At the Gadgetplex we recently ordered some awesome new monitors, and following our purchase received the below email:
What product are you actually sending me? Where are you sending it to? When will I have my order? How can I track my order?
Ok, let’s pretend that the order confirmation email has already been sent, and now we’re looking to do some after sale follow up, so let’s analyse the above email from that perspective.
You will notice that the email requests for the customer to leave a review on a 3rd party site, trustpilot.co.uk. This is just one of numerous sites which Google looks at in Google Shopping for trusted review data, and they are capitalising on that for enhanced visibility.
Why the hell should I leave a review? I mean, what’s in it for me?
This email doesn’t answer those questions, but it did spark my interest to pull together a blog post looking at ways we can improve emails like this, to not only encourage repeat sales but improve effectiveness of our marketing strategy as well.
As we touched on 3rd party review sites, we’ll start with this…
How can I generate more reviews on trusted review sites?
Here is a quick list of some of the main review sites which are being attributed to Google Shopping:
- Ciao UK
- Kelkoo UK
- Trust Pilot
- Google Checkout Reviews
When contacting customers, rotate the requested review destination to heighten visibility across these key platforms.
Ok, so what can we do to encourage these reviews? Think of the rewards:
- Discount code
- Entry to a competition to win X
- Complimentary gift/freebie
- Free delivery on next order
- Redeemable points
- Exclusive deals
Encouraging customer engagement
So where can we hook up with our customers online?
Inviting them to connect on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ in the email is such a simple addition yet there are still so many situations (like the above example) that ignore this opportunity altogether.
Why should they join? More exclusive deals, competitions, freebies as well as news on the latest products and offerings – shout about it in the email!
This is more likely to be seen as part of the check-out process but there is certainly no harm in offering other products that may be of interest in a follow up email.
Or if your site has integrated with Facebook, why not show products that have either been purchased/liked by their friends.
Introduce a friend
Referrals from friends can be very powerful, so why not give a greater reason for customers to introduce their friends.
Perhaps this could be in the form of a Tweet, Facebook Share, G+ post etc and the customer could receive X% off their next order. Why not take it even further and friends who sign up via a ‘discount url’ promoted by their friend can receive X% off of their first purchase:
“I just bought an X at @[site] – now you can get 10% off your first order [discount url]”
What data are you collecting from your customers that you can potentially use to personalise these very template-y emails? How can you use this data to pull at the heart strings of customers, enticing them to come back to the site or spread the word?
Some typical data collected:
- Date of birth
- Purchase history – therefore an insight into the interests of the customer
- Type of customer – did they purchase cheaper or more expensive products
- Wish lists/Saved lists
Based on this data we can transform emails to be much more personal, but ok this has been mentioned before right, so what else can we do?
Has your site integrated with Facebook Connect? Here is some data that we can get by using Facebook:
- Birthdays for friends and family, anniversary, engagement etc.
- See which products friends have commented on/reviewed/liked/added to wish list
- Which products on the site have been purchased by friends/family
- Your interests – music, movies, television, sports, books, games etc.
- Facebook pages, brands etc liked by the customer
There are naturally going to be some privacy concerns, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend displaying products which X friend has purchased, unless they have given consent to do so. But that doesn’t mean you cannot use the data here to power personalisation of emails!
Reminders and related offers
“Hey, your brother’s birthday is coming up in 2 weeks! But don’t panic, we’ve pulled together a selection of gifts just for the occasion…”
Personalised wish list
You know which products they have purchased on the website, and you now know what their interests are based on Facebook; put the products in front of them in the form of a ‘dream wish list’.
You know what their friends have purchased on the website, and based on the theory of sharing similar tastes with friends, put those products in front of the customer (without disclosing who purchased what unless consent is given).
If you have written a blog post or produced something that coincides with their interests – share it here!
What your friends think…
We all rely on reviews, so when they are enhanced to show exactly what your friends/family think of a specific product, the persuasive influence becomes even stronger.
Now the power of Facebook is naturally limited to the size of the active community on your site, and some parts are more applicable than others, but hopefully this gives an insight into ways of using data to add more personalisation.
My take on what this email could look like
Taking all of the above points in to consideration, here’s a mock up of how we can incorporate the above features. Please note that this is not an email template, this mock up is purely for illustration of the above features only.
[Please click on image to zoom in and read annotations]