According to digital strategist Aviva Pinchas, “confirmation emails may be the least developed customer touch point.” Most confirmation emails are about exciting as the receipt you’re handed when you buy something at your usual bricks and mortar store, which is not exciting at all. Text-only confirmations are boring and miss one of the best opportunities you have to invite additional purchases.
Experian Marketing Services reports that “transaction-related emails, triggered by customers’ buying behavior, can provide marketers with great opportunity for improving customer service, gaining repeat sales and deepening customer engagement.” Isn’t that what you want for your business? If so, read on.
If you are looking for exceptionally high open and click-through rates, your confirmation emails are where you will find them. According to Experian, open rates for transactional emails, that is those related to purchases, shipping, return, or exchange are incredibly higher than for your typical broadcast emails. Look at these stats from magemail:
Your confirmation email will be read, so why not leverage this opportunity by putting something in it about products and services related to your customer’s purchase? It’s the perfect place for cross-selling, so why not strike while the iron is hot? As with all your marketing, the goal is to make your confirmation emails memorable. Here are 12 tips to get the most bang out of your confirmations.
12 Tips for Maximizing Your Confirmation Pages and Emails
- Don’t forget to say thank you for the order. Do this at the top of the page as Gilt does in the following example.
- Consider where the transaction fits into your sales process. Is it an opt-in to your email list, a registration to a webinar or other event, a request for product information, a sign-up for a trial, or a purchase? Use your confirmation to set the terms of your relationship and clarify expectations. Tailor each confirmation to the specific action that your prospects or customers have taken and the actions that you’d like them to take in the future.
- If the confirmation is following a purchase, make sure that order information, including shipping information, is prominent. This is what your customers are expecting and this is a bad place to disappoint them. Website navigation buttons are also a welcome part of a good confirmation email. Did you notice how Gilt did that in the confirmation page above? The following email example includes all kinds of great information including sidebar product suggestions along with shipping information.
- Experian offers a caution on placing offers in your confirmation emails – the Can-Spam Act in America forbids including the offer in the subject line or in a priority position in the email.
- Make your confirmation page or email highly visual. It shouldn’t look like a receipt from your local hardware store. It should be visually engaging, like the following example.
- If a customer is not yet on your email subscriber list, include a link so that they can opt in.
- Include links to your social media pages. Did you know that 46% of online users rely on social media when making purchase decisions? Social media is another great way to strengthen your connection with your customers. Here’s how Pottery Barn encourages social media engagement AND promotes a sale:
- Getting a new customer can cost as much as seven times more than gaining repeat business from an existing customer. Plus, new customers spend less than half as much as existing customers. Use your confirmation page or email to upsell or downsell. If you are going to use a recommended products sidebar, eCommerce consultant Blue Stout recommends featuring no more than five products. Notice how many products are in Wal-Mart’s sidebar in the next example.
- Share useful content in your confirmation pertaining to the purchase. Add a call to action like, “Get Started,” “See How,” or “Learn More.”
- One of the best ways to encourage repeat business from your customers is to offer a discount. 10% off is a powerful incentive for many buyers. For a limited time offer, a bigger discount coupled with the time pressure can be a strong incentive to buy.
- Reward your customer base with incentives to spread the word about your business, products, and services. Testimonials and referrals are powerful social proof that will help you build your business. The New York Times reports that 65% of new business comes from referrals. Neilson reports that in one survey they conducted, 92% trust referrals from someone they know. Notice how Dollar Shave Club solicits referrals in the following confirmation.
- Product reviews can also be influential in the buying process. Consider this:
Here’s a great example of how to ask for a product review:
Those are my 12 best tips for maximizing the potential of your confirmation pages and emails. What would you add? I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.