The Secrets Of Effective Transactional Emails
Written By Jason Rowse - Digital Marketing Expert
Transactional emails are automated emails which are sent as a trigger to events, typically carried out by the audience. Some examples for triggers:
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Making a purchase
- Opening a support ticket
- Submitting an enquiry
- Referring a friend
The triggers and emails that will be sent vary widely across industries, products, and services, with company culture and goals defining a subscriber’s journey. Also, the style of the emails can be anywhere from a formal to a colorful one packed with images. There are truly no rules when it comes to creating these emails and defining triggers for when they will be sent as long as they achieve their goals.
Keep reading to uncover the top tips when it comes to maximizing this email type.
Make Sure Emails Reach Inboxes
The first most important tip is to make sure your subscribers actually get your emails. This might sound trivial, but it’s a point that mustn’t be overlooked. Unfortunately, this factor is often out of our control, and depends on the web server. Various spam filters can get in the way as well as other mechanisms deployed by a subscribers’ internet Service provider.
Here are some tips to make sure your automation works well, and that your intended recipients get your automatic emails.
- Use a static internet protocol address and domain
- Work with quality service providers
- Don’t use spammy words in the subject lines or body
- When emails bounce, analyze the cause and try to rectify the issue
- Use a DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), an email authentication method which is designed to allow recipients to verify the authenticity of the sender
Create Clear And Informative Subject Lines
Seeing as transactional emails are sent as a response to an action or a trigger, the subject lines must be clear and concise.
First of all, this email type is one that your subscribers or customers might refer back to (for example, purchase confirmation), and these emails should be easy to search for in their inbox.
Some other reasons include the clarity of the email’s purpose in order to avoid the impression that subscribers are receiving unsolicited emails, along with creating a chronological journey through your sales funnel.
Here are some important tips to remember:
- Include The Merchant’s Name: For example, Order #0-234434 is an extremely unhelpful subject line. On the other hand, “ToysRus Order #0-234434 “ is much clearer and more useful for future reference.
- Include The Reason For The Email In The Subject Line: An email which confirms subscribing to a newsletter which has the subject line of “Hi there” is not going to come across positively. Instead, try “Hi there, thanks for subscribing to Sneaker World!”
- Keep It Personal: Using first names in subject lines are a great way to make a connection with your audience. A subject line of “Hi Jane, we got your support request” is far superior to “We got your support request”.
Use A Smart And Scanning-Friendly Layout
People love structure.
Emails which are thoughtfully laid out are pleasing to the recipient, and they save time. Creating an email that is broken down in a sophisticated way makes it easy to scan and understand in a very short time.
The recipient will also be able to pick out key details that catch the eye, for example an order number in bold. Sending a big block of text with no break down or use of bold, underline, bullet points or tables is a big error as the email is unlikely to deliver the message in a satisfactory manner.
- An HTML-based email will help you create structured emails (supported by most providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird and more), as opposed to text-only emails.
How To Maximize Your Transactional Emails
In addition to being clear and professional to get the message across, there are other ways you can leverage your automatic emails for other goals. Here are the two top ways to do so.
Use The Space For Marketing
Any email is an opportunity for sales and marketing. Sending an automatic email without any marketing angle could potentially be a waste. For example, upon receiving an order confirmation, a customer might like to know that if they refer a friend today, they can get 10% off their next order. Other examples include offering a complementary product to the one the customer has purchased, or advertising your new product in a banner on your support ticket emails.
Seeing a transactional email as a strategic opportunity to add secondary information is effective and certainly worthwhile. Your subscribers won’t see this in a negative light as this is common and acceptable practice.
Don't Forget To Monitor Performance
Marketers often track and monitor promotional emails. However, automatic emails are just as important in this respect. Being on top of their deliverability stats will help you refine your systems and gain valuable insight. Monitoring bounce rates, open rates, and click-throughs are a great way to optimize your automatic email system, as well as learn about your subscribers.
Transactional emails are often the backbone of any subscribers’ journey with your company. These emails shouldn't be overlooked in their importance, as well as the opportunities they can create to connect with a customer, promote your brand or learn about your deliverability rates.
Using the tips and insights above, you will be able to maximize the effect of this key automatic email type.