Email is a great way to communicate with new and existing customers. However, there are plenty of businesses who don’t utilize this channel or make mistakes when attempting to do so. Since you want to properly utilize email for communicating with customers, here’s what you need to know:
Don’t Leave Them Guessing
When someone completes your site’s payment process, they should immediately receive a confirmation email. Even though the last step in the payment process will tell them that they’re done, a confirmation email will reassure anxious customers that everything went through properly. If you’re going to be shipping them an item, be sure to also send them tracking information as soon as it’s available.
This same concept applies to other aspects of your site. Depending on when it’s submitted, you may not be able to respond to a contact form submission for twelve or more hours. But as long as you send an automated email that says you got their inquiry and will respond as soon as possible, people won’t be left wondering whether or not they’re going to hear from you.
If You Ask for Feedback, Be Specific
Getting feedback and insights from customers can be extremely useful for making decisions about changes or additions to your business. Unfortunately, many businesses make a major mistake when they decide that they want to solicit feedback. Instead of asking one targeted question, they email customers a general survey that may take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to complete. What’s even worse is when a business fills a survey with vague answer options. Even if customers are nice enough to fill everything out, the generalized nature of the survey is going to prevent the business from getting much out of it. Before you ask customers for their valuable time, make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish from the questions that you ask.
Everyone likes a pleasant surprise. What’s great about email is it gives you the perfect opportunity to deliver these great surprises to customers. For example, if someone orders a product from your site, you can set up an automatic email that goes out two weeks later. This email can thank them for their purchase, as well as provide a discount code for their next purchase from you.
Avoid Going Overboard
Although email is a great way to keep in touch with your customers, that doesn’t mean they want to hear from you on a daily basis. Sending too many emails to customers is going to result in them unsubscribing from your list. Additionally, it can cause them to have a negative perception of your brand. While the specific ideal frequency is going to vary for different businesses, just remember that less is usually going to be more.
Focus on Value
The companies who get the most out of email are those who are willing to test and analyze different strategies. If you’re worried that this is going to be too difficult for your business to do, just remember that as long as every email you send provides some form of value to customers, you shouldn’t ever encounter any major issues.
Jeff Adcock is the president of online credit card processing company Veritrans Merchant Services . Check out their blog for additional info.