Transactional Email: Marketing Opportunity?

Transactional emails are comfort food.  “Thank you for your order from ourstore.com …” with a shipping estimate and order management link is the sort of post-sale follow up most customers expect.  They get opened and read.  So why are so few marketers leveraging them?

Elaine’s suggestion is great.  I think I’ll add this as a switchable option to my cross-selling software.

Covey: Four Disciplines

Four Disciplines
Just listened to Stephen Covey’s Four Disciplines of Execution. Classic Covey, no big surprises. The four disciplines are:

  1. Focus on your Wildly Important Goals
  2. Create a compelling scoreboard
  3. Translate lofty goals into specific actions
  4. Hold each other accountable all the time

What differentiates a Covey book from the typical “execution” or “decision-making” tome written by some ego-driven CEO is Covey’s distinctively avuncular manner. Somehow it makes it easier to take the hard messages.

The timing of this was serendipitous, because I just had a chance to listen to an HBR Ideacast in which the authors of Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls were interviewed. They discussed how the decision making cannot adequately be evaluated in isolation.  Instead, they argued that including quality of execution and follow-through would yield a more holistic measure of decision making effectiveness.

Judo Marketing – they’ll throw the competition

I received a really nice looking mailer from Judo Marketing. I really liked the fact that they lay out their entire product portfolio in one small brochure, with specific pricing information – don’t you hate people who are coy about pricing? Anyhow, I expect great things from these folks. If you’re a small business looking for promotional items, corporate ID or just branded swag, check them out.

MMM: Incredible lecture by Dr. Randy Pausch

Today’s Monday Morning Motivational topic is CMU Professor Dr. Randy Pausch, who is suffering from terminal cancer of the pancreas.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Professor Pausch and his last lecture, but if you haven’t actually seen the lecture video yet, take an hour and watch it – it’s tremendously inspiring. He also maintains a blog-like journal so you can track his current status.

Motivational Quote:

“Brick walls are there to let us show our dedication and to filter out the people who don’t really want it.” — Dr. Randy Pausch

Usability suggestions

An excellent list of 21 Cart Usability Best Practices from eCommerce Opimization.

Number ten is an interesting one:

10. Make sure shoppers can easily access their cart contents and that it can easily be modified or adjusted.

A lot of carts (and Zen Cart in particular) don’t have a notion of “editing” an item in the cart; to modify an item in the cart, you need to add a new item to the cart and delete the old one. From a software development perspective I understand why they made this decision (clue: it’s easier), but I’ve always found it aggravating.