Everyone has their marketing pet peeve. Mine is companies that reward new customers acquisition instead of repeat buyers.

And it happens All. The. Time.

Just the other night, I ordered food from a delivery company I hadn’t used before. Yep, this new COVID world needed a little variety. As a first-time customer, I got the delivery for free – nice!

After the order was placed – and before the food even arrived – a message from the company. I was “gifted” the opportunity to refer them to my friends so they, too, could enjoy a bonus with their first order.

At that moment I wanted to bang my head against the wall in sheer frustration.

Oh, my dear food delivery company. Let me say, with the utmost sincerity and caring, OMG, FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, STOP!

Let’s review.

How You Engage With New Customers Sets The Tone For The Future

The company got a new customer to use their service for the first time. Right there, that’s a win. New customer acquisition is hard.

To help ease that first purchase, they gave the new customer a small incentive to try and buy. Great.

Then, the immediate next step was to ask the new customer to shill their services???

Referrals have value. The company had, literally, not even delivered the food yet! And they’re asking me to do their new customer acquisition work? Not. OK.

And that’s why it’s my marketing pet peeve.

The company hadn’t earned the right to ask me to spend my referral capital on them.

They were thinking with their short-term sales hat on when they should have been building the foundation for a long-term customer relationship.

Getting A New Customer Is An Opportunity To Inspire Loyalty

When you get a new customer, show them you value their purchase.

Give, don’t take.

In fact, after receiving an email confirming my delivery (with a photo of the food on my doorstep, nice touch – points to you) I got…nothing.

  • Follow up to ask how it went? Nope.
  • A “hey, here’s some information that will help you love us even more in the future” note? Nada.
  • Incentive to use the services again? None.

Let’s say the company donates to offset their delivery drivers’ carbon footprints – that could have been enough to make me choose them in the future.

What would that have cost them? Nothing!

What a lost moment!

They could have spent nothing and created value. Instead, they did nothing, and I have no reason to buy again. Even a small incentive for a future purchase might have been a good investment to inspire me toward action.

Why incentivize a second purchase?

Getting to the second purchase is an important hurdle. It’s such an important hurdle that companies should really consider the second purchase part of the customer acquisition process.

Here’s why: Only 20% of first-time buyers will ever make a second purchase.

That’s some gold right there, and worth repeating:

Only 20% of First-Time Buyers Will Ever Make a Second Purchase

You can’t get to lucrative, long-term customers without a second purchase.

The fact that it’s my marketing pet peeve may not motivate you (fair enough) but here’s why you should care about the actions of this food delivery company:

Learn from their mistakes. Here’s what NOT to do:

  • Let new customers fall into a communication black hole after buying.
  • Ask new customers to spend their referral capital on you without earning it.

Instead, look for opportunities to inspire new customers to make their second purchase by showing you appreciate them.

  • Follow up in a way that authentically demonstrates that you’re paying attention to your customers.
  • Send them information that invites them into a relationship with you by sharing something a loyal customer would genuinely care about.
  • Offer a small incentive to buy again.

Consider how you currently engage when customers buy for the first time, and determine the value of a long-term customer vs. a one-time buyer. Not sure?

First, discover what gets in the way of growth. A quick conversation with our team at Alignmint will decode your best next steps to inspire customers to make their second purchase.

Schedule some time to talk



NOTE: The company I used is not the one shown in the picture.