Did you know that transactional emails have the highest open rate of any type of email eCommerce stores send to their customers?
It makes sense when you think about it: People are more willing to read emails that relate to actions they’ve already taken.
That’s especially true for email receipts. Customers open receipts nearly 71 percent of the time.
When a person makes a purchase through your eCommerce store, it means they trust you. They have faith that you’ll uphold your end of the bargain by honestly charging their credit card and shipping their item. By giving your customers a record of the transaction, you strengthen that trust.Email receipts are more than just records. They’re powerful opportunities to grow your sales and your brand. Click To Tweet
But email receipts are more than just records. They’re powerful opportunities to grow your sales and your brand. You just need to employ some clever techniques. Here are some things you can do to make your email receipts work more for you.
1. Thank the customer for their purchase
This one seems obvious, but a lot of brands focus on the details of the transaction and forget to add a human element. After all, your customers are people, not transactions.
Place the words “Thank you” high in the email, in the biggest font. “Thanks for ordering,” “Thank you for your purchase,” “Thanks for being a customer” – all these are fine.
Thanking people takes advantage of the theory of gratitude. It can invoke new relationships, remind people about relationships, and foster those relationships.
Crate & Barrel thanks people in a simple and elegant way.
2. Include social sharing buttons
Have you ever had a family member or friend excitedly show off something they recently bought from a store?
They do that because making a purchase is often exciting. Shopping triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, and they want to share that feeling with others.
With social media, people can replicate that sharing experience when they buy online, but only if you give them the tools.
Add social sharing buttons to your receipts so your customers can brag about their purchases to their friends. This makes your customers feel good and gives you free exposure at no cost.Add social sharing buttons to your receipts so your customers can brag about their purchases to their friends. Click To Tweet
If you really want people to share (perhaps your brand plays well on social media), offer a referral bonus to customers who turn their friends into customers. Customers who have been referred by their friends spend on average 13.4 percent more.
eCommerce referral campaigns can be quite powerful if you offer rewards to referrers. You might give them a discount on their next purchase or a free gift.
Kickstarter isn’t an eCommerce store in the traditional sense, but they aren’t shy about asking you to share after you make a purchase.
3. Ask for immediate feedback
Whenever you buy something in a store or enjoy a meal at a restaurant, you’ll often find instructions on the receipt about filling out a survey in exchange for a discount or some other reward. Brick-and-mortar businesses have been doing this for ages.
This immediate request prompts your customers to give feedback when the experience is fresh in their mind. Whether they liked or disliked part of the shopping trip, they’ll remember it well. All feedback is valuable feedback.
Include a link to a survey from in every receipt email. Ask customers…
- What they enjoyed
- What you can improve
- How they found your store
- What they think about the price
- If they found everything okay
- About the checkout experience
Payment processing platform Square takes the unique approach of asking for feedback before they include the transaction data in their standard receipts.
4. Push your other promotions
Since nearly all of your customers read their receipt emails, this is a good place to mention any of your ongoing promotions or unique selling points.
For example, supermarket chain ASDA mentions its price guarantee program twice in its receipt email. It’s a big part of the value the store provides to its customers.
5. Upsell additional products
Upselling is an important part of maximizing your eCommerce revenue. Amazon, the biggest retailer in the world, reports that 35 percent of their revenue comes through upsells.Upselling is an important part of maximizing your eCommerce revenue. Click To Tweet
(In fact, maximizing upsells should be a serious part of your overall marketing strategy. Read more in our full guide: 10 techniques to increase eCommerce revenue through upsells.)
The best way to get more value from your email receipts is to use them to make more money, so they’re perfect opportunities to upsell the customer on additional products.
Here are a few ways to convince people to buy additional products:
- Show them complementary products (accessories to what they bought, for instance).
- Show them consumable products (for example, paintballs for the paintball gun they bought).
- Give them the option to sign up for a subscription plan.
- Offer free shipping for their order (the one they just purchased) if they reach a dollar threshold.
- Offer additional services, like warranties, installation, support plans, or insurance.
This Wayfair email gives readers a chance to check out some other interesting products. Notice how the products relate to the purchase.
6. Set up analytics tracking on your links
Like every link you give out, it’s important to add tracking to the links in your email receipts so you can monitor their performance. This will reveal what you’re doing right and what isn’t working. You’ll also gain some insight into your customers’ behavior.
Tracking your links is actually quite simple, especially if you’re using Google Analyics. You just have to add UTM parameters to each link. This parameter is an extra code tacked on to the end of a link that gives Google Analytics more information (other analytics tools may have their own tracking parameters, though many also use UTM as a standard).
Buffer has a great guide on UTM parameters: The Complete Guide to UTM Codes: How to Track Every Link and All the Traffic from Social Media.
Instead of setting up your UTM links manually, grab this simple extension: Google Analytics URL Builder.
7. Offer a discount code for future purchase
Studies show that 44 percent of email recipients make purchases based on promotions emails that include coupon codes. Why? Because discounts work.44 percent of email recipients make purchases based on promotions emails that include coupon codes Click To Tweet
By offering a discount code for another purchase, you’re giving your customers a compelling reason to shop at your store the next time they need something you sell. How much of a discount you offer depends on what your customers find valuable. (Consult your buyer personas.)
8. Add answers to customer questions
Like most eCommerce stores, you probably deal with a volume of customer support calls and emails every day. Many of those support conversations wouldn’t happen if your customers knew where to find that information on your site.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce that burden (and expense)?
Since you know your customers will read their receipts, that’s a good place to include links to important information you’ve already published.Since you know your customers will read their receipts, that’s a good place to include links to important information Click To Tweet
Not only does this ease your burden, but it solves your customers’ problems faster.
In some cases, you might include the answer to a common question directly in the email. For instance, you might use a heading like “How long does shipping take?” followed by the answer.
Victoria’s Secret does something similar at the bottom of their emails:
In other cases, you might link to your FAQ page. Consider linking to returns policy information, billing information, ways to change or track the order, and customer account login.
Choose the right techniques for you
We’ve given you eight techniques to get more value from your email receipts, but don’t feel like you need to use them all—in fact, it’s generally not a good idea to cram too much into one email. Choose the ones that make the most sense for your audience. As always, test your results!