7 Ways You Can Connect With Your Customers Via Email
If you read the latest blogs and ecommerce industry articles, you would think that with just social media and mobile commerce, you could conquer the world when it comes to selling products and services online. Although social media and m-commerce are all the rage right now, email is still king when it comes to getting people to purchase items from your online store.
Here are 7 ways to engage your customers via email:
1. Email receipt after purchasing
This is often your first direct correspondence with a customer. The email receipt is much more than a formality. It’s a great way to introduce your customer service department, clearly display your contact information, as well as provide the customer with a way to track their order.
Make sure this email is clear, easy to read, and contains only that information that is related to their order, tracking their order, modifying their order, etc…
2. Email when an item ships or the status of the order changes
This will usually be your second direct correspondence with the customer. The email should be to the point, contain the necessary information about the status of the order, when they can expect it, and link to the web tracking system.
You can include a bit of promotion or specials near the bottom of the email, but you want this correspondence to be short and sweet. The customer is looking for the details about their order, so make it ultra-simple to find them.
3. Email asking the customer to review the product(s) they purchased
Assuming you do offer customer reviews of products (and if you don’t, you should start ASAP), sending a follow-up email asking the client to leave a review of the products they ordered is a great way to engage your customer base, and boost your SEO and product information on your website. A few do’s and dont’s:
- DO include a direct link to the product review for each product they purchased.
- DO make it easy for the customer to see which products they ordered.
- DON’T send this email too early or too late. What’s the best time? Read this previous post for more details.
- DON’T be shy to ask them to submit a review. The worst they can do is not leave a review.
- DO thank them for their time and consideration if they choose to submit a review.
4. Sign-up for email newsletter
Having an email newsletter is a close second to having a website. This newsletter must respect the privacy of your customers. You must also make it easy for them to sign-up. This means including a checkbox (not checked by default) on your checkout page where the customer can opt-in to receive your emails.
*** Important *** Here is where many ecommerce merchants get this wrong. The checkbox on checkout often says something along the lines of…
Join our list
Subscribe to the newsletter
Add me to your mailing list
Those generic statements don’t make me want to sign-up.
Be specific with what the list entails, as well as a few benefits. Some simple examples:
- Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to receive the latest promotions and just released products!
- Join our e-club and get the first look at our newest gadgets and gifts!
- Join our customer appreciation list and receive coupons with savings over $200!
Don’t forget to have a convenient sign-up form on your website. Only ask for the bare minimum, and don’t make it too hard to sign-up with crazy image captcha pictures they have to type in. I’d recommend making it opt-in confirmed – that is, they have to click a confirm link in an email to finalize their subscription.
5. Email subscription option on your blog
I won’t go into all the reasons you need to have a blog for your ecommerce website. I’ll just assume you have one. Make sure you make it simple for someone to subscribe to your blog via email. Many people do not know what an “RSS feed” is, but they do know what email is.
Offer a sign-up box on every page of your blog so a reader can receive an email each time a new post is made. This empowers your blog to be front and center for your customers when it’s updated.
Oh, and do not forget to offer your newsletter sign-up as well. It goes hand-in-hand with your blog.
6. Facebook page (sneaky social media / email combo)
I know I said email was king, but that does not mean ignore social media altogether. The great thing about Facebook is comments and requests generate *an email* to the facebook user. It’s often these emails from Facebook that get people to log into Facebook in the first place!
So setup your company Facebook page, advertise it on your site, in your emails, etc… and keep the page updated. If a customer leaves a comment, respond/reply and you’ll grab their undivided “email” attention in no time.
7. Twitter (ooooh, another social media tie-in)
Just as with Facebook, Twitter is a great way to tie-in email and social media. Your customer follows you on Twitter. When you follow them back, *bang*, they receive an email letting them know this. It gets you in front of their eyes and on their mind when they check email.
Have something that is actually important and relevant to a customer? You can send them a direct message via Twitter that will generate an email. Don’t abuse this service, as a direct message can be viewed as intrusive, especially if you send them frequently.
Those are just a few ways you can interact with your customers via email. What else would YOU add to the list?