Do you love ’em and leave ’em online?

Imagine this…

You’ve finally gotten a date with the girl (or guy) of your dreams. He or she wines you, dines you and treats you like royalty. You’re enamored. You’re blown away. You’re willing to do anything to keep the good vibrations going.

Then, the relationship reaches the … um … conversion phase. You’re on cloud nine …

… until the person never calls you again.

If you’ve had this happen to you, you know how it feels. You go from telling your friends that you’re majorly “in like” with the person to disclosing, “Yeah, now I feel like an idiot. They dropped me as soon as they got what they wanted. I knew it was too good to be true.”

This scenario happens online all the time. 

In fact, it’s true confession time. This recently happened to me.

I just ordered a Vitamix online. This is no blender. This is a freakin’ blending powerhouse. I had received their emails, read their sales copy and let them seduce me with their bad-ass blending stories.

I held out for months, but I finally gave in. I pulled the trigger on a highly expensive blender purchase.

And ::poof:: like that, it was like I never existed. Days later, I have no idea if my product shipped. There’s been no communication. And now I’m thinking, “Wow, the least they could do is send me a ‘we’re working on your shipment’ note.”

After calling the company, I learned that it could take 8 to 15 days before they ship the product. This would have been nice to know prior to pulling the trigger.

I actually regretted the purchase. I went from “Yay, a Vitamix” to “Wow, what a pain.”

Sadly, this “love ’em and leave ’em” scenario is pretty common online. For instance:

– Companies that offer huge discounts to acquire customers – yet they don’t extend comparable discounts to existing clients (Ahem, Comcast.)

– Companies that take days (sometimes weeks) to respond to a customer’s questions via email (I’m looking at you, Citibank.)

– Companies that put you through phone tree hell and shift you around to different representatives before you get a real answer (Hello, CenturyLink.)

The common denominator? Things are all hunky dory until you convert. Once you’re a current customer, there’s no sense of urgency.

Although I’m naming larger companies, I’ve seen the “small guys” do this, too. It’s typically not done out of maliciousness or spite.

They are just so busy focusing on customer acquisition that they forget to take care of their current clients.

Fortunately, there are some ways to shift this thinking. And smart copywriting can help!

– Send a note to your clients a couple weeks after their purchase. Ask if they have any questions or if there’s a way you can help (and yes, this can be automated.)

– Did you get an email? Follow-up that business day (or the next business day.) Don’t leave people hanging and wondering, “Did they get my message?” A quick note saying, “I’ll get back to you shortly” makes all the difference.

– Offer cool discounts or incentives to current good customers. There is nothing that makes someone happier than an unexpected gift. Treat them well.

– Send current clients a note expressing how grateful you are for their business. Because you ARE grateful. If it wasn’t for your existing client base, you wouldn’t be able to pay your staff, keep the lights on or draw a salary.

– Did you mess up? It happens. Own it and write a personal note to your clients. They’ll appreciate the effort.

The more you take care of your current clients, the more they’ll purchase from you in the long term. Plus, they’ll say wonderful things about you (rather than writing snarky blog posts/tweets about your “customer service.”) :)

After all, wouldn’t you rather have a long-term online relationship than an unsatisfying one-night stand?

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6 replies
  1. Kevin Carlton says:

    Heather, I find it a real chore continually having to keep clients in the loop when you’ve got so many other things to do.

    But you have to. You absolutely have to – because you need to think about their needs too.

    And, yep, I always think it’s best to own up if you mess up. Tell ’em straight and things almost invariably work out better for both parties.

  2. Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

    @Kevin – I understand your pain. I really do.

    Something to consider is hiring an assistant who can provide those pesky updates. You can call your assistant a “client coordinator,” or “project manager” – and tell your clients that they will be receiving updates from that person.

    It would take 15 minutes a couple times a week to do a brain dump with him/her. Then, they can send out emails and keep your clients happy.

    Just a thought. :)

  3. Kevin Carlton says:


    Oh how I could’ve done with an assistant this week!

    The main problem I’ve got, though, is giving up some of the control to someone else.

    I always feel that if you want a job doing properly you have to do it yourself.

    And don’t forget, my copywriting business is still fairly new. So, as you can imagine, I still still tend to hang on to most of the income my business gets.

    Your suggestion is nevertheless a good one. And it’s stuck in my mind ever since you made it.

    However, it’ll still be tough letting go.

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      Let go. Really. Do it. You’ll make more money if you do.

      Granted, it may take some time to find that perfect person. But once you do, you’ll never go back (and wonder how you did everything yourself.)

      Do it. Hire someone. Now. :)


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