Optimize Contact Moments
Besides the visible pages in your online store there are many more contact moments with your visitor. Think of e-mails, notifications, thank you messages, metatags, etc. Use the tips on this page to your advantage and make your bond with your visitor stronger using every contact moment.
Write lucid and inviting metatags
Although metatags in fact primarily are a part of Search Engine Optimization, they are also often the first contact you have with a potential customer. Via keywords of your products, the customer will first see the meta-title and meta-description. It is like the advertisement board next to the door of your store. An inviting description will convince more people to enter.
You can use Google Webmaster Tools to check the Click Through Rate (CTR) of your current metatags. If the average position of a search term is good (top 10) but your CTR is low, it would be could to rewrite these metatags.
Use Open Graph
Ater optimizing your metatags, your online store will be shown much better in the search engines. But how does your online store look when it is shared on Facebook?
With Open Graphs of Facebook you get the control over how your pages look on Facebook when somebody shares or likes them.
Check your auto-reponder e-mails
The auto-responder e-mails are e-mail messages your system automatically sends to users after various actions, such as: new registration, password reset, order confirmation, invoice, etc.
These e-mails are very important because this is your first personal communication with your (new) customer. The sent e-mails can give the customer extra confidence in your online store.
This is often the first e-mail that the new customer receives from you. The perfect opportunity to leave a good first impression!
Always put your company name in the “from” field as well as in the “subject” field. The customer will be more likely to recognize your e-mail and shall find it faster when performing a search command in their inbox. Don’t forget to use the words “Welcome” and “Thank you” in this first e-mail. Also leave your contact information and try to directly make the user a member of your social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Password reset e-mail
You can be sure that many registered customers will quickly forget their login credentials. They will ask to get their password again. Requesting a password is a standard process. But it does offer a new opporunity to make a good impression.
It is recommended to check the following contact moments to see if there is something you can improve:
- Password reset page, where the visitor enters his/her e-mail address.
- Confirmation page, where the visitior gets the confirmation that his/her password has been sent and to which address.
- Password reset e-mail, the e-mail containing the new (or current) password.
An extra tip: Do you sell products that in any way improve the memory? Advertise this product in the reset e-mail so the client will not forget it the next time 😉
Check the order confirmation e-mail
The order confirmation e-mail is automatically sent to every customer finalizing an order. Often it is not sure then whether the customer already paid. Maybe s/he should still make a bank transfer.
The order confirmation has a very high open-rate. Therefore it is important what they get to see when 0pening this e-mail.
Of course you should thank the customer for ordering the products. Besides it is a good idea to send an overview of the order. Besides these two “standard” components you can do a lot more with the order confirmation e-mail. You can put FAQ in it (for example about the shipping time) to relieve your customer service a bit.
The 0rder confirmation e-mail is also a good opportunity to sell something extra. They are already in the “buying-mood”. Perhaps you can give them a very good offer with an additional product. It doesn’t cost you much extra because you can directly ship it with the first order.
Try, therefore, besides offering good information and service, also to always sell something more with the confirmation e-mail.
Enable the “order sent” e-mails
Also the order sent confirmation e-mails are automatically sent to the customer when the order is printed off and the product packed for shipping. Although it may sometimes seem superfluous to send these e-mails it is the perfect way to deliver some extra service AND to try to make an extra sell.
Especially when there are a couple of hours between the ordering, payment and packing (or even a couple of days), then it is strongly recommended to send this type of e-mail. Customer service will also be less burdened with questions about where the order is.
When you already have the track and trace code you can directly send it in the order sent confirmation e-mail. When it is not directly active or when you get the code later it is better to let the shipping company send the e-mail with the track and trace code, ensuring it directly works when the customer receives it.
Optimize thank you message in online store
Your online store has various “thank you” pages which are often fairly standard. You may try to redesign these pages so that the visitor right-away feels appreciated for his/her action. You can think of the following thank you pages:
- When the visitor places the order
- When the visitor registers
- When the visitor subscribes for the newsletter
- When the visitor chooses to receive a stock update notification
Don’t forget that these pages are only visited by people who already trust you (otherwise they wouldn’t undertake such action). By going the extra mile you can get that trust level even a bit higher.
You may, for example, optimize your thank you pages with the following options:
- Newsletter subscription: Try (once more) to let the visitor subscribe to the newsletter.
- Social media: Give your customer the opportunity to directly share their last purchase on Twitter or Facebook. You can also give them the option to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
- Ask for feedback: After the sale is finalized you may ask the customers whether they want to shortly tell something about their experience with your online store. You’ll be surprised at the amount of handy tips you’ll get.
- Customer service: Show your contact information so they can directly contact you in case of any questions. When you don’t have any of the options above you should always show your contact information!
Sometimes something goes wrong when logging in, subscribing or ordering. Then clients don’t see the thank you page but a page notifying an error. Optimize these pages so that the client will try again, and perhaps try to proceed in another way to avoid the error from reoccuring.
Often these error notifications are written by programmers of the software and these errors are often not really friendly. With a few small improvements you can make the error notification much more personal.
Make a good 404 page
When the visitor is looking for a page which doesn’t exist (anymore) he sees a 404 error page. Visitors see the 404 page more often than you think, for example because there are still internal or external links to product pages of which the products are already out of your assortment.
These 404 pages are also often far from personal and sometimes contain many technical terms. With a few simple tips you improve this page significantly and you ensure the visitor doesn’t leave your online store but instead continues to look for products in your online store.
- Friendly error notification
- Customer service information
- Direct links to important pages
Every online store should have the above on their 404 page. You can moreover optimize the 404 page even more by showing promotions.
Check your error notifications
Besides the 404 page there are many more error notifications that visitors may see. For example when the visitor enters an invalid e-mail address or accidentaly enters his/her zipcode in the wrong field.
These error notifications are also often written by programmers withouth thinking even once about the way the message comes across. Which is often not very friendly and even confusing to the general public.
You can think of the following forms where error notifications are used:
- Registrations forms
- Login forms
- Newsletter forms
- Contact forms
- Order forms
- Pre-Order forms
- Stock notification forms
Check all these error codes and see if there is something you can improve. Most probably there is! 😉