Emails are invisible: Let’s Ignore them

If you have gone through the experience of working with a development agency to get your website designed and developed, you would know that it’s an overwhelming, consuming and often ends up being a painful process. You have to put in an endless number of hours to coordinate with a team, which more often than not is in different timezones. And amidst  all the chaos and under all the pressure of launching the website on the set launch date, often important things get left out. One of those things is ‘email’. Here I am talking about both transactional emails (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, cancellation, etc). I want to talk about marketing emails too, but I’d prefer taking them on in my next post.

The biggest reason why I feel emails get ignored so often is because unlike your website (which is always on your face), emails remain invisible most of the time until you dig into your website backend (even there, it’s mostly in HTML format); or if you go to your website’s front-end and do the actions that trigger the emails. Thus, as compared to reviewing your website, which is a straight-forward process, reviewing and testing emails is more complicated and often requires technical help. And, when you leave emails to your programmers or testers, all they care about is – “email is firing – check”, “it’s mobile responsive – check”.

So if you ask them – “are my emails set-up?”, they would just nod their head. And in those rare scenarios, when a retailer wants to go the distance, she would show default emails of her ecommerce platform to a copywriter who would just write a copy for the most popular emails, and it just turns out that they are marginally better than the default emails. And to be fair to the copywriter, there isn’t much life she can add to the copy until she is provided clear brand guidelines.

Again, since emails remain invisible most of the time, it’s rather easy to devalue them and ignore their unique power to connect your website with your customers. In reality, emails can do way more than confirming an order, sending a shipping confirmation, retrieving lost passwords and other ‘daily ecommerce chores’. I am sure you know about the possibilities, but I would still like to repeat the amazing things you can do with emails, which can impact your business’s growth directly:

  1. Make customers shopping experience seamless by informing and reminding them about next steps
  2. Build personal connection with your customers
  3. Remind users about your differentiation and value propositions
  4. Leave product reviews on your website
  5. Invite customers to buy more; which consequently increases the life-time customer value of your customers.
  6. Win back lost customers

That’s why emails are often the only single variable that stands between you and your success.

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