Avari Blog

Shipping Confirmations: Wearing Your Shoes Straight from the Store

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 16, 2018 / by Jake Stott

User-Generated Content in Shipping Confirmations

It’s the end of the school summer holidays, your mum took you to buy some new school shoes, and you want to wear them straight from the store.

Sound familiar? Well, we all want to show off that new pair of Reeboks, that new George Foreman Grill, or that shiny new TV.

“Hmmmm” said the marketer. “This sounds like a great opportunity for user-generated content.” Bingo!

In this post, we will discuss how we can increase, capture, and utilize this customer behavior.

We will be combining the power of Instagram and your shipping confirmation emails to drive user-generated content: the best kind of free marketing!

But first, let’s dive into an overview of shipping confirmation emails and what makes them formidable.

What Should You See in a Shipping Confirmation?

The most important information to include in your shipping confirmation email is the tracking number. This should not only be easy to find and prominently shown, but it should also allow the recipient to click through to the website and see the status of an order with little to no searching.

In addition to a tracking number, shipping confirmation emails should also include the same kinds of information in an order confirmation. This means recapping the buyer’s name and shipping information and a summary of the item(s) ordered. To go the extra mile, you might also use Dynamic Content 2.0 to show the current status or location of the shipment and have it automatically update every time a change is made. An added benefit in this, according to Easy SMTP, is that you’ll cut costs associated with customer service by including frequently sought-after information directly in the email.

Why Are Shipping Confirmation Emails Special?

Alongside their order confirmation counterparts, shipping confirmation emails see consistently high open rates, because they provide customers with essential information.

As with post-purchase receipts, the opportunity to include personalized recommendations in shipping confirmations isn’t something that should be overlooked. In fact, Experian’s 2010 white paper, “The transactional email report,” found that transaction rates on shipping and return/exchange-based messages are four times higher than those on bulk mailings. The same study also placed the open rate of shipping confirmations at 107.4% in transactional emails versus 14.6% in bulk mailings. These types of emails also outperformed order confirmation and return/exchange-based emails in their click rates, with an average of 20.8%

However, this isn’t the only way to make the most of your shipping confirmation emails, particularly if your order confirmation email already included recommended products.

What I Recommend for Brands

Product recommendations are important and useful in a variety of circumstances, but they shouldn’t always be your go-to in a shipping email.

Think about your own experience receiving shipping confirmations. They’re usually exciting because of the anticipation involved in receiving your package. In the same way you would look forward to opening new mail when it arrives, you can grow on this excitement by encouraging the recipient to engage with your customer community. Get users to share their product experiences on your social channels, like we show in the following campaign example:
Use Memorable Instagram Hashtags in Shipping Confirmation Emails
Above, you’ll see the email prompting users to post photos of their products using a specific hashtag. At four years old and with more than 300 million users, Instagram is huge, and it’s likely that many of your customers are using it in varying degrees, which is why not implementing it in your transactional emails can be a real loss for your business. According to PEW Research’s Social Media Update 2014, 49% of Instagram users visit the site on a daily basis, with the average user spending 21 minutes a day on it.

Michael Zsigmond, the founder of Fanbase Media, wrote a post on KISSmetrics about using Instagram in eCommerce campaigns, and one of the things he emphasized was the importance of creating a hashtag campaign. His top tip? “Focus on making it memorable and brandable.”

When customers see how many other users are engaging with a specific hashtag, it only increases their enthusiasm and anticipation about receiving the product, making them more inclined to join in when their package arrives. Furthermore, embedded live social feeds provide the psychological reinforcement — or social proof — a new customer needs to feel confident about the decision to do business with someone new, while creating another strong channel for engagement.

In a Nutshell

If you want your customers to show the world their new shoes, remember to put a live Instagram feed in their shipping confirmation, and advertise the hashtag. After all, we’ve been behaving like this since we were kids anyway!

To get started making the most of your transactional emails, take a look at our Predictive Transactional Email Infographic and Guide. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me today, and follow @Jake_Stott on Twitter for more tips.

Topics: Dynamic Content, Transactional Email

Jake Stott

Written by Jake Stott

Jake is the Brand Relationship Manager at AVARI, where he specializes in helping brands boost their email marketing efforts. He’s British, loves marketing strategy and travel, has a pet ostrich, and is a sponsored Club Mate Athlete.