3 Ways to Use Shipping Confirmation Emails to Grow This Holiday Season

Editor’s Note: This article is a contribution from Yaw Aning of Malomo, a shipment tracking platform for ecommerce brands to increase repeat purchases and reduce support tickets.

For many ecommerce brands, the holiday season is a time where sales peak and a major chunk of revenue for the year swarms in. In fact, Klaviyo predicts that Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales this year will surpass $51.1 billion, nearly double what 2019 drove. 

As sales increase, so do orders. And as orders increase, so do the number of shipments going out to customers. 

Meanwhile, shipping is becoming increasingly painful for customers and more opportunistic for brands. In the modern-day environment of online shopping where customers expect more and more each day from online retailers, each part of the experience must meet those expectations. 

The post-purchase experience is no different, but tracking is usually handled by carriers, which means the interactions that take place during that time are virtually out of the brands’ control.

Last year during BFCM, Malomo saw customer engagement increase 2X during the shipping process. This holiday season, shipping will be a way for brands to stand out amongst the crowd and build loyalty with new customers—if done right

So, how can brands exceed customer expectations and make the most out of the influx of orders to their store? 

By using the most opened email in their entire strategy: shipping confirmation emails, which see open rates as high as 78 percent. 

Here are three ways to use shipping confirmation emails to grow this holiday season. 

How to communicate shipping delays

1 | Get ahead of issues and be transparent with your customers 

At Malomo, we’ve seen that carrier performance has become increasingly worse due to COVID. 

USPS, for example, has seen their average delivery time increase between 15  to 65 percent, depending on the week. Today, it takes twice as long to receive a package delivered as it did pre-COVID.  

As consumers, we all know how a poor delivery experience can create frustrationand if a customer becomes too frustrated throughout their experience with your brand, it could dissuade them from buying with you again. 

To help ease the customer’s frustration, brands should set expectations with customers about the delays the carriers are experiencing. 

People usually understand that carriers make mistakes, so when brands acknowledge that with transparency, consumers are less likely to get upset and reach out to their brandor worse, tell their family and friends how terrible customer support was. 

To do this, brands can put a message in their shipping confirmation email acknowledging the delays and issues that could arise with the package, while using their unique tone and voice. 

Customers respect authenticity and honesty, so including a brief message to acknowledge delays, like Venus ET Fleur did in the example, will go a long way when it comes to gaining customer trust. 

2 | Cut support tickets in half by sharing the estimated delivery date in the email 

When it comes to shipping, customers want to know when their package will arriveplain and simple. 

By making it extremely easy for customers to see this information, rather than having them go searching for it through carrier sites and tracking pages, you can ensure customers are getting the information they need and will not reach out to your team asking, “Where’s my order?” or “When will my package arrive?” 

Who Gives a Crap seamlessly integrates the estimated delivery date into their shipping confirmation email, so customers can easily see when their delivery is expected to arrive.

Once customers feel comfortable that their shipment is on its way and you’ve built trust with them, you can then create an experience that helps strengthen that trust and keeps their excitement for the duration of the delivery process. 

Which leads us to our final tip on using shipping confirmation emails to grow….

3 | Use relevant campaigns to delight customers and drive repeat purchases

After sending tens of millions of shipping emails at Malomo, the brands we’ve worked with have seen that once you meet the customer’s needs during shipping (proactive messages, estimated delivery dates, etc.), they’re incredibly willing to stay engaged with your brand. 

As mentioned, shipping confirmation emails see open rates as high as 78 percent, which means brands can use them in a multitude of ways to grow their brand. Here are a few ways brands are doing this today: 

Drive referrals 

When you’re top of mind with new customers, use the excitement they have for your brand and incentivize them to share with their friends and family, just like For Love & Lemons did in their shipping confirmation email, which encourages customers to share the brand with their friends in order to get 30 percent off on their next order.

 

Promote products 

When’s the best time to ask for the next purchase? Right after the previous one! 

Share relevant products to customers and showcase how they could go well with what they just bought, just like Sol de Janeiro did in their shipping confirmation email by suggesting products to “Complete Your Routine.” 

Promote loyalty points and rewards programs 

Loyalty and rewards programs help incentivize customers to come back later and buy again. 

Take a page out of Numi’s marketing playbook and ensure that your rewards program is being put in front of new customers through the shipping confirmation email so they have the opportunity to sign up immediately after they make a purchase. 

Get personal 

When trying to build relationships with customers, the best way to do it is by becoming more personal and reminding the customer that your brand is built and operated by people. Personify your brand with your support team or a message from your founder. 

People love people, so putting a face to the name of your brand whenever possible, like Road iD did in this email, is a great way to make your communication feel more human. 

Meet and then exceed customer expectations

By completing these three steps, brands have been able to reduce support tickets related to shipping by at least half, while driving repeat revenue of $0.97 per shipment on average. 

At a time of carrier uncertainty and heightened customer expectations, using shipping confirmations, which are opened significantly more often than traditional marketing emails, can immediately differentiate your brand post-purchase. 

Interested in more ways to level you your shipping confirmation emails? Check out these seven tips.

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