Gold mine of e-mail responses going untapped

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The most opened, read, and acted upon e-mails are automated e-mail campaigns. Marketing Sherpa reports an impressive open rate of over 50% on automated messages, compared to a typical open rate of 20% in 2008.

I'm amazed at how many online marketers continue to sit on this gold mine of e-mail responses, leaving a source of revenue virtually untapped. And the best source to mine: recent buyers.

Here are ideas for basic and advanced automated e-mail programs targeting your recent buyers. 

Order confirmations to online buyers—send these immediately. Include another product offer or free shipping on additional orders within a 72-hour deadline.

Shipping confirmations to online and offline buyers—send these the same day orders ship.  Use HTML emails and include a coupon for purchases within 30 days.

Satisfaction surveys to online and offline buyers—send seven to 10 days after the order ships. Include five rating questions, at most, and ask if they would recommend you. Provide a space for open-ended comments and a way to request that someone follow up with them on their comments.

Friend get a friend coupon—send three weeks after the order date. This is an effective way to thank your buyers for their orders and ask them to forward a coupon to a friend.

Ship confirmation coupon reminders—send five days from the expiration date on the coupon sent with their ship confirmations.  An effective way to thank your buyers and remind them to use their coupon before it expires.

Once you have your e-mail series in place, try adding others. For example, try reactivation offers for customers that haven't purchased in the last six months, or an abandoned cart series, or even a series to recent email signups that haven't purchased.

Whether it's a basic email program or advanced, you are sure to boost your response and sales results. 

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