Transactional emails are automatically sent to recipients following a specific action or event – an order finalization, registration on a website, or a password recovery request. Statistically transactional messages are opened eight times more often than promotional ones. Therefore, they are one of the most powerful, yet underestimated marketing instruments.
In this article, we will find out how to make your e-commerce sales thrive using transactional mailing.
E-Commerce Is Based on Sales Only!
Many business owners emphasize the idea that they do not want to advertise their products. At the same time, they want people to buy their goods just for the sake of it. This is the only way for their companies to survive on the market, and their success is due in no small part to sales and promotion. Therefore, it is not wise to say you do not want to sell!
The truth is that every page of your website, as well as every department of your company, is aimed at selling. It is their only true purpose. When there are no sales, there is no business. The same is true for promotion, as it is the most effective instrument to boost sales.
Waking up to this fact and grasping its consequences can revitalize your entire business.
This is where transactional emails could be used as a new channel for revenue growth.
Why Are Transactional Emails a Missed Marketing Opportunity?
The answer is simple, yet convincing: messages of this kind have higher open rates and click-through rates. At least, as compared to pure ‘selling’ emails.
According to recent research, transactional messages are 69% more likely to be opened than marketing ones, and 165% more likely to be clicked. These figures are impressive, aren’t they?
Moreover, transactional emails sent by the top-performing companies are opened by recipients four times each. Just imagine that, each letter being opened four times!
We are aware, however, that opens and clicks make the difference only when they result in revenue. Businesses are aimed at making money, not amorphous indicators.
Here, transactional communications are very helpful too. Order confirmations, for instance, generate $0.13 per message as contrasted with $0.09 generated by marketing newsletters. The pr’ofit generated by complete transaction email campaigns can be up to six times higher than the ones delivered by all the marketing messages from the same company.
How Does Transactional Email Marketing Work?
- First, it grips the attention of the audience. People know that transactional messages contain essential data that they need for certain purposes. They try not to miss emails of this type.
- Second, transactional emails arrive immediately after an event is triggered. As opposed to marketing letters that tend to be sent twice a month or weekly (depending on the campaign, its features, and purposes), messages of this kind always arrive in due time. The recipient knows that the email is about to come and gets ready to read it.
- Third, transactional emails do not go to spam. This can be attributed to the above factors: messages of this type are important for a recipient, and they arrive when they are expected to. Even if a message goes into the Spam folder, the recipient is very likely to mark it as ‘not spam’.
Types of Transactional Emails
Before you start thinking about the opportunities offered by using transactional messages for business purposes, you should know their types. Here are the most common situations where transactional emails are sent:
- A new user registers on the website;
- A customer places an order;
- An item is out of stock and the order is delayed;
- A user needs password recovery;
- A user submits a question to the support team;
- A customer abandons his/her shopping cart;
- A customer receives an invoice;
- A customer receives a formal sales receipt;
- An order shipment is confirmed;
- A company asks for feedback from its clients;
- A new subscriber receives an opt-in confirmation, and more
There are different types of transactional emails, and each of them is sent for a specific need. Is it honest and, more importantly, effective to use this channel of communication for marketing purposes, too? If done correctly, it certainly is.
Further, we will tell you how to use transactional thinking for selling services and goods.
A Couple of Words About the Can-Spam Act
Before you start using newsletters for your business, take some time to get acquainted with the CAN-SPAM Act. This document regulates the use of commercial emails, establishes requirements for all types of messages, and gives recipients the right to cancel their subscriptions. Besides, the CAN-SPAM Act spells out tough penalties for law violators.
Here are the key points of this regulation:
- Do not use false or deceiving header information.
- Do not use misleading subject lines.
- If it is an advertising letter, indicate this.
- Tell recipients your postal address.
- Tell recipients how to unsubscribe from all your messages.
- Be respectful of opt-out requests.
Importantly, it is forbidden to use deceptive subject lines to make recipients think the email is transactional when it is really a scarcely disguised selling one. Your goal is to combine marketing and transactional content in the most natural way.
For instance, you can send a message that confirms a commercial transaction that the recipient has already agreed to. In the text, you offer reassurance and provide safety information about the product the customer has purchased. Below that, you can offer him the chance to obtain other goods that can be used along with this item or that are discounted.
Selling emails of this kind are informative and useful for recipients, yet are income-generating. More importantly, they keep you within the CAN-SPAM Act.
10 Transactional Email Tips to Yield Maximum Returns
Here are the key principles that allow transactional messages to deliver targeted actions effectively. Use them to breathe life into your company’s transactional communications. To maximize the benefits, implement several practices in one campaign and test different combinations until you find the best one.
- Place all the transactional information at the top of the newsletter, so that recipients can see it all at once. Never use subject lines that are misleading or ambiguous.
- Devote a major part of the message to the transactional purpose. Make sure at least 80% of the content is purely informative, without any marketing hints.
- Ensure that your marketing offer fits the newsletter, its topic, and its idea. Do not mention opportunities that are not directly associated with the action performed by the recipient.
- Provide full-length data on transactional issues. It is not enough to just say ‘Thank you for your purchase’. You should confirm the contents of the order, the price, the payment method, and shipping requirements. Customers need to see the details of their purchase.
- Make the message uniform, consistent, and easy to read. Do not hurry to tell readers about the marketing offers you have prepared for them. First, write all the transactional information, and only then proceed to an advertisement. The email should have the same tone, from beginning to end.
- Be timely and appropriate. What are transactional emails? These are the messages sent to recipients after certain actions. Therefore, it is up to you to think over the schedule of sending your letters. Order confirmations must occur as soon as possible after the purchase is made. Shipping data must be sent when the order has been dispatched. The more logical and well-timed the message, the better it will be accepted.
- Add your company’s social media buttons to each letter. Make sure the subscribers can approach you with any questions. Inspire customers to follow your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and interact with you there. Remember: every interaction with clients is part of the shopper journey.
- Create mobile responsive messages. Make sure it is convenient for your subscribers to open and read your letters with any gadget, including smartphones. If you send messages that do not render properly on mobile devices, you run the risk of losing sales and damaging your brand.
- Do not neglect personalization. Address your recipients by their names, even if the newsletter is transactional. Studies show that personalization is a high-return tactic.
- Use transactional messages to remind your customers about your brand. The more frequently they hear from you, the more likely they are to return to your website and place an order.
Just one last note: be sincere with your existing and potential customers. The list of transactional email best practices does not include this rule, but it is self evident. If you are always ready to answer people’s questions, inform them about their orders and shipments, and, more importantly, tell them about new marketing offers and best discounts, they will be happy to stay with you. Or to become your new clients. In any case, you benefit.