiate you from your peers.
  • Is less risky than being an entrepreneur because you’ll have the corporation’s resources available.
  • Can be a bridge to becoming full-on entrepreneur later on

Not just kid stuff.

So how do you know if Intrapreneurship is right for you? Dan suggests that if half or more of the following statements are true for you, you should “definitely” consider pursuing intrapreneurship

  1. You’ve got a passion for something your company isn’t doing right now.
  2. You see opportunities that other don’t.
  3. You’re creative and innovative in your thinking.
  4. You’re willing to take risks.
  5. You’re a great networker and can build cross-functional relationships
  6. You’re a natural salesperson.
  7. You’re good at working on teams and collaborating.
  8. You’re politically savvy and understand how your company operates.

What I didn’t see on his list is be “under 35.”

Want to be an intrapreneur? If you are a millennial ask these questions:

If this was your company where would invest?
What’s the next break through idea?

If you are over 35 ask the same thing. It’s not too late.

What are you waiting for?

Want to learn more from Dan? Join him for a Free Webcast on September 10th 5:30-7:30 pm EDT 

Note: While I was writing this post, the guy on the train next to me (not a millennial) and I got to talking. He shared, “Oh, my company is all about this. You come up with your transformative idea and then you have to sell it in.” That’s how they break through. He was headed back from such a meeting. Game on. His big question, how do companies track the success of such adventures? We chatted about Google’s approach and others. Who’s got examples?