Earn Return Business From Customers
As marketers, we’re always trying to conceive of creative and authentic ways to connect with customers – especially in the landscape of email, where the slightest overreach can label you a spammer and obliterate your safe sending reputation.
What if there’s a way to make better sales than ever while giving customers what they want on their own terms?
Transactional vs. Marketing Email
Transactional emails respond to a customer’s interaction with your company. They can be an email sign up confirmation, a receipt, a request to refer a friend or a happy birthday or anniversary wish.
Unlike marketing emails, which introduce your company or suggest a product or service, transactional emails can show a customer how much you appreciate their loyalty as well as how on top of operations you are. They present an opportunity to win repeat business by demonstrating value and ease of use.
Leveraging the Power of Transactional Email
Last November, the marketing team at GravityFree seized the opportunity to up our game in the transactional email sphere by revamping Reminder Emails we send on behalf of our floral clients.
As the customer is ordering flowers for a birthday, anniversary, holiday or special occasion, our Flower Manager e-commerce platform can be set to offer a simple, yet powerful option when addressing the card to accompany their gift: “Never Forget With Reminders” with the option to choose “Please send me a reminder next year.” or “No thanks.”
When the customer elects to receive a reminder, Flower Manager will automatically deliver a simple, scaled down email reminding them of the special date and naming their recipient.
We revamped the email to display a suggested product and link to the product category for the corresponding occasion. It can be set to offer an incentive to purchase, such as money off or bonus reward points.
It’s essential that the email is personalized and not spammy. It’s not a sales pitch; it’s a service designed to connect the customer with a product they requested at the perfect time.
Simple Message, Right Time, Big Results
To get a sense of how much reminder emails impact the overall email marketing landscape, we looked at revenue and e-commerce conversion rates between April 15th and May 14th – one of the busiest times of year for florists with a number of occasions that would call for reminders, including Administrative Professionals Week, Teacher Appreciation Day, Nurses’ Week and Mother’s Day.
The average e-commerce conversion rate for reminder emails sent by our 30 florists skyrocketed to an average of 38.05%, with the revenue from those emails comprising 41.87% of total email revenue earned during that period.
But percentages can have a big or small impact when total email revenues during that period ranged from just over $1,000 to well over $50,000. So let’s isolate a top, middle and low volume florist for a closer look.
How Transactional Emails Transformed the Bottom Line
From mid-April to mid-May, our top-selling floral shop brought in 513 web transactions from email, representing $50,603.68 in revenue. Of that, $20,660.40 (40.83% of revenue) originated when 524 customers chose to click the button requesting the reminder.
Cumulatively, the requested reminders garnered an enviable e-commerce conversion rate of 39.69%. With the exception of the $5 incentive this florist offered with purchase, offering email reminders became a free, unsolicited, automated source of revenue.
What about a more more mid-range business with a more typical reach?
A florist with 195 requests for reminder emails from mid-April to mid-May brought in 110 total transactions from email. With over $9100 in total revenue from email during that period, 83 transactions and $6,600 (72%) came from customer-elected reminders. And again, their overhead was a $5 incentive on each order.
Reminder emails can have an even more dramatic impact on florists who typically don’t have high success from mass marketing emails, or who choose to send less frequently.
One of our lowest-volume florists brought in the highest e-commerce conversion rate from reminders at 76.47%. For this florist, half of all email marketing orders placed mid-April to mid-May came from reminders: 13 transactions converted to a sale out of 17 online sessions initiated by the reminder. Again, a $5 discount was offered.
What Happens When No Discount or Incentive is Present?
Whether to discount or not is a worthwhile question. After all, the reminder is about building a relationship and is it really necessary to offer a discount?
Results from thirty florists show that 10 of the 30 offered an incentive, ranging from $5 to 10% off. Each of those 10 produced an enviable e-commerce conversion rate for reminders, ranging from 30.91 to 76.74.
Ultimately, higher sales volume from reminders depends on the number of customers who buy initially, and whom you subsequently inspire to purchase again. So higher volume shops will typically have a higher likelihood of overall success with reminders in terms of total revenue. But it’s a practice that pays off, regardless of how big the business is.
Long Term Improved Deliverability
One side benefit of sending emails that your customers respond to and buy from is the overall boost in engagement. Increased traffic to your site and interacting with email shows service providers like AOL, Gmail and Hotmail that you are, in fact, not a spammer. Over time, they will be more inclined to deliver your email into the inbox rather than filtered as junk.
Get Creative And Be Responsive To Your Customers
Finding ways to communicate and sell to customers via email can be extremely profitable and cost effective. Utilizing touch points that naturally occur during the sales cycle as a way to add value and secure your next sale is clearly preferable to rapidly firing off a barrage of mass marketing email.
You can bet we’ll be coming up with more strategies to reengage customers to keep them coming back with targeted, self-selected email messaging. We’ll keep you posted.