When we think of email marketing we often think of the blast email.
Or the newsletter.
We think of people signing up to receive regular emails from us.
Usually we’re promoting something. Maybe we throw in an announcement once in awhile.
But it’s usually not related to much other than someone signing up for our list.
In this post we’re going to get into how you can use post-shipment emails as marketing opportunities.
A post-shipment email in this context is anytime after a customer has made a purchase and the item has been shipped to them.
1. New Items
My first job out of college was working on the circulation management for a footwear catalog company.
One thing that blew my mind was that the best customers were the most recent customers.
I figured that these are just shoes. Maybe you buy a new pair every year.
But that wasn’t the case.
The best customers were the most recent. That went for females and for males.
Something we did with every shoe box that went out the door was include the newest catalog in the box.
We got a good amount of sales this way.
With email you have even more control.
Right after your customers receive their item send them a promotion for the latest items you’re selling.
2. Social Followers
Sarah mentioned that post-shipment emails are great for social sharing requests. I really like this idea especially with the order confirmation email. When people buy something they’re really excited and they often want to share that excitement with others.
To build on that also use post-shipment emails to ask for social followers.
It could happen at various points post-shipment.
Promote your top social profiles. Give a little preview of what the person can expect if they follow you on that channel.
3. Cross Promotion Partnerships
I’m a big fan of partnerships in business. I respect partnerships because they’re not always easy to figure out.
With post-shipment emails I’m thinking of partnerships where you partner with a complementary business and use post-shipment emails to promote each other’s products.
Let’s say that you sell footwear.
You partner with a complementary apparel company.
When you sell a pair of shoes and it ships you send an email saying thank you and introducing your partner.
They do the same.
Win for you. Win for them.
And hopefully a win for your customer. After all, they trust you and your recommendation means a lot.
The relationship doesn’t end after one sale.
Look to build more of a trusting relationship with your customers. It’s not all about the transaction. You can build trust with them so they feel even more comfortable buying from you in the future.
What’s one way you can do that?
If you’re creating content (you are aren’t you?) then you can use post-shipment emails to provide value and to promote your brand even more.
Ebooks, blog posts, videos, podcasts and more.
After the sale, send an email promoting your latest piece of content that you think your customer would enjoy and find valuable.
5. Customers Who Bought This…
Amazon is really good with this one.
I just bought something today and in the order confirmation they included their now famous marketing line:
Customers who bought this also bought…
It’s simple, but it’s genius. It takes some big data stuff, but we have the software now to manage this kind of data.
If it works for Amazon it can work for you even if you’re a small business.
You’re a designer?
A customer just signed on for a website?
Send an email saying that customers who signed up for a new website also signed up for emailing services.
Many companies use exclusives for new customers or customers they want to get.
- Introductory Pricing
- Special Offers
You’ve seen them all before. But if you’re an existing customer and you see those things you get kind of angry.
Why don’t the best customers get exclusive offers?
Why not send a marketing email to those that actually buy something from you and reward them with a bonus?
Maybe you offer some kind of content. Maybe it’s a product. Maybe it’s additional access in some kind of software.
These are your best customers.
Treat them that way.
They’ll spread the word…
7. Wish List
This is another Amazon idea that I think is pretty clever.
I save things to my Amazon Wish List all the time. Sometimes when I place an order and it ships they’ll also include in that email a little reminder of a couple things on my Wish List.
You could do the same if you have some kind of wish list functionality. You could maybe even offer a little enticement like a discount or a package deal where if they buy 2 or more items from their list they get a discount.
Lots of possibilities.
Post-shipment emails aren’t just for shipping notifications. They’re marketing opportunities. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the catalog business was that the best customers are the most recent customers.
Use the ideas above to increase your sales using post-shipment marketing emails. These tactics really work.