Communication is important. Particularly as a business, having a clear and open dialogue is critical to building a strong relationship with your consumers. When you operate an online store, there isn’t the same opportunity to provide customer service in person as there is in traditional storefronts.

There’s no smiling and asking if everything is all right when a consumer is browsing. There is no interaction at the cash register and no chance to say see you next time.

These little interactions can make a world of difference for customer satisfaction and retention, but online, things need to be done a little bit differently. This is where email marketing comes in. If you want to keep your customers happy and coming back online then you need to know when and how to communicate with them.

Always Send a Welcome Email

A welcome email goes a long way in building trust with your customers and starting the conversation to help them progress in their purchasing journey.

Kristen Dunleavy from Business2Community breaks down a few elements of a great welcome email:
• “Delivers on your promise—If you promoted an incentive or exclusive offer upon signup, now is the time to act on it.
• Sets expectations—Be sure to cover all your bases. The type of content you’ll be sending, frequency and a little bit of background info are all important things to mention.
• Encourages engagement—Rather than come off strong right out the bat, use your welcome email to start a conversation and encourage them to connect with you on your other channels.”

What Happened To Your Cart?

The digital equivalent of window-shopping is someone filling their cart and then abandoning it before checkout. The advantage online is that this is totally trackable and presents an opportunity to re-connect with a potential customer.
Sending out an email about to someone who has abandoned their cart can recapture lost sales and bring back attention to your online store.
“Nearly 68% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart before completing their purchase. Not all customers leave your site intentionally. Things like slow load times, a complicated checkout process and their session timing out can result in navigation from your page,” Dunleavy says.

Clarify Purchase Statuses

People can be wary when they are purchasing things online. They don’t want to put their credit card information into a site that they don’t trust. They will also become immediately concerned if they do input their information and they don’t receive any confirmation or follow-up.

By keeping a clear line of communication through every step of their order, you can help them feel secure with their purchase and happy to return.

Dunleavy focuses in on three important points to always express to your customers during their purchasing journey:
• “Order Confirmation—Send your customer an automated receipt for their recent purchase, listing the details of their order.
• Shipping Status—Update customers when their order has shipped and include the date for which they should expect to receive it. Let them know when their order is on the way as soon as it leaves your facilities.
• Refund Confirmation—Not every purchase has a happy ending, but making the refund process a seamless experience can help you retain a customer. Providing real-time updates and notifications can keep customers informed of their refund status.”
Just remember – people love transparency. If you set clear expectations and deliver on your promises, customers will be happy to keep coming back.

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