Email me, please! (Part I of II)

We all know that email is critical to the online shopping experience and to customer satisfaction. But would you believe that transactional emails are more important to customers than customer service reps who can answer questions? We were surprised, too, but that was the finding of a recent consumer survey.

73% of respondents in a recent survey we did through Return Path’s Authentic Response survey division said that email was “very important” to the experience with an additional 25% rating it as “important.” Only 2% said email confirmation were not important. The other elements we asked consumers to rate included customer service, ability to find products, return policy, free shipping. Of those, only free shipping scored as high as email messages to confirm orders in importance to consumers.

Take advantage of the vital role that transactional messages play in your relationship with your customers. They expect and want these messages. They open and read them. Which means there is an opportunity as well.

Use your shipping notice to remind customers of your upcoming sale or the closest retail location. Be sure your confirmation includes appropriate up selling offers. Send a thank you note after the merchandise is received and include a feedback survey or coupon for the next order of related items. And, be sure that all of these emails carry a distinctive brand voice that furthers your mission to delight customers.

Of course, we must caution you to review the CAN-SPAM regulations around primary purpose. The transaction information must remain the most prominent piece or you risk needing to make these messages compliant with that law.

In Part II, we’ll look at when customers do not want to be emailed.

About the Survey: Return Path’s Authentic Response division fielded a survey of over 900 consumers asking them if they shop through mail order (catalogs or online). Over 600 self-identified as mail order shoppers and then answered a series of questions on that experience.

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