7 Tips for Successful Transactional Emails
Updated: Apr 24, 2019
In this article, I give useful tips on how to use transactional emails to exploit the full advertising potential.
Transactional emails are opened almost always because the information is relevant and expected for the recipient. However, most marketers still have not exhausted the advertising potential of sign-up and order confirmations, shipping notifications or status messages.
Why is that? Transactional emails are usually sent from the online shop or a comparable backend software. Such unadorned text emails do not allow for major advertising effects.
Companies are therefore well advised to send their transactional emails with professional email marketing software - taking into account some conceptual issues.
1. Integrate into the existing system infrastructure
The sending of transactional emails should remain docked to the existing system architecture. The shipping solution is seamlessly and bidirectionally interlinked with the online store, the content management system or the CRM database.
Subsequently, the dispatch is automatically "triggered", whereby the dispatch times are always designed for the individual recipient. For this, the relevant recipient information is transmitted to the shipping solution - and the individual response data is transmitted back to the backend software after it has been sent.
2. Ensure delivery
Especially with transactional emails the delivery is critical to success. Such system emails are usually sent with a high frequency and must reach the recipient due to their informational nature.
However, transactional emails are always in danger of being classified as "unsolicited" or "promotional" by email services and spam filters. In such cases, the marketer is threatened by angry customers and direct sales losses.
For effective transactional emails, therefore, continuous delivery management is essential.
Here are professional email delivery solutions integrated with the backend systems are clearly an advantage. The email marketing software is based on a powerful shipping infrastructure and usually includes comprehensive delivery services - the guarantee for the delivery of the transactional emails.
3. Personalize content
Transactional emails often remain impersonalized. As a result, no real activation of the recipient is possible. Email personalization is therefore important.
In addition to the personal greeting, the transactional emails should also be tailored to the individual preferences of the recipient. Particularly strong cross- and up-selling effects can be
achieved by incorporating product recommendations that complement the shopping cart and awaken the interest of the recipient. For example, information about offers that have
already been clicked by the recipient can be considered here. Also references to bestsellers or current special offers are effective.
4. Achieve careful branding
From a purely visual point of view, transactional emails tend to differ significantly from traditional advertising emails.
The fact that such system emails are sent so unadorned, usually has technical reasons. Thus, the transaction emails are usually sent in a plain text format. The usual backend systems are typically not designed to create more elaborate and sophisticated layouts.
By adapting to the look and feel of a website or an online shop, the recognition is usually much higher. At the same time logos, call-to-action buttons or seasonal changing banners should be placed. Nevertheless, the information character of a transactional email should always be preserved. Too aggressive layouts, too many advertising messages or graphic games shoot beyond the goal.
5. Use templates
Creatively convincing transactional emails are based on templates. It is therefore recommended to use special content templates. The templates are set up on the basis of the corporate design or an already used template is made ready for sending the system emails.
The content templates should be designed and tested for display on desktop devices, smartphones and tablets. Thus, delivery and presentation problems are eliminated from the outset with a high probability.
6. Guarantee sending performance
Many backend systems are not designed for sending out large volumes of emails. In addition, such systems run the risk that the transactional emails are delayed or not completely delivered.
In contrast, professional email solutions are almost always used "in the cloud" and continuously developed. Here, the sending performance and resource allocation is the responsibility of the service provider. In addition, such email sending solutions scale with company size without the marketer having to invest in the technical infrastructure.
7. Measure success
For transaction-based online offers, measurability is crucial. So it is important that there are certain metrics to measure the performance of transactional emails. Otherwise, companies are poking in the fog for important KPIs such as open rate, click through rate and delivery rates. In contrast to dedicated email solutions, a shop software or similar systems are usually not designed for the evaluation of transaction mails.
Transactional emails offer greater cross and up-selling potential. However, the marketer must also reach his recipients - on the technical as well as on the content level. This requires conceptual considerations, careful branding, and sending through professional email marketing software.
I have written a number of other articles on the various aspects of email marketing. If you would like to dig deeper and learn more, I suggest you refer to them: