E-commerce Link: Batteries With That?
As with order and shipping confirmation e-mails, these informational post-order e-mails are an opportunity for continued merchandising.
- Good quality personalization will allow you to customize these messages according to the actual products purchased. This is vitally important since it ties your follow-up directly to the actual sale.
- You may choose to send e-mail 30, 60 or 90 days after a purchase to offer upgrades, accessories or complementary products. This is, in essence, still part of that one sale, and your messaging should be phrased to reinforce this and to promote customer loyalty.
- Send incentives to return to your site. A limited-time offer may be a good choice since it encourages relatively swift action.
- Most post-order e-mails are text-only. Although there is nothing wrong with this, HTML e-mail gives you new and colorful opportunities for branding, functionality and merchandising.
- Consider investing in an automated post-order e-mail system that will let you send customized messages at specific times. Such messages pertain directly to the customers' activities on your site, and can make each subsequent contact with them far more relevant to their actual interests, stimulating sales and customer satisfaction.
- Be sensitive to your customers' opt-in or opt-out choices. Even though post-order messages like this relate directly to a previous sale, some customers may object to their promotional nature.
- A "back-order" e-mail announces when a back-ordered item is available. It also is your opportunity to promote accessories or discounts that pertain to the product. Include links that take the customer directly to the pages for these cross-sells.
Properly done, merchandising during and after checkout can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Unobtrusive, well-targeted assistance in finding complementary products has always been a hallmark of some of the best businesses. With some careful planning, merchandising in these often-overlooked areas can provide real benefit.