Introduction to Your E-mail
Read this section carefully so that you can fully take advantage of the e-mail management features that ProductCart offers you.
In particular, keeping your customers up to date regarding the status of their online orders will convey the image of a company committed to customer service, improve their overall buying experience and make them come back to your store. To help you implement this approach, ProductCart has been setup to automatically send your customers e-mail messages in a variety of scenarios.
When E-mails are Sent
An e-mail message is sent to a store customer in the following circumstances:
- When an Order is Placed - but is not processed in real-time (e.g. offline credit card processing, payment by check, etc.). This is also the case when a payment is authorized, but not captured by a payment gateway. In all of these scenarios, the order is considered Pending. ProductCart sends an “Order Received” message, which is not an order confirmation, but rather an acknowledgment that the order was received and that it will be processed. The message that is sent can be partially edited by the store administrator using the Control Panel.
- When an Order that Contains Back-Ordered Items is placed - If you allow customers to decide whether to receive their order in different shipments, an email is sent to them asking them to indicate their preference
- When an Order is Processed - An order can be processed manually by the store owner using the Manage Orders section of the Control Panel (e.g. an order paid for by check may be processed only when the check is received), or automatically by the system either when the payment is processed is real-time (e.g. credit card processing through a payment gateway that is set up to capture payments, or PayPal payments), or when the payment is batch-processed after having been authorized by a payment gateway
- When an Order is Shipped - When the store administrator enters shipping details for an order in the Control Panel and updates the order status to ‘Shipped’, ProductCart sends an “Order Shipped” message to the customer containing those shipping details. The store administrator has the ability to manually instruct the system not to send the order shipped email. The message that is sent can be partially edited by the store administrator: the copy can be edited, but the shipping details cannot as they are dynamically pulled from the store database.
- When an Order is Cancelled - There are a number of reasons why an order may have to be cancelled: the customer could contact you to cancel the order, or you may never receive payment for an order, etc. When you update the order status to ‘Cancelled’, by default ProductCart sends an “Order Cancelled” e-mail to the customer. The store administrator has the ability to manually instruct the system not to send the order cancelled email. The message that is sent can be fully edited by the store administrator.
- When a Request for a Return Authorization is Approved or Denied - Customers can request a Return Authorization when viewing details about a previous order in the Customer Service section of the storefront. The store administrator is notified via email, and can either approve or deny the request. In both cases, the store administrator can opt to enter comments about the decision, and send a message to the customer. The same information is also shown on the View Previous Order page.
- When a Customer Forgets His/Her Password -The login/check out page contains a link for existing customers that have forgotten their password. The link takes them to a form where they can enter their user name (which is the e-mail address they provided when they initially Registered with your store), and receive a message via e-mail with the password.
- When a Help Desk Message is Posted - ProductCart includes a full-featured Help Desk system that allows you to keep in touch with your customers in an organized manner. When you post a new message or reply to a customer’s posting, the customer receives a message. The message contains general information about the posting and a link to the customer service area of your store where the posting can be read. The text included in the email sent to the customer can be edited by editing the file includes/languages.asp using Notepad or your favorite HTML editor.
On the other hand, an e-mail notification is sent to the store administrator in the following cases:
- When an Order is Placed
- When a New Customers Registers with the Store, if the Receive email when a new customer registers is turning on.
- When a customer requests a Return Authorization Number. Please see the Managing Returns section for more information.
- When a customer contacts the store using the built-in contact form.
- When a customer contacts the store using the Help Desk. Please see the Managing the Help Desk section for more information.
- When a new affiliate signs up. Please see the Managing Affiliates section for more information.
An e-mail is sent to a drop-shipper when an order contains products that are associated with it:
- Automatically when an order is placed if the payment option used for the order is configured to have order processed when they are placed, and the drop-shipper has been configured to be notified automatically.
- Automatically when an order is processed (or batch processed) if the payment option used for the order is configured to have order remain pending when they are placed, and the drop-shipper has been configured to be notified automatically.
