- Category: November 2012 - Email & SMS Marketing
A lot of companies have not yet taken full advantage of the tremendous potential of transactional emails, which are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. Due to its high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are a golden opportunity to engage customers, to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers, to anticipate and answer questions, or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.
Many email newsletter software vendors offer transactional email support, which gives companies the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. There are also software vendors that offer specialized transactional email marketing services, which include providing targeted and personalized transactional email messages and running specific marketing campaigns.
What makes it special is the fact that the opening rate of these emails is 80% higher than average. However, transactional emails are usually sent out by the backend software (online shop, CRM, ERP, CMS) or an integrated mail system not designed for e-mail delivery, so unfortunately, the performance of transactional emails often can‘t be tracked or measured.
Typical use of transactional emails includes:
• Registration, login and logout confirmations;
• Shipping and delivery notifications and information about returns;
• Invoices, orders, reservations and order confirmations;
• Password requirements and changes;
• Status messages and community status reports;
• Absence of information and auto-responder messages from web forms;
• E-mail notification regarding messages and events from social networks.
There is a high degree of acceptance for transactional emails, since these messages are expected and almost always offer relevant content. Click rates are much higher than comparable figures of traditional advertising messages, making transactional emails the perfect tool for targeted cross-and up-selling - and so generating significantly more revenue.
To be successful with transactional emails, it is important to personalize the content, start a conversation with your customers, and use the message to strengthen customer engagement. Savvy marketers will always integrate relevant product recommendations, special deals, offers and rebates.
Most transactional emails are not particularly appealing and consist of plain text for technical reasons. So there‘s still a lot of potential in adapting to the layout of the website or online store, and placing logos, call-to-action buttons or seasonally changing banners where appropriate. Also don‘t forget to optimize for mobile devices.
Deliverability is another key issue. Since high volumes of transactional mails are sent out, make sure your messages don‘t get classified as spam. For large volumes of transactional mails, it is highly recommendable to use a professional email provider, with sufficient experience rather than sending from the traditional backend system. Such solutions provide a powerful technical infrastructure and extensive delivery services - guaranteeing a high delivery rate for transactional emails.
Sending out transactional emails should be fully integrated into the existing IT environment. Ideally your shipping solution would be able to trigger the email solution, with the recipients‘ data transmitted to the email software and the response data fed back in to the backend system.
Metrics and tracking are crucially important if you plan to use transactional mails for cross and up selling. If you chose the right email provider, you should be able to track and measure the performance of the mails sent out and you will be able to generate the reports you need.
Last but not least, make sure there are no legal restrictions for adding advertising to transactional emails in the country you are planning to send out. Your email provider should be able to assist you in this. To be on the safe side, you should try to get customer to opt in for additional advertising in transactional emails.