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Give 'Em What They Paid For

August 26, 2008  

"Transactional messages like membership confirmations and shipping notifications show some of the highest open rates in the inbox," says Aaron Smith at MediaPost's Email Insider blog. "Customers receiving these [are engaged] … and they wait ready for you to reach out and seal the deal." According to Smith, there's a sure way to make each email a memorable experience like these: Pretend that customers are paying to receive your messages. With that in mind, here are a few strategies for high-quality content:

  • Group important details, like an order confirmation, in the upper right corner. Customers don't want to hunt for basic information, and this should appear within the preview pane.
  • Include complete contact information for your customer service department. Phone numbers should be accompanied by the hours a representative can be reached; this lets customers know you want a relationship.
  • Offer valuable—and unexpected—features. Coach, for instance, tells customers that belated gifts can be heralded by emails alerting recipients to their imminent arrival. A thoughtful service like this will be perceived as a pleasing extra.

Smith suggests you periodically ask yourself these questions, from Pine and Gilmore's The Experience Economy: "If you charged customers 'admission' for their experience with you, what would you do differently? How would you make sure that the experience they were paying for was worth the ticket fee?"

The Po!nt: Make it worth their while. By imagining that your customers are paying for emails, you might just make your messages—priceless.

Source: MediaPost's Email Insider. Read the full post here.

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