Email marketing is the unspoken (but well known) secret to convincing your customer not only to follow through with purchases but also in coming back to your online store! Most companies stop at newsletters, maybe they’ll try a little with their purchase and confirmation emails but they don’t go out of their way to use this medium in increasing conversion. Did you know that 44% of email recipients made a purchase based on a promotional email alone?
There are five different types of emails that can help your business gain more valuable customers, from thought out confirmation emails all the way to recommendation mails, there are simple steps you can take to make the best of email marketing.
The first step to understanding the five ways which you can create great emails for your customers is personalization. Create a bridge between you and your customer by adding their name (which makes them more likely to open an email), making product recommendations based on their purchase history. That bridge (which you can about more in a great text about personalization by GetResponse) is what will help your 5 ways to email flourish.
1. Order Confirmation
Of course you can just send an email that tells your customer what they purchased, how much they paid and say “thanks for purchasing at … “, but is text enough? Definitely not. Now the following example might be kind of generic, overused, and obvious BUT it’s a great example of an order confirmation email, Apple confirmation emails.
What Apple does is send you a small table with your billing information, date of purchase, item name (which is also linked up so you can check it out online) and price, and card/Apple ID which it was purchased with. Not only do you know what you purchased, but Apple also links up ID summary and purchase history at the bottom of the email to help you comb through what you have gotten in the past.
Why is simplicity the best? Well, because a lot of emails are actually blocked and pictures don’t show up right away. It’s also easier to send mostly text based emails so that customers know right away that their purchase was confirmed and have a receipt in their inbox. If you want to get more creative and want to get even more customers you can send discount coupons to your first time customers, or maybe a coupon with the 5th purchase to encourage customers to visit and shop in your store again.
2. Shipping Confirmation
This is pretty much a given, but not many stores do this mail in its full potential. Why? Well because customers get an email with information that their item has been shipped and what item number it was. Which is fine, but why not add more? Here is a list of what a good confirmation email should include:
- Shipping address
- The exact day when the purchase was made and the date it was shipped
- Estimated shipping period
- Contact info in case the purchase doesn’t arrive
- A personalized message, e.g. “Thanks for shopping at OnlineShop Mr. Smith!” followed by a list of items your customer might like
Why is the last item highlighted? Simply because its the most important in making sure your customer returns. A great deal of customers waits not for the order confirmation but the shipping confirmation email because it will tell them if and when they can expect their purchase, which means they are more likely to read it thoroughly. This reason alone is a great one to add some recommendations, if a customer sees some great products at the bottom of their page with things similar to what they have purchased they are very likely to click and surf though your website once again, possibly even making another purchase!
3. Shopping Cart
I don’t mean tell your customers they own one, tell them they have something inside one! Customers tend to place various items in their shopping cart, buy one maybe two, and forget about the rest. However, you can send a simple email reminding them that they have an item waiting to be purchased! The simple ‘you left something in your cart” mail can do wonders because customers are most likely to go on your website, see what they have there and even if they don’t buy it the can start browsing for other items. This seems like a win-win scenario! Shopify wrote about 13 awesome examples of shopping cart forgotten items mails. All it takes is a “my cart” button, some colorful graphics and there you go!
4. Customer Feedback
A great way to know how you’re doing, what you could change, what customers think, and how your business looks in the eyes of those who matter the most – create a survey! Your customers are a diamond mine equivalent of information sources. There is however, a good and a not so good way of getting that precious info. Best practice when it comes to surveying is doing so at the right time and in the right place, what does this mean?
- Don’t send random emails with a survey. Customers are not likely to notice or care. What you can do is send a survey a week or two after they purchased an item (it would be best to make sure you email your customers when they already have the said purchase in their hands) and simply ask “What do you think of your last item purchase?”Every purchase is a great opportunity to ask what your customer thinks.
- Keep they survey on your website. Although it is tempting to just create a free online survey on a third party website and send those out, it is better to take the time to create a good looking questionnaire on your site. Why? Because you get more website visits and your customer is likely to stay after the survey to check out other items, this is an opportunity to get a valuable visit.
eBay and Amazon have a great way of getting more customers, both send out recommendations based on previous purchases:
This is good way of not only personalizing an email but also getting more customers to visit and possibly make a purchase on your website. What’s more you can get those suggested items to be even better by placing a simple survey, which is something eBay does:
Email marketing summary
There are various ways of getting more customers to your online store, that’s why it is important to look into your stores email marketing strategies. In the midst of getting your customer involved through surveys, creating a bridge with personalization, and increasing conversion by sending though out emails, there is also the newsletter. The most universally known email known to man kind. It is the mother to all the confirmations, recommendations and surveys out there.
Never forget to inform your customers of sales, changes, or new things happening in your store! Every business can use newsletters as a great way let customers know what you’re doing to make their experience even better. Link out, add pictures, create a simple and informative text to accompany your news. Don’t overload your newsletters with content, let your customer read the summary and check out your website to find out even more!
Take those five ways to get more valuable customers and find out for yourself what your customers expect and what works for your business. As always, hit us up in the comments section below or on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and share your thoughts with us!
Cover Photo Credit: Marco Tedaldi