E-mail marketing in e-commerce: 11 underestimated points of contact

Once a prospective customer has become a customer, you have an invaluable advantage for your e-mail marketing in e-commerce: In the entire ordering and processing process, you will encounter it several times. Completely on schedule, very consciously and completely legally - by e-mail. And best of all, the customer even wants to hear from you.

The biggest problem with marketing is usually to reach the customers at all. As soon as they were on your website, they are already gone and are showered in the vastness of the Web and the rest of the world by countless alternative offers. It's rather unlikely that they will come across you again by chance, and you are not allowed to write to them without being asked or contact them in other ways. The standard contact points with the customer are treated by many shops downright neglected and far too little used for marketing. Thereby they offer a lot of potentials to bind the customer to your shop beyond this one purchase.

We've collected some of the most important email contact points for you in the ordering and fulfillment process, and we'd like to give you ideas on how to use them for e-mail marketing efficiency in e-commerce.

Contact point 1: order confirmation

The order confirmation is probably the most frequently sent standard e-mail in online trading - probably mainly because without usually no valid purchase contract is concluded and it is indispensable for the fulfillment of central information obligations (for example, the cancellation policy).

The big advantage of the order confirmation from the marketing point of view is that it often arrives directly at the moment of the order to the customer, so he is also mentally still busy with your products. This is the perfect time to make the customer a multiplier - especially if you are more likely to sell emotional and personal products. How about sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter & Co.? Many customers like to tell what they have discovered exciting or just indulged. Of course, such "Post Purchase Sharing" buttons fit perfectly on the order confirmation page, but why - for the fewer quick-setters who may have already clicked away there - also not in the order confirmation email?

Also, cross-selling offers are a good supplement for the order confirmation. If the customer has just bought a tablet, he most likely still needs the right sleeve or a protective film. Corresponding links in the mail make the way easier and encourage you to buy again.

Contact point 2: Shipping confirmation

Also, the shipping confirmation is one of the absolute standard mails, although there are actually still a surprising number of shops that do without it. Quite unwise, because from the order to the arrival of the package nothing more to hear from, leaves the customer in the crucial phase unnecessarily alone. How should he know why it is if his order is not there after a week?

We assume that you not only inform your customers about the shipping status but also about the shipping service provider and provide him with a tracking number for tracking the order. Actually, of course.

As this information is usually of interest to customers, the chance of seeing your shipping confirmation email is quite high. Reason enough to spoil the accompanying mail. Links to content suitable for ordering products are just one of many ways to call the customer to action here. But you can also surprise your customers - for example with a coupon code or a discount promotion. The expected in a shipping confirmation rather not - the more she catches the eye if it is there. Give it a try.

If you offer an order without registration and everything runs smoothly, these may be the only contact points that arise during the order processing. Different situations also give different possibilities. For example in the field of payment.

Contact point 3: Payment receipt

Have your customers paid in advance - no matter which way - they should be informed of the receipt of payment. For payments with PayPal or other online payment service providers, this is usually done by the payment provider. Incidentally, this would be one of the few constellations in which one should proceed according to the motto "less is more" and refrain from sending a confirmation e-mail: As a customer, I do not have to be confirmed twice within a few minutes that my payment has been received.

If there is no such standard e-mail from your payment partner, you should, in any case, take over and confirm your customers, for example, the receipt of advance payment on your account. However, caution is advised if the shipping confirmation follows five minutes later. If necessary, then taking a confirmation in the shipping message could be more appropriate than sending two separate emails.

Contact point 4: Payment reminder

Everything is not always going smoothly. Of course, if a payment from your customer does not reach you in time, you should, of course, remember it. It pays to invest a little time in a creative wording that suits you and your customers and nicely indicates the outstanding payment. In most cases, the customer will simply have gone over that he has not yet paid your bill. To meet him then with bureaucratic paragraph German is simply not necessary. With a friendly and maybe even humorous mail, you can stay positive in such a case. If the customer does not respond to your payment reminder, you can still rattle the saber and insist on your right in a more insistent way.

