Email Receipts: A Missed Marketing Opportunity

Guest Author

I’d like to start with the question that tends to be the white elephant in the room: Why CM Commerce?

If you asked me the same question more than 6 months ago, I would not have had an answer for you. But after reading an article about how e-mail receipts are a missed marketing opportunity, I was hooked about the ideas, concepts and theories that’s been baked into CM Commerce’s (previously Receiptful’s) public launch today.

Taking a step back, it’s important for me to admit that I’m an entrepreneur without much Ecommerce experience in the concise sense of the word. Whilst I was spearheading WooThemes’ initial forays into Ecommerce (that lead to the creation of WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce platform in the world today), I’ve never been a store owner myself or can claim that I’m an expert on the intricacies involved in building an Ecommerce business.

A part of me got excited about CM Commerce (and the opportunity that it aims to leverage) because of my experience in helping to create WooCommerce. Spanning a couple of years, I definitely got a sense of the challenges that small-to-medium Ecommerce businesses face (via answering countless support e-mails).

Beyond that though, the true entrepreneur and bootstrapper in me gets excited about CM Commerce in a way that this is one of the first tools I’d use if I were to ever create my own Ecommerce store.

Why am I so excited?

Simply put, CM Commerce (previously Receiptful) is everything I love about any tool that I would ever consider using in my own businesses:

  • It fixes and fills the void of a current, missed opportunity (which is a big problem).
  • It’s clever and creative in the way that it leverages that opportunity.
  • It supports other core components of your business: brand building, customer service and nurturing relationships.
  • Increased revenue is the ultimate aim.

I’ve obviously drank too much of the Kool-Aid already. πŸ™‚

To make my claims more objective, I can tell you that we’ve had some great feedback and data from our early beta customers, which emphasizes one thing very clearly: e-mail receipts are a missed opportunity.

During beta, we have tracked open rates on receipts to be in excess of 80%. No other form of e-mail marketing can regularly get close to that kind of attention (and opportunity).

Ideas about how to leverage that opportunity seems to be gathering pace too. Earlier this year, Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter & Square) shared his vision for receipts:

“What if we see the receipt more as a publishing medium β€” a product unto itself that people actually want to take home, that they want to engage with, be fully interactive with? What can we do with this everyday tool?”

Square subsequently rolled out Feedback as their first steps into making their own receipts more of a publishing medium that can tap into this opportunity.

You won’t be able to find a lot of literature on e-mail receipts. Instead you’ll find tiny incarnations of big ideas (like Square’s Feedback).

At the moment, it feels like we’re only starting to see signs of smoke, but we’re yet to see the massive fire responsible for that smoke. And we’re even further away from finding out exactly how we can fuel that fire.

What’s interesting about this though, is the sheer amount of data available on other – seemingly unrelated – best practices and techniques to grow an Ecommerce business:

  • The cost of acquiring a new customer is up to 5 times more compared to retaining an existing customer.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%. Whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5% to 20%
  • If a customer has just made their first purchase, this is a good time to follow up with a welcome email and some up and cross sell suggestions. (Source)
  • Way back in 2006, Amazon reported that 35% of it’s revenues were as a direct result of it’s cross sales and upselling efforts. (Source)
  • 60% of customers will buy an additional product worth 60% of the one they just bought when offered an upsell. (Source)
  • Personalized calls-to-actions had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than CTA’s that were the same for all customers. (Source)

I can continue adding to that list.

None of those things though relates directly to e-mail receipt, but instead to generic strategies or mediums such as e-mail marketing, popups, widgets and better design.

Why aren’t we applying that same (proven) logic to e-mail receipts though?

The best thing about e-mail receipts is that you are already sending them and every Ecommerce customer is expecting to receive that receipt from you.

That means you have the opportunity – and permission – to engage with a captivated audience via your e-mail receipts.

That’s why I love what we’re doing with CM Commerce (previously Receiptful): we’re maximizing an output (increased revenue) via minimal input (better, automated email receipts).

It’s a bootstrappers dream too, because it pays for itself. Industry-wide statistics shows that the average return on email marketing investment is $44.25 for every dollar spent. That’s real bang for your buck.

Can you afford to keep missing this opportunity?

Don’t want to miss out any more (and continuing losing money)? Sign up for your free, 14-day trial now.