Transactional emails are an incredibly powerful email marketing tool that many online marketers often completely fail to take advantage of. More often than not, this is because so many marketers simply don’t know how to take advantage of this special type of email or haven’t even really heard enough about it to know what they’re missing out on.
The bottom line however, is that if you haven’t started optimizing your transactional emails yet, you should start doing so as soon as you possibly can. Their incredibly high open rates on the part of subscribers make them offer an absolutely golden opportunity for increased conversions, clicks and, ultimately, sales.
Before we get down to the actual details of which kinds of emails you should optimize and how, you might want a quick overview of what these special types of emails are.
What Defines a Transactional Email
Transactional emails are user specific messages that get mailed to specific individuals on a one by one basis based on interactions with your site that triggered these emails. These emails are different from bulk mail in that they are not primarily promotional and because they aren’t sent in bulk to whole lists of subscribers at the same time.
Now that you have that basic framework in mind, let’s get down to some practical tips on optimization for different kinds of transactionals.
Sales Receipt Emails
Sales receipt emails are a type of transactional email that you should particularly pay attention to optimizing. This is because they enjoy some of the very highest open rates found among all emails of any kind.
According to this infographic by Easy SMTP, their open rate can be a whopping 114% or more due to the fact that these kinds of emails are often opened more than once by the same user. This is almost 10 times as high an open rate as that of a typical bulk email.
You can optimize your sales receipt emails in one very easy way by adding a simple “thank you” notification in the subject line. This alone can increase open rates by 35% more.
Adding social media links inside these emails also helps. Click-through rates as a result of this can increase by 55% or more.
Finally, receipt emails are a great forum for further product and service recommendations based on previous purchases. Adding them in can boost click rates and even revenues by several percentage points.
Abandoned Cart Emails
the percentage of website shopping carts that get abandoned early in the buying process is enormously high, sometimes at a rate of as much as 67.45%.
However, this can be reduced enormously by as much as 40% by simply sending out a transactional email that notifies of cart abandonment and making sure that email is optimized as well.
And how to optimize abandoned cart emails?
For starters, the simple act of including a subject line which mentions the specific abandoned product can increase open rates by 10%.
Recommending additional complementary purchases inside such emails can raise click-throughs by 50% and, while open rates can very a lot by niche, maximal optimization should be done with the first cart abandonment email since these are opened half the time on average while the open rate goes down to 40% for a second abandoned cart mail and 27% on the third abandoned cart message.
Welcome emails offer some of the best transactional email optimization opportunities. The average revenue per email, if optimized properly, can be as much as $5.83! This is more than 10 times the revenue average per bulk email, which sits at around 53 cents. Simply including a promotional offer in each welcome email you send can more than double revenue per email.
Adding subject lines that are clear, to the point and include your brand name too can boost open rates by a whopping 80%.
Finally, splitting a single larger welcome email into a small sequential welcome drip campaign series can also improve your transaction/engagement rates in general by as much as 40% over what a single welcome email would achieve.
The average click rate for shipping confirmations is just 20.8%, which is a bit lower than average for a transactional email. However, given that bulk emails often get click rates of just 3%, 20.8% is still great.
You can boost this even further by optimizing shipping notices to also cross sell related products and services just as we suggested with sales receipt emails. This can increase revenues by as much as 20%.
Also, in order to cut your overall customer service costs, use your shipping confirmations to include information on tracking numbers, expected delivery times, product descriptions, product codes and links to package tracking pages. Also add a contact link for additional questions.
Product Review Emails
Product review emails are a bit more controversial than a typical transactional email because a company promoted review can seem overly promotional and inspire little confidence.
However, if you also include links to actual customer reviews on your own site or other websites, review emails can create enough trust to garner sales and click-through results that are as much as 12 times higher than those of standard product descriptions.
Additionally, using the word “review” in the subject line can kick open rates up by 28% and separating review emails across reasonable time spans of 2 to 3 weeks will also increase the success of review emails.
Notable examples of triggered transactional emails are welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, shipping notices, sales receipt emails, product cancellation notices and even review emails. If you are in the business of doing business, be sure to use and optimize your transactional emails.
This article was written by Matt Zajechowski of Digital Third Coast.