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Email customer acquisition for big, once-in-a-lifetime purchases
Insight from Rejoiner.
Most content on ecommerce email marketing focuses on DTC: retention, maximizing lifetime value, and bringing customers back to purchase again and again.
But what should you do if you’re a store selling $1,000+ products that are typically once-in-a-lifetime purchases for customers?
These businesses tend to get fewer repeat purchases, so they can’t afford to give away a huge discount upfront in hopes of profiting off future orders.
Instead of the standard percentage off first purchase promo that most DTC companies use to acquire emails, here are a few alternatives for high-priced items:
- Dollar amount off: If you sell a $2,000 product, try “$200 off” instead of “10% off.” Dollar amounts feel more substantial (and tangible) than percentages and look more attractive when you’re selling a pricey item.
- Free gift with purchase: Free gifts are a popular option with luxury brands. Skip discounting altogether but still offer something that gets customers excited. For example, if you're selling an expensive couch, throw in a low-cost item like an end table as a free gift.
- A chance to win a discount: Everybody who signs up is entered and you announce a winner periodically.
- Custom content with educational value, rather than dollar value: A product recommendation or downloadable PDF. This is a great option if discounting doesn’t fit your brand, but your product is more difficult to understand.
Consider testing two of these at a time until you find a winner that works best for your long-term acquisition strategy.
Four pricing psychology tactics to increase conversion
Insight from Northern Comfort.
Shoppers don’t perceive prices or buy rationally.
Because of this, seemingly minor pricing tactics can have an outsized impact on conversion.
Take a look at this example:
The product on the right should convert better than the one on the left.
Why? Simple pricing tactics proven through behavioral psychology studies:
- Use a smaller font for the reduced price. It makes the item feel less expensive compared to the original price.
- Place the prices horizontally, not one on top of the other. And show the higher price on the left and the lower price on the right. Since we read left to right, this helps shoppers understand the price reduction.
- Choose prices so that the sales price's right-most digit is lower than regular price's right-most digit. For example, £295 should be reduced to £250, not £249. Because shoppers read numbers to themselves, the lower right-most number makes the whole reduced price seem lower.
- Separate the two prices physically by a distance—don’t include them right next to each other. This separation helps shoppers internalize the difference between the two prices.
While creating pricing pages and ads, consider testing these tactics to see if they increase conversion.
Low-cost way to source assets for your brand
Insight from Pencil.
If you’re building a brand, you need quality assets. Think, photo and video for your site, social channels, ads you might run, and the content you create.
Here’s an effective workaround for brands looking for a fast, inexpensive way to source the top three types of quality creative assets you need using vendors.
- Product shots. Use Soona for a quality virtual shoot. Simply choose what types of shots you’re looking for, provide details, and ship your products. You’ll live chat with your photographer so you can make sure you get the shots you need. And you should have finished assets in about 2 weeks.
- High-quality stock video. Use Social Motion Packs for beautiful video content. You can buy individual content packs or a subscription to their library.
- UGC. Use Billo to source talent. Spec out exactly what type of UGC you want. Creators will apply for your project and you choose those who best fit your brand. Send them products. Approve their content as they submit.
Pencil used this process and sourced loads of quality content for their brand ... at a cost of $343.
Close the referral gap
Insight from Demand Curve.
If you run a referral program, you inevitably have customers who are willing to give a referral but don't actually do it. That's called the referral gap.
It can be a chasm: one study found that 83% of customers were willing to give a referral, and only 29% did.
Here's how you can close the gap and turn more of your customers into an autonomous sales team:
- Use the channel that drives the most last-click revenue for your referral requests. If most of your last-click revenue comes from email, then send your referral request via email (don't try to get customers to share on Twitter). Last-click attribution signals the channel where your customers take decisive action—closing the referral gap requires turning inaction into action.
- Reduce friction by pre-writing any outreach messaging your customers will need. And avoid the sales copy. Write it as if you're prompting your best friend to check out a new product.
- Shorten the process to the bare minimum. In Gusto's program, customers share a referral link through social media or email within two clicks.
- Use heatmaps (like Hotjar) to see how customers engage with your referral program's landing page. Tweak messaging where they're getting stuck, focusing on clarity and program benefits. Give this page as much respect as your other pages.
How to select long-haul influencers
Insight adapted from 2PM.
While most marketers know they should be tapping influencers to sell their products, few know how to find the right influencers for the long-haul.
Here's what to look for:
1. Seek long-term relationships over one-off campaigns: Brands and products that are reinforced over time to an influencer's loyal following lead to deeper affinity. Consider working with influencers who have an interest in becoming a true representative of your brand.
2. Consider prioritizing influencers with high engagement across multiple platforms: This is a sign that their audience is engaged and excited about their content—and that they didn't just fall into meme-based fame on one channel.
3. Most startups should start with micro-influencers over macro-influencers: Influencers with smaller followings are more accessible than their celebrity counterparts. But, more importantly, relatively small followings lead to more trust. Pick creators with smaller follower counts (5,000-25,000), and tailor your message to what that audience trusts the creator to know about.
Keep in mind that influencers can outlast mediums. Ask yourself: If Instagram was to become irrelevant tomorrow, would the creators you're working with still have influence?
How to surprise customers with freebies
Insights from Demand Curve.
People love receiving free rewards from brands.
But don't wait for birthdays—that's when customers receive gifts from lots of other brands.
Try this instead:
- Reach out with a freebie at a random time of the year: Not for a birthday or a holiday. Simply a surprise for being a loyal customer. People will remember your thoughtful, random gift—more than they would if you sent them an email that got buried in their inbox next to 50 other brands' gifts.
- Relate your gift to your core value prop. E.g. Chewy—the pet eCom store—randomly sends customers pet portraits. People want more of what they pay you for. This will lead to more affinity.