Spotting Opportunities with Automated Emails: Better World Books

I was recently looking for an ethical online bookshop, and was really delighted to find Better World Books.  They have an extremely attractive offering – they ship worldwide for free, have new and used books, competitive prices, and for every book you buy, they donate a book to a literacy programme.  All this plus a special 10% off sale prompted me to buy a few books on my very first visit to the site.

The shipping confirmation email that Better World Books sent when my books were shipped was a great example of using an automated email to build a relationship with the customer. Here’s the copy:

The email then went into the shipping details, and was signed off “Eagerly awaiting our meeting” with the titles of the books I bought in place of a name.

I really like this! It’s witty and unusual, and I felt it managed to stay on the right side of the line between cute and twee.  There’s a few quite clever notes in there too – they’ve flattered me for being a book reader, and have reminded me a couple of times of the impact of my purchase.  So many shops just send a standard ‘your order has shipped’ email, but this stage of a customer / supporter relationship is a really good one to be warm and welcoming, thank people for their custom and build brand loyalty.

Are there automated emails that your organisation is sending that could get a makeover, to become more friendly and personal? Could you do an exercise with your team to re-write your donation confirmation emails, to bring more of the voice of your organisation into the content, and make a better connection with your donor?


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