Delivery Policy is the first new feature launch for 2014, and something a few of the bigger stores are really going to appreciate.

Sometimes you can find yourself with a popular product on your hands. Lots of customers have registered for a back in stock notification. Great!

But what if your supplies are constrained? Your distributor doesn’t have enough units to cover the size of the order you’d like to place. Or it’s been sometime since you last stocked the product - how many of the customers waiting will convert to a purchase?

Setting a delivery policy lets you control how many customers are notified at once.

Normally when a product is restocked all the customers waiting for the item are notified by email by Back In Stock. If you don’t have enough product inventory to cover all the demand you can end up with a customer receiving an email notification for a product only to arrive at your store and find it already sold out again.

With the delivery policy feature you can control how many customers are notified at once.

For example, say your stunning designer wall clock has been featured on @ShopifyPicks and several hundred customers are waiting to buy. You can only reorder 20 this week so you’d only like to notify 20 people at a time.

By enabling the Delivery Policy for your account you can choose to notify only as many customers per hour as you have units to sell. Customers notifications will continue to be sent each hour until all customers have been notified or the inventory sells out again.

If you’d like to read more about setting up a Delivery Policy for your account take a look at the Delivery Policy help page.

A major new feature to help you grow your store mailing list is available today: MailChimp integration.

We’ve covered a few ways to build your mailing list, and today there’s one more: Back In Stock now integrates with MailChimp. This new feature allows customers to opt-in to your mailing list at the same time a product notification is created. It’s simple to setup, and you can select which mailing list new customers are added to.

To get started log into the app and choose Customization, MailChimp Integration. It’s quick and simple to setup with no template editing required. All you need is your MailChimp account.

This new feature is available to all accounts on a paid plan. Need help or more information on this feature? Or just want to share how it’s working on your store? Great! Please get in touch.

Email marketing is one of the key tools for growing an online store. MailChimp, with powerful features and easy to use interface, is one of the most popular tools for managing email marketing campaigns. Here are some top apps to help to promote your Shopify store using Mailchimp email marketing.

If you’re not convinced about the the value of email marketing have a read of Checkout Why Email Marketing is the Key to Ecommerce Success. Then come back and get started.

Chimpified - the official MailChimp app for Shopify

This is a must have if you’re using MailChimp with your store. Chimpified automatically adds customers to your MailChimp list after placing an order. Chimpified supports segmenting and the MailChimp Ecommerce360 features, so you can then send email campaigns to specific customers based on certain criteria. For example, target customers who placed an order over a certain value, or ordered a specific product.

Zenbox - MailChimp data in Google Mail

Once you have customers added to your list you want to make the most of that data. With the Zenbox Google Chrome extension your MailChimp subscriber data appears alongside email messages when using Google Mail. You can also update the subscriber record in place, keeping your MailChimp list up to date and relevant to your customers.

Autopilot - MailChimp email marketing while you sleep

Now you have your MailChimp list growing you want to make the most of it. Autopilot does the hard work for you. Autopilot automatically sends a monthly or weekly newsletter to your MailChimp list based on new and featured products in your catalog.

Updated November 12, 2013: Back In Stock now supports MailChimp, too!

For some time now Back In Stock has supported two of most popular themes in the Shopify Theme store: Mobilia and Reponsive.

These stunning themes, designed and supported by Out of the Sandbox, include their own form for customers interested in an out of stock product. By default this form simply emails the store owner. Stores using Back In Stock can take this to the next level by installing the theme integration. Once installed with a single click the form submits the customers to the app, just like the regular in page JavaScript widget. It’s a great experience for your customers and matches the theme seamlessly.

I’m really glad to confirm that this support works with Retina, the latest theme from Out of the Sandbox. Winner of the Shopify design awards Retina was originally used on the jaw dropping Whipping Post site.

For step-by-step instructions on setting up Back In Stock with any of the beautiful Out of the Sandbox themes have a read of the theme integration guide in the help pages. If you need more information just drop an email to support@backinstock.org.

Email is a powerful tool for online stores. Here are some quick tips for improving the open rate on your email newsletters and notifications.

Make it snappy

Whether the reader is viewing email on a smartphone or a desktop email client the subject line has limited space to be displayed. Keep it short so it’s readable and attention grabbing. Less than 50 characters is ideal, according to analysis conducted by MailChimp:

The general rule of thumb in email marketing is to keep your subject line to 50 characters or less.

There are exceptions. Longer subject lines can work, particularly if important information or key words are kept at the beginning. Compare the open rates of different length subject lines to determine how important this is for your audience.

Consider using a preview line

Preview lines (or pre-header text) is the first line of text in the email. Many email clients, including big ones such Gmail, show this after the subject as a preview of the message content. You can use this line strategically to convey a message to the customer without even needing to open the email.

Here’s a an email from AppSumo displayed in Mail.app on a Mac. Notice the line of text below the subject:

Email subject preview line

Make it time sensitive

People are busy. Your email is probably one of dozens (if not hundreds) that will be hitting the inbox that day. Keep the subject line relevant and time sensitive to make the email something to be dealt with right away.

Rather than Newsletter #11 or Update from MyStore, consider these examples:

  • 9 hours left to buy
  • Just arrived: Heartlock Necklace
  • Don’t miss out - last weekend of sale

Editing subject lines in Back In Stock

It’s easy to customize the subject line for your Back In Stock customer email template. From the app open Customize → Email template.

Make any changes you like to the Subject line field, and hit Save template. If you’d like to try it out scroll down to Send a test notification and fire off a test email.

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