What Is Transactional Email?
Commercial and transactional emails are very different animals. Commercial emails are often unique and time-sensitive, containing marketing information such as deals, coupons or upcoming events. Transactional emails, on the other hand, are a communication in response to an action on the part of the user (or inaction that begs a response).
For example, you may be familiar with transactional emails such as those you receive when you first sign up for a newsletter, leave an online shopping cart without completing the purchase, or when you forget your password.
Related Article: Are You Making a Rookie Email Marketing Mistake?
How to Effectively Use Triggered Email
1. Designate Appropriate Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are only as effective as they are timely and appropriate. Sit down and decide which user actions warrant an email. These are your ‘triggers’ that you will use to automate an email response. These triggers are often of the following nature:
- Sign up
- Password resets
- Forum comments
- A length of inactivity
- Account balance updates
- Weekly summaries
- Shopping cart abandonment
- Welcome and thank you emails
Once you have your list of transactional emails, the next step is to go to the task of writing down exactly what you’d like each email to get across to your customers.
2. Get Creative
We see transactional emails in our inboxes all the time, and oftentimes those that seem to have no value are quickly swept into our Junk folders.
So how do you create transactional emails that catch the attention of your customers? Imparting valuable information in an eye-catching format is an art form, and it incites a great reward if done well.
- Make the subject line relevant. A subject line should be short and sweet, informing the reader of what’s inside.
- Personalize the email for the customer. Use their name, keep a casual tone, and encourage the customer to reach out to you if needed.
- Keep it short and sweet. Put the most important information at the beginning, and remove any extraneous information that’s not critical to the intent of the email.
- Don’t make it sales-like, and resist the temptation to over-promote. Avoid the spam folder by making sure you steer clear of multiple exclamation points, large images, and common spam word like “free”, “click here”, and “limited time”.
- Use a real “Reply-to” address. Transactional emails have valuable data in them, and oftentimes that data can give rise to questions about a customer’s account. Give them a true link back to you by providing an address to which they can immediately reach out and respond.
3. Reel in Revenue
Just because transactional emails are often associated with standard communications such as password resets and account confirmations, doesn’t mean you can’t take the opportunity to direct your customer back to your website.
Reserve a few of those limited characters for a call to action, such as “check out what’s new” or “try out our latest new feature.” Make sure you add a hyperlink so that customers are just one click away from your website.
Transactional emails are also a wonderful way to remind your customers that they did not complete their checkout. A simple reminder email shortly after a customer abandons their cart can bring them back to their intended purchase and help you capture lost revenue.
4. Set Up Your Triggers
In order to use triggered email effectively, you have to connect your transactional communications to your triggering events. There are multiple email marketing and software platforms that can help you set up your triggered email workflow.
From Customer Relationship Management platforms and contact management software to simple, online email marketing websites, the software you choose will be based on the intricacy of triggers necessary, and your particular business.
Related Article: 3 Ways to Foster Brand Loyalty with Email Marketing Autoresponders
5. Split Test and Track
Also known as A/B testing or multivariate testing, split testing is used to conduct experiments on various emails to determine which version is best received by the customer.
By sending two variations of the same email and then analyzing the open and click rates associated with each, you can gather what type of communication works best for your target audience. Play around with different titles, and adjust the content to test out what grabs your reader’s attention.
6. Follow-Up and Adjust As Needed
Once you have your triggered email workflow up and running, set a schedule for review. Over time, email content may need refreshing, certain workflows may become outdated, or specific new triggers may need incorporation. It never hurts to run a routine check to ensure that everything is still running smoothly, and you are reaching your clients when and where they need it most.
Incorporating triggered transactional emails into your marketing strategy can help you obtain a closer relationship with your customers and streamline your communications. A well-defined and properly executed triggered email workflow can work wonders to increase revenue by encouraging customers to complete online transactions, interact with your website, and stay connected with your business.
Automation and efficiency go hand in hand, and triggering events connected to well-designed emails can effortlessly connect your customers to your business.