Are you creating an afterglow affect?

I recently made a very simple purchase on Amazon. I needed a car charger. It was a $12 purchase. It was an uncomplicated purchase. I tested it when it arrived. It worked. I was satisfied with the “value” of my purchase (listen to my recent “podcast” to learn more about value.) and promptly moved on to my other tasks.

The very next day, I got an email from the company. It was sent via Amazon Marketplace. Not only did they want to assure me that they had a very good product with very high ratings that they were sure would perform well for me, they also included a Free Gift. They added a PDF with “9 Fuel Saving Tips”.

The lack of english proficiency affected the usefulness of the PDF, but it was the thought that counted. I thought well of them for their desire to adorn my purchase with a thoughtful outreach and tips on how to drive to save money.

The same email included letting me know that they stand behind their product and if anything goes wrong, please contact them before posting complaints on Amazon.

If you have any remarks on the quality of our product, please write to us with exactly what is wrong, by answering this email.

We will solve this issue to your satisfaction. If the product is damaged or does not match your expectations, we will return your money in full or send a new product for free.

And then they included a link to the comment area. They encourage me to to give feedback on my purchase on Amazon.

All that for a $12.00 purchase.

Yes, of course, it was a “automated response”, but it was specific to my purchase. And, since they didn’t need to send me anything, it was received as a very nice gesture on their part and probably has helped them avoid negative feed-back on Amazon. It’s a solid strategy and a win/win action plan.

What is your “after purchase” opportunity?

I must admit that I have been a less-than-diligent practitioner of the principles I am highlighting here. I could do SO much more. And I would estimate that I have lost many, many dozens of sales by not following up properly.

For example, for those reading this who own my E’s of Selling Art System Guidebook, you have had little to no further contact from me. I had great plans for each of you when I released the system. But when I had many dozens of sales in just a few days, I got overwhelmed and put off my marketing plans. Always telling myself, I would get around to sending an email and then…. Well, you know the drill.

I (in theory) know what I “should” be doing. However, my purpose here is to inspire each of you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have the “right stuff” on your website to create a sense of safe, secure, and easy purchasing? (If you need a Free Shopping Cart, this is the best-of-the-best at any price and already yours to use if you already use SquareUp. Oh! And that link will save you (and me) money with no fees for your first $1000!)
  • What policies do you have in place to give assurance of your desire for them to have a great experience?
  • What is your “satisfaction” guarantee?
  • After an order is placed, what can you do to create a sense of a caring relationship and add confidence to the buyer’s choice?
  • After the shipment arrives, what can you do to create a sense of satisfaction and show that you are grateful and eager to make them happy?

Bottom line: What can you do to show you care about what is important to them at every step in the process?

Are you doing something already?

One client of mine always includes a dog (or cat) treat as an immediate thank-you when she starts a commission. Another creates a “coffee table” book with photos and stories about her art. She sends it as a separate shipment as a surprise. Her starting price point is over $1500 per original work, so the cost of the book is a minimal expense.

The book is already created and in a template ready to order. She simply adds the photo of the purchased piece to the cover of the book. People love the book and she has had sales from house guests who saw the book and her original paintings.

Please take a few minutes to share your current strategies for creating great relationships with your collectors in the comments. What kinds of things do you do? Or what might you imagine you could do that would make the difference and hold you in high esteem with your collectors.

Together we can create truly remarkable relationships.


  1. Rebecca Vincent

    Hi Mckenna,
    These are interesting questions and over recent years I’ve been trying to improve my game on this front. If someone pays you money over the internet, sometimes a large amount of money then they are putting a lot of trust in you and you mustn’t let them down. If they don’t here from you promptly then they are going to worry and possibly get cross. At the other end of the spectrum, if you make them feel special then they will want to come back to you.

    I have a kind of work flow for an order but I must confess that I occasionally drop the ball at busy times. I’m aware that larger companies automate all of this but I’m doing a mixture of personal and automated:

    1. The order is received and an automated confirmation email is sent.
    2. I send a personal email letting the customer know when I’ll be able to dispatch and when they should expect it.
    3. When I dispatch, they receive an automated tracking email from the courier but I also send another personal message to confirm delivery dates.
    4. About 10 days after the initial order date, an automated message is sent asking if everything is to their satisfaction and asking if they would like to join my email list. I don’t automatically add them as I think this breaks data laws in the UK. This last one is a recent innovation and I’m pleased to see some email replies coming through. How do you handle this Mckenna?
    5. Sometimes the customer contacts me themselves to say thank you and tell me about where they’ve hung the picture – maybe even a picture. It’s important to reply warmly and promptly when they’ve made the effort to get in touch in this way.
    6. I’m currently working on certificates of authenticity to enclose with each picture. It seems like a lot of extra work but some customers expect to see one or would be pleased even if they didn’t expect it.

