When someone makes a purchase on your website, do they receive a receipt via email? They should.
And when a customer receives a receipt, does it simply provide the details of the transaction or does it transform a bland email message into a compelling sales opportunity?
There’s a very big difference.
Why are Email Receipts so Important to Your Bottom Line?
Research has shown that email receipts have a very high open rate. In fact, studies have shown that the open rate and engagement rate (including clicks and conversions) for email receipts are three times higher than other ecommerce emails.
That’s a very big deal.
While many of your messages are ignored, your receipts probably aren’t. They’re opened and people are more likely to read and click the links in them than other emails that you send.
What does that tell you? It means you need to leverage the opportunity that email receipts provide to get more sales.
10 Email Receipt Hacks to Boost Sales
First things first — depending on the email tool you’re using and your budget, all of the options I’m going to give you in this article to boost sales by enhancing your email receipts might not work for you. However, don’t be discouraged! Most of these tactics are very easy to implement with a small investment of time or money into the right applications. In fact, there are many free applications that can make implementing these marketing tactics even easier.
Your first step is to contact your email marketing platform’s support team and find out what you can and can’t do. I’ve tried a bunch of email marketing tools for my business, and I’ve worked with even more applications for my clients. Yes, there are great expensive tools out there, but don’t overbuy. And yes, there are great cheap tools out there, but beware of feature limitations that might not bother you at first but will become problematic as your business and list grow (e.g., the inability to create segmented drip campaigns based on recipient actions or the inability to deduplicate records from a mailing that goes to multiple lists).
I switched to ActiveCampaign recently for my blog (WomenOnBusiness.com), and I’m very happy with the features offered for the price tag. I also helped some clients make the switch to ActiveCampaign, and they’re happy as well. I use the Lite package for my blog, and it offers just enough for my needs at this time at a fraction of the cost of higher priced tools.
With that said, let’s get into the list of 10 ways you can turn your email receipts into sales tools so you can start making more money!
1. Offer Related Products
Just like brick and mortar businesses have all of those last-minute items next to the cash register, you need to offer related products to your customers when they make a purchase.
Include a message in your email receipts that says, “You might also like,” or “Don’t forget,” along with pictures, descriptions, and links to other products that naturally go with the item the customer purchased.
2. Upsell to a Subscription
Do you offer any kinds of subscription services that can help you generate recurring revenue? The perfect place to upsell customers to a subscription is in your email receipt.
Hype the benefits of moving to a subscription in the email. For example, if the customer gets a discount by paying for a 12-month subscription up front, promote that in your message!
3. Provide a Referral Bonus
Email receipts provide a great way to generate referrals. Include a message within every receipt that offers a special discount, freebie, or other bonus if the customer refers a friend who completes a specific action.
Depending on the type of business you own, that action could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, and so on.
4. Make It Easy to Buy the Same Item Again
Sometimes one just isn’t enough, so make it really easy for customers to buy a second, third, or more by including a special purchase link in their email receipts. You could even offer a quantity discount.
5. Offer a Time Sensitive Discount
Just offering related products (with or without a discount) might not be enough to motivate customers to click and buy from your email receipts. You might have to create a sense of urgency so they act immediately – otherwise, they could forget about the offer!
Creating a time-sensitive discount is a great way to get people to take action quickly. Add a countdown clock in your message to make it even more obvious that time is running out. MotionMail is a great free option. There are also paid options available if you need more advanced features.
6. Ask Customers to Share via Social Media and Get a Discount
If people are happy about their purchase, they just might want to tell their friends and family about the products or services they bought from you. Always make it easy for your customers to share their purchased items online by including social sharing buttons with every item. At a minimum, include links to share purchased items and details via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This is all free advertising for your business!
To further incentivize them to share, offer a discount on a future purchase if the customer shares via a specific social media platform or to a certain number of people by directly posting to their social media profiles. There are many tools available to help you create social media promotions. Woobox, TabSite, Pagemodo, and ShortStack are all worth checking out.
7. Offer a Loyalty Reward
Integrate your shopping cart and email marketing system so you can identify repeat customers. When a customer makes multiple purchases, reward them with a loyalty bonus offered directly within their email receipt.
Your customers are already in buying mode when they get their receipts, so it’s a great time to acknowledge their loyalty and reward them for it – much better than waiting hours or days when they no longer feel like spending money.
8. Write a Review
When you send customers their receipts, it’s a great time to ask them to rate your products or services as well as their shopping experiences. Positive reviews that are published online or used as testimonials on your website and in your marketing materials provide a form of proof that can lead directly to increased brand trust and sales among larger consumer audiences.
There are a number of tools available that allow customers to rate products or their shopping experiences and even write complete reviews from within their email receipts. Conversio is one example that a lot of people have great success with, and it integrates with a variety of common ecommerce and shopping cart tools like Shopify and WooCommerce.
9. Collect Market Research Data
Email receipts can be a great place to learn more about your customers’ wants and needs. Consider including a market research survey with your email receipts to learn how you can improve your products or services, your website, and the buying experience for your customers.
There are many survey tools available, but keep in mind that these surveys don’t have to be fancy. Even a survey that you create using the free Google Forms tool could do the trick. Just create your survey and include the link in every email receipt until you’ve gathered the information that you need. Be sure to explain the purpose of the link and survey to encourage people to complete it.
10. Launch a Special Email Drip Campaign
Depending on the commerce platform and the email marketing tool that you’re using, you might be able to launch a special email drip campaign in your email receipts with highly targeted, useful content. This takes some careful planning, but when it’s done correctly, it works extremely well.
First, you need to identify and create the useful content that will help the customer enjoy his or her purchase even more. Next, you need to tease that content in the email receipt and follow up with one or more related emails as part of a drip campaign that actually provide the promised, useful content.
For example, a clothing store could launch a drip campaign with style tips for the specific products a customer purchased. A health coach could launch a campaign with recipes or exercise tips related to the products a customer purchased. You can get as creative as your ecommerce and email tools allow you to be.
Your Next Steps
As mentioned above, your first step is to identify what you can and cannot do with your email receipts based on the features available from your ecommerce and email marketing applications. Once you know what you can do, it’s time to start brainstorming.
Launch just one email receipt marketing tactic at a time. Take your time and experiment. It will take more than one try to determine what your audience responds to and how to optimize your email receipt offers.
Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Perfecting your email receipts is a work in progress, and just when you think they’re perfect, you’ll discover an even better way to leverage them as sales tools!
Of course, if you need help with your email marketing, don’t hesitate to contact me. That’s what I’m here for!