Tag Archives: email marketing

How To Maximize Your Sales With Confirmation Pages and Emails

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. If a customer is not yet on your email subscriber list, include a link so that they can opt in.
  7. 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:
  8. 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.
  9. Share useful content in your confirmation pertaining to the purchase.  Add a call to action like, “Get Started,” “See How,” or “Learn More.”
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

 

3 Ways to Connect with Your List

Your email list is the most valuable part of your online business, and the connection that you make with your list is what determines how valuable your list is to you.  But how do you build relationships with those who have joined your list?

The problem we have to overcome is that world we live in is inundated with an overwhelming amount of advertising messages. Just by taking a walk down to your nearest coffee place, you’ll be greeted with adverts at the bus shelter, promotional signs displayed in shop windows, and don’t forget the ads on your cell phone when you’re browsing web content or using apps.

Too many businesses are competing for a share of your time and attention, and your prospects and customers are not different.  Emails can become just one more part of the avalanche of messages that descends on our subscribers.  The cold truth is that most potential customers do not listen to us if we fail to get their attention in a meaningful way.

There are a number of ways to break through the avalanche and ride above it.  Here are three of the most powerful ways:

1. Be useful or be amazing

Say you’re in business selling pencils. Well, pencils are useful so it shouldn’t be too hard to reach out to your target audience, right? But consider pens, markers and other pencil sellers that make up your  competition.

How are you going to make your pencils stand out among all those other businesses? The key is making a strong connection with your potential customers so that you are the one that they prefer to deal with.   Good branding means that you are front of mind when someone is looking for what you’re selling.

Good branding comes from good products coupled to good marketing.  Take for example, soft drinks.  What comes to mind when I ask what would you like to drink?  Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper?  There’s a fancy marketing term for this – it’s called an “evoked set.”

What it means is the group of brands in a product category that consumers remember at the time when making a purchase.  Being in an evoked set is crucial to building brand loyalty in the long run.  When your products are useful or amazing, or both, and your marketing matches the quality of your products, your email list will be your best asset for finding buyers.

2. Take Time to Connect

The best step to take to connect with your potential customers is to build your relationship with them through regularly offering them valuable content.

These days, utilizing social media is one of the most powerful ways of communicating and this popular choice can help you make the positive connection that will build your business.

Because of its 24/7 accessibility, plus the reasonable cost factor (free to economical), social media can be a great part of your marketing mix.  I believe that all online businesses should use social media extensively to establish and grow an online presence beyond a basic website. But this requires a consistent investment of time as you build traction initially, and keep that momentum going through regular messages.

3. Lock Your Brand into Front of Mind

To be found online by your best target audience, it’s important that you develop and share content that is popular with members of your target market.  Different demographics exhibit different behaviors and have different interests in your published content – harness this to your advantage by segmenting your traffic and capitalizing on what content is popular with each segment.

We covered some of this by talking about evoked sets above, and as you grow your following, let’s consider how to keep your brand in the minds of your list.  One way is by simply observing what interests them and creating more content around their interests.  This is can be simply done by noting what topics generate the most email opens.  The more that you can help your list by creating valuable content that matches their interests, the more you will become a front of mind brand.

Collecting prospect data to gain insights on how  your products and services are viewed can give you helpful  insights for your marketing efforts. To get this data, you need a way to discover who is visiting your site, how they’re getting there, what they’re interested in, etc. to maximize performance of marketing efforts as well as make the necessary improvements to your products and services.

If you’ve built a WordPress site, much of this information can be gleened by plug-ins like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.  But beware that passive data collection, although fast and convenient, can alienate customers and potential customers.

Passive data collection is when you capture user preferences and usage behavior without involving any consumer interaction, like cookies to capture internet browsing history. For those who regularly review and delete cookies, your passive data collection may not be appreciated.

Fortunately there are other ways to get this information, but unfortunately, your prospects and customers must be willing to cooperate with you by providing it.  You can involve them and provide transparency in your methods to learn more about them by using quizzes, polls and surveys with an email to follow up on the improvements you plan to make in time to come. When your customers feel like they’re being heard and that their opinions matter, you can be sure of their loyalty.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.