    I’ve seen other artists sending hand-written notes and cards. One does a unique pen drawing on the outside of the parcel which is lovely! But I don’t have time!!

    • McKenna

      This is what I am talking about! Excellent checklist for anyone to follow. I particularly like #3. In your price range, this is very important to do. Certificates are another important element, but as they are often “expected”, that would not be a surprise as you point out.

      As for the separate comment about data laws in the UK, I haven’t a clue, but you should call Constant Contact. When the rules changed in Canada, they had a team of lawyers for a year before (and several months after) the new rules were effective to help answer compliance questions. With the new EU data laws – the GDPR – I would imagine there are issues? But call CTCT to get their advice.

    • Rebecca Vincent

      Thanks for that. Businesses and organisations including artists are freaking out about the GDPR which comes into effect end May. Some are “cleansing” their list by sending out opt in emails and letters. Given that most people won’t even read or notice these it seems like marketing suicide. I’m so glad that you have emphasized getting clear permission from people to email them. Under the new law you must have clear, unambiguous permission by the contact taking positive action to opt in. Anyway that’s not really what your post is about but I will check with CC. They did publish a brief article about it but I’ll look again and make my own enquiry.

    • McKenna

      Everyone who has clients in Europe/the EU, not just the UK should take a hard look at the new rules. Your practice of sending a thank-you and asking them to sign up is a good one. I will be doing further research and will likely post on this soon.

  2. Fiona Purdy

    Mckenna – this topic is so important! I am always so appreciative that someone thinks so much of my work that they have chosen me to paint their beloved dog, cat or horse and are willing to spend their hard earned cash on my portraits, especially when there are so many other talented artists out there. So of course I want to thank them in a special way.

    In addition to sending a beautiful thank you card, I always print out a small version of the photo that I worked from – and put it in a small frame that they can then display anywhere in the home. The frames are only $3 -$5 each – but you can get some really beautiful little tabletop frames for that price. My clients love it and are so touched that I do that.

    Another way I make my clients feel special is that right after I finish the portrait of their pet I feature it on the homepage of my website – and in my email newsletters and on my social media posts.

    I then contact them to let them know to check it out. They are always thrilled, excited and proud to see their pet featured. (of course I do not use my client’s name, just the pet’s). This costs nothing but it is huge deal to the owners.

    I believe that because I do this, a large percentage of all my clients commission me again and again and of course they are really excited & happy to refer me to their family & friends! It’s all about making the client feel special. It’s the personal little touches that truly matter!

    • McKenna

      As usual… YOU take your business very seriously, too, Fiona. Love your “surprise”!

  3. Fiona Purdy

    Oh my goodness – I forgot to mention my biggest “surprise”!

    For all of my clients that commission a very large acrylic on canvas portrait – $1,800 and up, I give them 20 notecards on beautiful art paper printed with the portrait I painted of their pet. On the back I have the name of the pet and my contact information ! My clients REALLY love this – and they always order more from me in the future! For such a small amount of money ($25) & my time, I see huge paybacks in good will, advertising and money from future pet portraits and notecards!

    • McKenna

      YEP! You are rockin’ it! These are “advertising” expenses. Better money spent there, then a FB ad, right!

  4. Fiona


  5. Diane S Appler

    Follow up is important. 10% of my clients are repeat clients and the number is going ever higher. Every original art purchaser has agreed to be on my mailing list, and very few unsubscribe. Some buy the art and take it home with them, many ask for it to be shipped since I live in Hawaii and people are on vacation– here is my list:
    1. Email thank you and Tracking number and when it is shipping
    2. Certificate of Authenticity
    3. Follow up after delivery – ensure delight, ensure no shipping issues, ask for a photo of it in the home, I post them on my website and in my newsletter and sometimes they are the “talk story” in my newsletter the following month.
    4. Enclose some art notecards in the shipment, sometimes I can feature that work, otherwise I send other images.

    • McKenna

      Bravo! This is a great list of excellent customer service. LOVE that you mention getting them on your mailing list! And asking them to send photos of the work in their homes is SO important. You have ticked all the boxes, Diane! Thanks for contributing here.

    • Rebecca Vincent

      That’s a good check list Diane – it’s great when people send photos of the artwork in their own home – they feel good about it, we feel fantastic and it makes great marketing material especially if it comes with some feedback/testimonial.

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