If your business has a website, mobile app, or connected product, then you’re probably sending thousands of transactional emails to your customers every day.
These emails – welcome emails, password resets, order confirmations, and more – are typically hard-coded and controlled by IT or development teams. As a result, they’re often dated, off-brand, and deliver an inconsistent customer experience with all your other marketing efforts
As a marketer, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to generate sales & revenue for your organization as research shows transactional emails have 8x the open and engagement rate of traditional marketing emails.
In this guide, you’ll learn what transactional emails are and the massive opportunity they present to marketers, as well as get some ideas for transactional campaigns you should own and optimize to grow your business.
Transactional emails are system-triggered emails sent to a user by a company’s app or website based on that specific user’s activity. As consumers, we interact with these emails on a near-daily basis: password resets, order confirmations, login details, shipping notifications, flight confirmations, cart abandonment alerts, and more.
Due to the mission-critical content inside these emails, transactional emails are the most highly engaged emails that businesses send. In fact, research shows transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue. It makes sense – think about the last time you received a flight confirmation: you probably bookmarked the email, re-opened it several times before the flight, and may have even printed it or forwarded it on to your family and friends.
And yet, these highly engaging customer communications usually arrive as a plain text email that bear little resemblance to the website, app, or company it came from. That’s because at most companies, IT controls these emails, making it difficult for marketers to edit or update them regularly. And as a result, most transactional emails lack the branding and marketing polish that other customer-facing communications have. This creates an inconsistent brand experience for your prospects and customers.
Furthermore, the elements marketers are accustomed to leveraging in their marketing email efforts – real-time reporting, cross-sell/upsell, mobile optimization, and more – are simply unavailable with transactional email. Where traditional email marketing has become an exercise in precision, transactional email has seen little innovation.
With such high levels of relevance and phenomenal open and engagement rates, a huge opportunity exists for marketers to take ownership of these emails and optimize them to help drive people back to your site or application and buy more from you.
When Chinaberry, an online retailer of books and toys, implemented a system that added additional product recommendations to their order confirmation emails, they found about 500+ customers clicked-through to the promoted products each month and that around 20% went on to purchase an additional product.
That’s a significant uptick in sales from a simple tweak to an existing email they were already sending.
To help you elevate your transactional emails to the level of quality as all your marketing efforts – and drive additional sales and revenue in the process – we’ve compiled a list of 5 types of transactional emails your business is likely already sending and provided some best practices for optimizing them.
A registration email is sent when a user first creates an account on your website or in your application. Common examples include a welcome email when you sign up for a web service for business, a mobile application such as a banking app, or an introductory email when you signup for an online dating site.
Campaign Monitor customer BuzzFeed does an excellent job welcoming new users to their website. The email is on-brand, clean, and clear with one key call-to-action: logging in. A secondary link is to the BuzzFeed community, which will help onboard their new contributors faster.
When implementing a registration or welcome email for your organization, keep these best practices in mind:
A notification email alerts the user when a relevant action or event takes place in your website or application. Common examples include notifications that you’ve been tagged in a photo on Facebook, that your package has shipped, or the king of all transactional emails: the password reset.
When users request a new password, they want it fast, so complexifying the email isn’t recommended. Reddit’s password reset email is a great example of how to deliver what the user needs in a branded, clear way: the giant, red “Reset My Password” button is the focal point of the email.
When sending a password reset email and other types of notification emails, keep in mind the following tips:
A confirmation email is designed to notify the user when a specific action, initiated by a person, is complete. A receipt from an online shopping purchase, a confirmation your hotel room has been booked, or in the case of Campaign Monitor customer South By Southwest: a ticket purchase confirmation.
The email contains the key information that SxSW’s customer will need to attend the event: the order number, ticket delivery method, and resources to start planning for the event.
When optimizing confirmation emails for your organization, make sure to incorporate some of these best practices:
While most transactional emails provide relevant information to recipients, a feedback email requests some form of feedback on a recent transaction they had with your organization.
You have probably have been asked to submit a review about products on online, rate a recent online shopping experience, or leave ratings on movies you may have watched on Netflix or similar services.
Campaign Monitor customer Fiji Airways prides itself on providing a superior travel experience, and their survey email does an excellent job requesting feedback in a professional and branded way.
When optimizing feedback emails for your organization, make sure to incorporate some of these best practices:
An inactivity email is sent to a person who previously interacted with your website or application, but left before completing a transaction or hasn’t been active for a while.
Campaign Monitor’s customer Birchbox sends a “cart abandonment” email to its users who place items in their online shopping cart but do not convert. This is an excellent opportunity to drive revenue by reminding customers to revisit their site and complete the transaction.
The email is particularly effective because it’s sent just hours after the user abandons their shopping cart. It also provides helpful context by reminding the user exactly what they left in the cart – and what they’re missing!
When optimizing inactivity emails for your organization, consider these best practices:
With Campaign Monitor’s transactional email service, marketers now have complete control over the email that their customers open and engage with most. This means even minor tweaks to an email’s branding or messaging can be done on the fly – and without the help of a developer. More substantial changes – such as adding or changing a promotional CTA – is also just as easy as creating a traditional marketing email in Campaign Monitor.
To create your first transactional email with Campaign Monitor, you’ll utilize the same tools millions of marketers around the world already use to build their traditional marketing campaigns:
Your business is likely sending thousands of transactional emails today and there is no better time to create an edge against your competitors by tapping into this massive opportunity to connect with your prospects and customers.
Whether it’s a shipping notification, purchase confirmation, password reset, or a system-triggered email totally unique to your business, the opportunity to drive positive brand awareness, sales, and revenue is massive. And with Campaign Monitor’s simple and elegant email marketing software for business, building a beautiful, branded transactional email has never been easier.