Why marketing should make the user manuals! Shows the stark contrast between pre purchase customer behavior and how customers are treated after the transaction.

Incidentally, that's also one important reason it's so hard to make the sale.

A while back I bought a gift from A site which would make most web designers cringe. The look and coding was straight out of the FrontPage era. However, the package I received had hand-drawn artwork and a personal message from the owner.

Copywriters know this as a "stick letter." And it is part and parcel of providing the kind of post purchase reassurance that turns one-shot sales into returning customers.

When you think about the web, everything is upside down. The splash page puts on a show the products and services can't match. The graphics look great, but image is a kilometer wide and a millimeter deep, straight out of a stock photography cliche.

Improving Substance
Customer remorse is, in part, caused by the end of a courtship period where the customer turns from a profit center into a fulfillment cost.

The sale doesn't end at the transaction ....that's when the sales process begins.

You've been told the most expensive thing to do is make a first sale. Really, the most expensive thing you do is not looking at this sale as setting the customer up for the next sale.

What that means is not treating every customer contact like it's the last. Or ignoring existing customers for new prospects. ...So user manuals and fulfillment packages are a major source of opportunity -- not a cost to be farmed out to the lowest bidder.

Most businesses send out "throwaway newsletters" to just about anyone who can type an email address into a form. Instead offer your customers valuable information ....after they become customers. Google and other online providers have easter eggs, little bonuses for regular users.

Instead of improving the image of how good a service you provide or business you run, try investing in substance. Have the guys who woo the prospective customers start writing the user manuals for the real customers for a change. When yet another client badgers you for a yet another useless splash page, suggest easter eggs instead.

Easter eggs are everything splash pages are not. While splash pages are showing off and in-your-face, easter eggs are hidden -- rewarding the exploration of the user.

If you believe it is important to keep customers and avoid one-shot sales, invest in post purchase reassurance.

Related articles:

Easter Eggs "...can also be seen as a reward for ardent users of a software who obviously take pride in the fact that they know subtle nuances of using the software."

How to Calculate Lifetime Customer Value Everyone knows how expensive it is to lose a customer in some vague way. This article shows you just how expensive not investing in ongoing customer relationships is.