Electronic, emailed receipts are expanding the possibilities for lifecycle marketing by giving retail and eCommerce merchants a new and innovative way to reach out and market directly to existing customers.
Emailed receipts are also becoming increasingly popular among consumers for the paper, time, and clutter they save. But this growing acceptance of emailed receipts is an indicator of the changing expectations among today's consumers, who are becoming more open to email and future marketing contacts from retailers.
Consumers who ask for electronic receipts are apt to give their correct email address and much more likely to engage with the email's content once they receive it, providing merchants with a new means of reaching customers - a door into their world after they leave the store or check out online.
With electronic receipts now being issued to countless customers every day, the question is: How can retailers take full advantage of the door that emailed receipts open into the consumer's inbox?
Twitter Co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey posed this pressing question to merchants at the National Retail Federation's annual expo earlier this year, asking, "What can we do with this everyday tool? What can we build into this canvas that's actually valuable, that's independent of the product you just sold?," BuzzFeed reported.
According to Epsilon International's 2012 report, electronic receipts "offer limitless marketing possibilities" and give retailers "deeper insight into consumer shopping habits, which can lead to more targeted advertising mailers, promotions, and emails."
More specifically, emailed receipts offer merchants an opportunity for branding and a way to engage with customers. Mobile payment company Square, for example, allows merchants to add custom messaging to electronic receipts. Emailed receipts from Square can include special offers, promotional discounts, or social media links, and merchants even have the option of incorporating feedback forms or other website links into the receipt. Adding images of the products a consumer purchased to their e-receipt, and encouraging them to share with others, is another good way to leverage the customer's purchase as an advertising tool.
The CAN-SPAM Act imposes stricter requirements on Commercial email than on Transactional email. A transactional message is one that facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction. For example, if a customer orders a product from your website, the receipt you send via email is a transactional message. Transactional messages, whose primary purpose is to communicate transactional content, are mostly exempt from requirements governing Commercial emails except one: they must accurately identify the sender in the header information.
Overall, electronic receipts can contribute to more successful lifecycle marketing campaigns by allowing merchants to email customers with targeted promotional content, further engaging the customer with the rand and maximizing the receipt's marketing power.