As a marketer, your job is to help customers fall in love with your business and become loyal (okay, habitual) buyers. If your product is consumable in any way, you're leaving lots of money—and customer loyalty—on the table if you aren't running replenishment campaigns. Here are five tips to help you get started or improve your current replenishment nurturing.
Time to Reorder
If your product is consumable with a specific time frame for replenishment, create a workflow that sends an email prior to when it will run out, encouraging people to reorder.
This example from Prevagen is sent 10 days before the item purchased is scheduled to run out. They send another email 10 days later.
Your replenishment emails can be built either around the standard purchase cycle for a product, or if you have more advanced systems in place, a customer’s average re-order timeframe. Some companies do a little math on their customers’ buying dates and set up workflows to execute based on how frequently an individual customer actually purchases from them.
This is a fairly advanced tactic and certainly isn’t necessary in order to do effective replenishment marketing, but if you have some good tech people on your team, this might be a good way to kick your nurturing program up a notch.
When to coupon?
Ideally you can start with a simple reminder, and you might want to add a small discount at the time when the supply has run out. If your customer is a big fan and consistent user of your product, simply the reminder that it might not be part of their life if they don’t act now will be enough to motivate them.
Save your deep discounts for 7-10 days after the customer’s supply has theoretically run out. As long as you have a "Goal List" or other mechanism to remove someone from a workflow when they repurchase, you'll be able to provide these progressively deeper discounts, and not lose out by offering your full offer up front nor frustrate a customer who took action only to find out they could've gotten a better deal had they waited.
What Makes a Great Replenishment Email
I work with a number of companies who sell food online. This is one of the most obvious and powerful opportunities for replenishment marketing, because the customer is supposed to eat your product. When it’s time for someone to order more, send them an email that includes the details of what they purchased the last time, especially: product name, product image, URL on your site to reorder, reviews, etc.. Also include related products, in case they want to experiment with other items you carry. The more targeted and personalized this message can be, the better it will perform.
Clothes, shoes, boots, and other apparel are also interesting in terms of replenishment campaigns. Are there items in your product line that are consumable? For instance, running shoes should only be worn for 400 – 500 miles before buying a new pair (for the runners out there). Combat boots should be repurchased every 8 months (for the soldiers out there). If your product itself isn’t consumable, are there parts or accessories that are? Air filters, for instance, need frequent replacing and are a bit of a pain to remember. If you do the reminding, you’re adding value, and that will turn into revenue.
If people have already replenished their supply a few times, chances are good they’re a fan. Encourage them to share the love with someone in their life. They already know that your product or service is amazing, that’s why they keep buying it, so make it easy and desirable for them to share that product with their friends and family. Two effective approaches here would be a “refer a friend” email, or suggest they purchase a product or gift card from you for their friend.
Staying Top of Mind
Sometimes a replenishment period is longer or more unexpected than a typical 60-day workflow. In that case, how are you staying in front of people prior to replenishment time? If you’ve been studying inbound marketing, you’re hopefully doing so with great content and helpful information for your customers. Bake this into your post-purchase nurturing to build the relationship with your customers and be the first one they think of when they need to reorder your product.
In medical circles, whether or not someone is using the treatment or therapy prescribed is known as compliance. While this might sound extra creepy in marketing circles, a similar idea applies.
Are you helping your customer get more benefit from the product they’ve purchased while they should be using it? Have you sent a user guide, helpful blog posts, or invited a customer to your community of users?
The more you invest in customers seeing the benefit from using your product over time, the more natural it will be for them to reorder when that time comes around. Not to mention the fact that if they’re using the product, it will actually be gone (rather than the half-empty bottles of vitamins and other items so many of us have around the house).
What are some of the replinishment campaigns you've used to win repeat buyers and grow LTV? Let us know in the comments!
Originally published Jun 26, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016