Less recommendable is to offer in a payment reminder other products, because with this you signal that you can order with impunity, without paying.

Contact point 5: Cancellation of the order

It should happen that customers change their minds. If they cancel their order even before it's sent off, they'll be positive and respond accordingly. Rejoice that you are spared the return of a cancellation after receipt of delivery. Maybe you are so happy about it that you send the customer a voucher for a free delivery?

In addition, it is natural to refer to alternative products in a cancellation confirmation. The customer still decided against the 300 EUR ceiling light? But most likely he still needs one - what if you suggest a similar one, perhaps a little cheaper? Or refers him to a blog article about ceiling lights, so he can find out even better?

Contact point 6: refund

If you have to reimburse amounts already paid, because the cancellation or revocation will take place after the payment has been made, an e-mail confirming the reimbursement is of fundamental importance. Hardly anything makes customers more nervous than the question of whether the shop will easily accept the return or repay the outstanding money on time. In any case, keep your customers up to date and do not let them check the account every day to see if the repayment has already been received.

Even in such cases, you can score with a friendly and courteous attitude. Maybe you are offering the customer a discount coupon now so that he can follow the apparently not so successful order process a pleasing.

Contact point 7: Canceled order process

A much-discussed classic among the customer's emails is the e-mail for shopping cart cancellation. The idea is very tempting: picking up on a started, but not finished order again and pointing the customer to the left-over items? Basically, this also makes sense and promising depending on the industry - after all, it may even be that the customer is not aware that he has not completed the order. But: The legal pitfalls of such emails are considerable. So check it out to see if you can ship it before you decide what to look like. If you have decided this, this is a good time to make the decision easier for the customer, for example by offering discounts.

Contact point 8: Creating a customer account

Of course, outside the pure ordering process, there are also opportunities for e-mail marketing in e-commerce. One of them is the establishment of a customer account, which, unfortunately - seen from a marketing perspective - occurs in times of PayPal express purchase and almost obligatory guest order increasingly rare.

The benefit: When a customer sets up a customer account, it is very likely that he can imagine shopping more often with you. You should use that and offer him, for example, a thank-you voucher.

Contact Point 9: Forgotten Password

Only those who have a customer account can forget their password. The less often the customers shop with you, the more often it will happen that they can no longer remember their password. Use the password reminder (or reset) mail to surprise the customer with a "welcome back" discount. Or to introduce him to news, according to the motto "You have not been here for a long time? Then take a look at what has happened to us in the meantime! ".

Contact point 10: Newsletter as e-mail marketing in e-commerce

Remains the Dino among the e-mail marketing tools: The newsletter. Although we do not want to go into the newsletter itself at this point, only on the contact points that arise around it. Due to the obligatory double-opt-in solution, you will automatically have to send an email to the customer when you log in. There is nothing against it that makes it fun. You should probably forego advertising and product offerings in the opt-in request, as they could be interpreted as unwanted advertising. However, tailoring the lyrics to you and your industry is also a great way to differentiate yourself from the newsletter pabulum.

If the customer decides to unsubscribe from the newsletter, you should also confirm it by e-mail. In the accompanying mail, you can, of course, make him a great offer to lure him yet again in the shop. Whether it must be another coupon for a renewed conclusion of a newsletter subscription? This can also feel intrusive for the customer. Maybe you prefer to do it the other way and thank you with a thank you discount or something similar for the interest shown in the past, rather than regretting over-subscription too much. After all, a clean email database is far more valuable to you and your email reputation than hundreds of subscribers who never open their newsletters.

Contact Point 11: Customer Service

By the way: You can also upgrade individual customer service emails with offers. Maybe with links to related articles from your blog? Or - depending on the situation - with a discount coupon, a voucher for free delivery or a special gimmick as a thank you or apology? Your imagination knows no bounds.

Service event in the foreground

For all your creativity, you should consider one thing: your marketing content must not be designed in such a way that the actual transaction or service content fades into the background. Then you can consider them as inadmissible advertising emails - and, as we all know, they are forbidden.