We’ve spoken about various strategies for customer interaction, a key component of your business, and today we want to add to that by talking a little about best practices for customer emails. Specifically automated emails, of the sort you configure to send when customers make purchases, when products are shipped or arrive, etc. Many schools of thought exist for this, but the most successful strategies seem to have the same thing in common.
Less Is More
Nowadays people respond to that with, “Less isn’t more. More is more.” But the original idea holds true. Originally “Less is more” was a clever way to say you could get better results with less of whatever it was you were doing. Let’s stick with that, because that’s what we’re talking about here.
We live in an age of information saturation. Focus is increasingly hard to come by, and getting — and holding — the attention of others … well, it ain’t easy. The noise in our collective environment is overwhelming. Everyone has a stage and a megaphone and they’re all using it. What this means is that our audience is way less likely than ever to look at anything we send. To overcome that we, in turn, have to be more clever than we’ve ever been, more laser targeted, we’ve got to get to the point quickly and the best practices solution is not to bombard them with volume.
This would seem to run contrary to the tactics of other forms of content. Content is king, as we know, and for most all other things you’re encouraged to do more. More blogs, more posts, more videos. But these things are passive consumables. Things that can be consumed at will. For those forms of content more is definitely more. Give your customers and potential customers a smorgasbord of juicy information. Organize it, of course; keep the rolls with the biscuits on your buffet, don’t put the steak on the salad bar, but make sure there’s plenty to eat. Lots of choices.
Not so with emails. Emails are an active intrusion, and come when you say so, whether the customer wants them or not. If you want your customers to pay attention to what you’re sending you have to make your emails:
Valuable doesn’t mean coupons or sales come-ons. Value is in the eye of the beholder, certainly, but by value we mean things that are useful for the customer and don’t ask for anything in return. A recipe book. Some helpful info that makes their life better. Notification that the product has shipped. A Thank You for their order, and info they can use to contact you if they have any questions. You get the idea.
This is a drum worth beating. Keep these best practices in mind. For you, too, are a consumer, and wouldn’t it be nice if the companies you patronize treated you this way?
We’ve found the best combination of emails, for an automated response sequence, is two or three. Three tops, honestly. Generally, after a purchase a customer might expect an email:
- Thanking them for their purchase and including any additional info
then another either:
- Informing them the product has been shipped and when it might arrive
- Checking with them after the delivery to make sure they got it, offering help if any issues and (possibly) asking for a review
Reviews are the lifeblood of an Amazon seller, so it’s hard not to take that opportunity, but be graceful (and gracious) in your approach. A better tactic is to ask them to let you know directly what they think of the product and/or service, then take the positive responses and thank them graciously, asking if they’ll put it in a review.
Whatever you choose, the idea is to send the emails after expected events, send only a few, and, as much as possible, make your emails all about the customer.
These are truly the best practices.
The Right Tools
ManageByStats has the SellerMail tool for this. With it you can set up sequences of emails for any product or combination of products, setting them to send based on a multitude of criteria and after specific events (Purchase, Delivery, etc.). Following the best practices above you can easily configure a series of automated emails to your customers that get good results.
Note that SellerMail now has error checking. It will check each email before you save it to ensure it has the proper formatting, and offer suggestions for the correction of any errors it finds. This is not spell checking and grammar but, rather, actual formatting and variable selection, to make sure your message performs exactly as you intend.
The Long Game
Presumably you’re selling on Amazon to build a longterm success. How you deliver to your customers, the connections you make with them, will go a long way toward that future success. Keep direct communication to your customers tight, make it valuable (to them), use these best practices, pair that with great customer support, a great product and great offers and you’ll have the sort of business you can be proud of.
Here’s to building great customer relationships.
All the best,
The ManageByStats Team