The Four Part Online Marketing Strategy: Part 3 – Resell

The Four Part Online Marketing Strategy: Part 3 – Resell

It happens all the time. A customer finds a business online, buys their product, likes it, and never buys from them again. It’s not because they didn’t like the brand and it’s not because they were unsatisfied. It happens because consumers are busy, and brands are a peripheral part of their life. Without a reminder or a reason to come back, most consumers will forget all about most brands they encounter. Resell is all about combating this problem by becoming a memorable part of your customer’s life.

Giving Consumers a Reason to Be Sold to

Everywhere we go we’re asked for our email address, our phone number, and our personal preferences. Grocery stores ask us to join their discount program and eCommerce sites ask us to sign up for “great deals and updates.” Most of us are tired of hearing it, and your target audience isn’t an exception.

The first obstacle to an effective resell strategy is the simple fact that consumers fear inbox spam and telemarketers. Since additional sales are the only way to increase a customer’s lifetime value, this can be tremendously frustrating for small businesses, and it may encourage them to become even more pushy with the few customers who do sign up for more information. This almost inevitably backfires.

There is very little you can do at the point of sale to convince a customer that it’s worth signing up to hear more from you. Most of your success at customer retention is going to come from the way consumers perceive you before the sale, as well as the way you treat them afterward.

Building Trust

Customers need a reason to trust you before they’ll be willing to hand over their contact information. Trust doesn’t come from promises or incentives, it comes from actions. There are two reasons a customer would trust you enough to sign up:

  1. Your actions have demonstrated an understanding that their time is valuable
  2. They have heard from somebody they trust that you are trustworthy

Here are a few of the kinds of actions that will help build this kind of trust:

  1. Producing high quality blog posts that exist primarily to offer value or entertain, not to make a direct sale.
  2. Being fun and helpful in public internet conversations on your blog and in social networks.
  3. Treating online complaints and criticisms with respect without getting defensive

These actions speak much louder than your words and give consumers a reason to believe that you won’t abuse their willingness to share contact information with you.

Keeping Trust

It doesn’t matter how great or genuine your latest price cut is: most consumers will see it as inbox spam. If the first thing you do to a recent sign-up is let them know about your new product or great deal, most of them are going to unsubscribe or, worse, mark you as spam. If too many of them mark you as spam, spam filters will eventually start blocking your messages even from consumers who want to hear from you.

To retain your customers, you need to keep their trust. It’s more important for your brand to stay on their mind than it is for them to make a purchase with every email. Keep that in mind with every email blast.

Approach your newsletter the same way you approach your blog (if, indeed, they aren’t one and the same):

  • Every email should be valuable to the recipient even if they don’t make a purchase
  • Consumers should always have the option to unsubscribe (this is always better than marking you as spam)
  • Don’t overwhelm subscribers with too many emails, even if every one of them is valuable
  • Segment your email lists so that consumers only receive relevant emails


Just because you’re building trust and trying to keep it, that’s no excuse to ignore conversion rate optimization. You need to test your emails and track results in order improve results. Split test your emails to see which ones get more conversions, lead to more referrals, and get opened more often.

Monitor how different segments of your list respond. Some segments may be more forgiving of sales messages than others. Customers who have never opened one of your emails will obviously be looking for a different kind of message than those who have.

Here are just a few metrics to track (this list isn’t even close to extensive):

  • Open rate
  • Number of opens
  • Conversions per open
  • Churn rate
  • Spam complaints (should be less than 1/1000)
  • New subscriber rate
  • Users who have opened more than 2 emails
  • Any of these figures in relation to time of day or week
  • Long term trends in any of these figures

Remember to test and track everything you can side by side in order to learn as much as possible about your audience and your strategy.

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