Most digital marketers are familiar with the power of transactional emails for brand-building and customer retention: Transactional emails get 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and generate 6x as much revenue.
But much of the transactional email discussion centers around product or software businesses. So, digital marketing agencies may not apply what they know to be true about transactional emails to their own company.
In this post, we’re sharing how agencies can use transactional emails to improve their own client retention.
Why do transactional emails matter for agencies?
Think about the last time you ordered something online: You may have saved the shipping confirmation email and checked back a few days later to find tracking information to see your package’s progress.
When else do you give such devoted or repeat attention to an email from a company or marketer?
Unlike most marketing emails, the information in transactional emails makes these emails feel important—and even urgent—to open and read.
Smart marketers can take advantage of this urgency and infuse their transactional emails with strategies to build their agency brand and improve client retention.
Types of transactional emails for agencies
Transactional emails, sometimes called “system-triggered” emails, are automatic emails triggered by an action. For product and software businesses, traditional triggers include signing up for a newsletter, creating an account, or placing an order.
For agencies, the opportunities to send brand-building transactional emails are similar but a little different. Let’s take a look at the types of transactional emails for agencies.
A welcome email is sent to new email subscribers after they join your email list. Your welcome email is an opportunity to set the tone for your relationship with this prospective client.
For example, Findable Digital Marketing sends this welcome email to new subscribers:
Source: Findable Digital Marketing.
This is an excellent example of an agency welcome email because it:
- Sets clear expectations for the newsletter to minimize unsubscribes
- Invites subscribers to become more invested in the brand by following the agency on social or reading recent blog posts
- Is signed by the company founder to make the reader feel special (instead of signed by “team”)
An onboarding email is an email sent to clients who have just signed on with your agency.
The goal of an onboarding email is to establish expectations for the working relationship, but you can also use it to make new clients feel like they’ve made a great decision by choosing to work with you. For this reason, a great onboarding email can go a long way toward improving client retention.
For example, check out this onboarding email by video messaging software Loom:
Source: Really Good Emails.
You can take a cue from Loom’s onboarding email and:
- Include a personalized video to make new clients feel special
- Outline next steps for new clients to take
- Make it easy for new clients to get their questions answered quickly
Invoice & contract emails
Invoice and contract emails are an opportunity to improve your client relationships. Instead of sending the default invoice or contract email that comes with your CRM, try writing your own copy.
For example, check out this sample invoice email from time tracking tool Clockify:
This email is excellent because it:
- Balances a professional tone with a personal touch (“Hope you’re doing well”)
- Uses a clear subject line that can’t be misunderstood (“Payment reminder for invoice”)
- Includes the terms of the invoice in the body of the email (amount and due date)
Feedback emails are your final opportunity to interact with a client whose project has ended. It’s your last chance to make an impression that leads to referrals and even repeat projects.
For inspiration, check out this feedback email by search-as-a-service platform Algolia:
Source: Really Good Emails.
This email is ideal because it does a couple of key things:
- It’s written with a personal tone (“As we prepare for Thanksgiving…”) that makes it feel like a 1:1 communication, not a templated email
- It asks directly for feedback (“Would you be willing to write a quick and honest review…?”)
- It includes an easy-to-find button to leave feedback
- It offers an incentive to leave feedback to encourage more responses
Even though most of the discussion around transactional emails is focused on product or software businesses, agencies are equally primed to increase client retention through exceptional transactional emails.
If you follow the examples outlined in this post, you’ll be well on your way to creating transactional emails that drive opens, clicks, massive engagement, and heaps of revenue.
For more transactional email help, check out the features page and our guide to transactional email for marketers.