- Manually if the drop-shipper has been configured not be to automatically notified. There is a link to notify the drop-shipper from the Order Details page.
Configuring the E-mail Setting
Selecting an E-mail ComponentSelect an email component that is support by your Web server. ProductCart includes an automatic email component detection feature which can be accessed by clicking on the corresponding link. A window will pop-up and let you know which email components where detected on the server. ProductCart supports the following e-mail components:
Testing Your E-mail SettingClick on the link to load a simple form that will allow you to test your current email settings. Make sure you save the current settings before using this feature. If you are using a component that is not supported by your server, you will receive an error message stating so. If you do not receive any error messages, but you do not receive the test message sent by ProductCart, make sure that the SMTP server has been correctly specified (see below).
This field allows you to change the name of the SMTP server used by ProductCart to send e-mails. In some cases, you will not have to change the default value, which is “localhost”. If ProductCart is not sending e-mails, however, check with your Web hosting provider to see what SMTP server you should use. For example, the SMTP server could be something like: “smtp.yourWebHostingCompany.com”, “mail.yourDomainName.com”, or something similar. Many Web hosting companies include information about this type of setting in the frequently asked questions section of their support pages.
Set Flds = iConf.Fields Flds( “http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing”) = 1 ‘tells cdo we’re using the local smtp service, use “2” if not local Flds(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver”)=scSMTP Flds(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport”) = 587 Flds(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpconnectiontimeout”) = 60 Flds(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverpickupdirectory”) = “c:\inetpub\mailroot\pickup” ‘verify that this path is correct Flds(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpusessl”) = True Flds.Update ’updates CDO’s configuration database
If your SMTP server requires authentication, check the corresponding option and enter the user name and password for the mail server. This is typically information that is provided to you by your Web hosting company. Keep in mind that if you are not receiving e-mails, this could be the issue. Check with your Web hosting company if you are unsure of whether or not the SMTP server requires authentication.
Using Google Mail or Google Apps with ProductCart's E-mail Settings
Based on the following FAQ on Google’s site:
… as well as some feedback from a few other ProductCart customers that have successfully setup Google Mail with ProductCart… try using the following Server in your ProductCart E-mail Settings:
According to their FAQ, some servers might require the presence of a trailing dot ( . ) at the end, like this:
FYI, the easiest way to determine if the server is sending e-mails is to use the Forgot Password feature on this page (edit the domain and store directory name accordingly):
Just enter the e-mail address associated with your account on the store and click Continue. If you don’t receive the e-mail within a minute or so, then it’s likely that the SMTP server needs to be edited.
Store Manager E-mailThis is typically the address of the person that is managing the store, or “administrator”. This address receives the following notifications:
- Order Confirmations – Store Manager
- New Reviews for Approval (if turned on)
- Low Stock Notifications
- New User Registered
- New Gift Registry (if turned on)
- RMA Requested (if turned on)
- Affiliate Registration (if turned on)
Customer Service E-mailThis address receives the following emails:
- Help Desk Notifications
- Contact Form Submissions
This is the address that is used for all messages and invoices sent automatically from your store to a customer. This address shows up as the “From” address in the message that the customer receives, and is therefore also the address that replies will be sent to, if the customer were to reply to a message.
Receive E-mail When a New Customer Registers
As mentioned above, the store administrator always receives an email when an order is submitted. By activating this feature you can also have ProductCart notify you whenever a customer registers with the store, regardless of whether the customer places an order.
The text that you enter here will be the message that is automatically sent to customers after an order has been placed. It should not say that the order is confirmed or processed, but only that it has been received.
VariablesIn all e-mail messages, you can use the following variables to pull data dynamically from your store’s database and personalize your messages.
- Your Company Name: <COMPANY>
- Company's URL: <COMPANY_URL>
- Today's Date: <TODAY_DATE>
- Customer's Full Name: <CUSTOMER_NAME>
- Order ID: <ORDER_ID>
- Order Date: <ORDER_DATE>