Do you even have a transactional email campaign that you’re actively managing? Sure, if you have any customers or users at all, then you’re obviously sending transactional emails all the time. However, sending them because you need to and using them as part of a successful and integrated marketing strategy are not the same things.
Here I’m going to discuss just how your transactional emails can add enormous value for your overall email marketing program and give some tips for turning them into promotion vehicles all on their own.
What are transactional emails?
Before we get down to it, let’s cover the definition of transactional emails quickly:
In essence, they are all the one at a time messages you regularly send out to your website/app users or customers in response to interactions in the form of “transactions” that they have with you or your website pages.
These transactions don’t have to be financial, they can simply be exchanges of information such as renewal notices, shipping confirmations, comment notifications and welcome emails.
As you can see, you’re almost certainly sending some of these to your users already. But do you realize their marketing related importance or just how you can use them for promotion?
How Transactional Emails Cut Through Clutter
Because transactional emails have direct activity based relevance to their recipients, they tend to get noticed much more readily than promotional and other email. This is an extremely important quality in a world where 191 billion emails get sent per day worldwide and where the average inbox fills with 48 business or personal messages daily.
Just how well are promotional emails noticed? According to this interesting infographic on transactional email, the average open rates for transactional messages according to their analytics go as high as 106% (due to multiple openings of the same message by single recipients). Furthermore, the unique click rates for content inside the messages average 17%, making them 6 times higher than those of promotional emails which normally garner click rates of less than 5%.
Conventional promotional mail is normally opened only 15% of the time, so an email that gets opened as often as these transactional emails is something you need to pay attention to and take advantage of.
How do you Do this?
Turning your Transactional Emails into Conversion Machines
Your general strategy should be to incorporate your transactional messages into your overall promotional efforts and use them as their own constantly A/B tested email messages for gaining new sales and increased conversions.
However, because of the CAN SPAM Act (if you’re based in the U.S) and because their eye catching magic lies in the fact that transactionals are NOT fundamentally promotional, you can’t just turn your transactional messages into the same thing as your regular bulk mail. They have to maintain their informative, interaction related flavor. But there are things you can add to them which will boost your conversions, clicks and sales enormously:
- Serialize your messages and multiply the number of transactional emails you need to send: Instead of sending a single large transactional message or welcome email, break it down into two or more smaller messages. Each should contain an important piece of customer service related info and at the same time promote your business. Doing this can raise your revenues by as much as 13%.
- Simply say “Thank You”: Click rates for shipping and buying confirmations that fail to include a “thank you” notice in their subject lines are 35% lower than otherwise. Avoid this large loss by placing a clearly visible thanks in all of your transactional messages. You should be regularly thanking your audience for participating.
- Personalize your emails and use them to cross sell: Customize messages to each of their recipients personal details and even go as far as adding sales recommendations based on previous buying or activity history. These two changes to your transactional messages can raise unique clicks by 41% and revenues by 20% or more respectively.
- Don’t forget Social Buttons: By adding clearly visible social media icons into all of your transactional messages, you can not only help spread the word about your brand but also boost your email click rates by 55% or more.
- A/B test everything: Customize different transactional templates for different audience and message types and test them all while tracking their metrics. Use and reuse the versions that garner the best clicks, conversions and sales. We’ve covered this sort of email variation before!