"The Secrets of Back-end Marketing"
by Kevin Bramlett
I recently purchased an information course online to learn more about a subject that I was interested in. About two weeks after I ordered it, I received an email from the publisher thanking me for my recent purchase, and stating that he had developed some new information that did not make it into the course, which he was sending me now in the email I was reading so that I would have all of the information available on the subject.
The email proceed to give me even more detailed and useful information about the subject that I was studying, and it offered some new resources for sale that I might be interested in checking out, and a discount as an established customer if I chose to purchase any of them.
What are the 'secret' techniques used in this email, and how are they related to the art of driving what is known as 'back-end sales'? There are several features of this marketing technique that bear closer inspection:
- To begin with, the author of the email recognized an essential truth about marketing information products - the best customers for more information about a subject are the ones who have already demonstrated that they are interested in it enough to have purchased a product in the first place. So he spends at least as much time and energy marketing to his existing client base as he does in seeking new clients altogether. Back-end sales are where many information publishers actually make their profit - the front-end sales are usually loss leaders to bring people into the marketing pipeline.
- The follow-up thank you email serves an additional very important purpose - it works to alleviate 'buyer's remorse'. This is the feeling people get sometimes after buying something impulsively (especially if that something is expensive). The email took a few moments to congratulate me on the wisdom of my purchase, pointed out some key benefits I was no doubt experiencing, and demonstrated once again the cost-effectiveness of the purchase (something that had been done in the first place to make the sale - but which bears repeating).
- The follow-up message offered additional new resources and information. This demonstrates the value of always keeping something in reserve for your customers, then 'giving' it to them for free after the sale - what a powerful way to bind your customers to you! If the original course was worth it, think how much better I feel knowing that I then received even more information for no additional cost!
- Also, the follow-up email focused on 2 or 3 back-end sales items. The author clearly understands the concept of a life-time customer value. I am certainly compelled to make additional purchases since I can see that I always get outstanding value from this particular person.
- Finally, a discount was offered to me as an existing customer. Everyone likes to feel that they are entitled to benefits over and above those given to other people. And in fact the publisher of the information can no doubt afford to have a smaller margin when marketing to a proven list of clients, since his cost per sale will be smaller. Either way, it's a win-win situation, and another excellent example of a powerful way to increase back-end sales.
Remember, when you are looking for an audience to pitch your information product to, look first at buyers of similar products. To some people, this may defy common sense - why would they want my book if they already bought someone else's? But in fact, people with a demonstrated interest in a subject always want as much information as they can get on the subject, and are rarely satisfied with one product! So they are your best bet to achieve success in your marketing campaign.
Use this article in your publication!