We see a lot of brands overlook the potential of customer service automations. These key touch points may seem bland and transactional—but don’t underestimate them. Here’s why.
We’ve all felt a little worried after pressing “check out.” Did we order the right size or enter the right shipping address? Did we even complete our purchase? Email automations help relieve that uncertainty. Once a customer completes an action, like a purchase or account set up, it triggers an email. These automations offer reassurance and information to your customers, and share next steps. And they’re necessary for building trust with your customers from day one.
While ecommerce is on an upswing—some customers will be seasoned online shoppers and others will be new to the whole experience. Those who are used to shopping online will have certain expectations of a “good” experience. But for boomers, who make up about 40% of North America’s population, shopping online isn’t as commonplace (or comfortable) as it is for the digitally-native generations who came after them. That means your customers—new or seasoned—will need a seamless and thoughtful shopping experience to convert them into repeat online buyers.
Our goal: help you take advantage of every interaction with your customers, starting with the very basic email automations every brand should have. Here’s our advice for building deeper brand affinity from day one to keep your customers around for the long haul*.
*No degree in email mastery required.
Order Confirmation and Receipt Email Automations
Once a customer’s order is processed, an order confirmation and receipt automation should be triggered. These emails generally include thumbnail images of the items purchased, the sale total, an order number and the shipping address.
Order confirmation emails generally have the highest open rates. Klaviyo, Monday’s favourite email platform, says an average email campaign has an open rate between 10-18% while order confirmation email open rates range from 60-70%. With more eyes on these emails, there’s a prime opportunity here to include more value for your audience.
Natural deodorant company Native uses the valuable real estate in their order confirmation email to send a personalized message that builds a connection with their newest customers.
By using a human voice and surprising, playful copy, they draw the reader in, teaching them more about the personality of Native while also confirming their order. By using the customer’s name and framing the email as a personal correspondence with a specific person on the Native team, the email immediately feels special.
Adding the contact info for your customer service support team, like Native did in the closing paragraph, makes it easy for a customer to reach out in case something doesn’t look right with their order. Don’t make your customers hunt around for the right email or phone number to contact. After all, snafus are inevitable during the ordering process.
Another great example of how to nail the order confirmation email is this section of Everlane’s automated email. They give an overview of the shipping and payment details, then offer customers a few strong value propositions:
Fast order cancellation
If the customer realizes a mistake (e.g., with size, their shipping address or colour), Everlane lets them cancel their order within the hour by offering a clear, simple call-to-action button.
Reminder of return policy
Everlane uses this valuable real estate to remind customers of their return policy, ensuring there are no surprises if a customer changes their mind once they receive their package.
Finally, Everlane includes information on how to get in touch with their customer service team if the customer has any questions, so they feel taken care of from day one.
Shipping Confirmation Email Automations
Your customer’s much-anticipated order has shipped! They’re pumped, you’re pumped, so take this opportunity to make the experience feel exciting. Or better yet—express your gratitude for their business. One shipping email we recently received started with the header “Time to get excited—your order is on its way.” It felt so much more memorable than the standard “Shipping confirmation” title most brands defer to. Subtle tweaks to copy can turn a forgettable interaction into a memorable moment.
Shipping confirmation is also a great chance to build on your customer’s excitement with a bit of product education. Electric toothbrush company Quip includes playful graphics and links to videos as a part of their shipping confirmation when customers order replacement brush heads. Adding this graphic helps make sure customers know how to change out their brush head so they feel prepped to get the most out of the product as soon as it arrives.
And finally, make sure you’re closing strong—that means sprucing up your email footer. We see many best-in-class brands include a value proposition or brand story highlight as a footer in each email automation. This drives home what you stand for at every touchpoint, and helps remind customers what’s unique about you. If they’ve made a purchase with you, they’re in a prime position to become a brand advocate and contribute to your word-of-mouth growth.
Another great way to capitalize on their excitement is by showcasing a referral program. Multivitamin company Ritual uses the footer of their shipping confirmation to showcase their “Give $5. Get $5” program, and to point customers towards their Instagram channel to learn more about their brand story.
With the world more cautious and conscious of spending right now, there’s never been a better time to focus on building customers for life. Once you have a customer in your funnel, take care of them. Thoughtful email automations are a fantastic way to do this—they create a delightful experience, make the process feel special and forge deeper relationships with your community.
Want to see some more inspiration, and peep what the best brands in the world are doing with their email program? Check out milled—it’s a database with millions of branded emails that are easily searchable by brand name.