In today’s digital world, over 191 billion emails get sent out every day, these break down to 82.6 billion personal emails and over 108 billion business messages. This averages out to 48 emails per user inbox!
With such an enormous wash of message clutter coming to the addresses of your users and customers, you need to take advantage of every edge you can if you want to capture their attention, get them to open your messages and gain conversions from them.
Luckily for you as an online marketer, this is where transactional emails come into the picture and save the day. Let’s cover what they are, why they can benefit your marketing enormously and how you can take advantage of them through several key best practices.
I’ve asked the experts at Easy SMTP to help us better understand how we can better leverage transactional emails in business.
What are Transactional Emails?
Unlike your bulk mailing campaigns that you send out to multiple simultaneous recipients on a regularly scheduled basis, transactional emails are individually sent one at a time messages that you or your system send to your users whenever they interact with your site in a specific way.
Some obvious examples of transactional emails include: welcome emails, comment notifications, shipping notices, sales receipts, renewal requests and customer service inquiry replies.
As you can see, all of these are the kind of messages that get triggered by a user because they’ve requested something from your website or interacted (“transacted”) with it in some way. This characteristic is also what causes the enormous attention grabbing power of transactional emails.
What Makes Transactional Emails Such a Powerful Marketing Tool
As this compelling infographic from the email management firm Easy SMTP shows, transactional emails often enjoy open rates as high as 106% and unique click rates of 17% or more. These are incredible numbers when you realize that most bulk mailing campaigns in comparison only get opened about 15% of the time and only enjoy a 3% unique click rate.
What causes the enormous difference in metrics is the fact that (as described above) transactional emails are far more immediately relevant to your users due to their own activity that triggered their being sent. In other words, if a user of yours recently ordered a new camera from your Cameras R’ Us website, they’re expecting to receive a payment receipt and shipping confirmation sometime soon and will be on the lookout for both in their inbox!
As long as your emails and their subject lines maintain the above noted transactional nature, they will get more attention across the board. Now here’s how you can take advantage of this.
Creating Massive Conversions with your Transactional Emails
- Serialize your Emails: Break down your transactional emails into as many smaller individual messages as you reasonably can. Each one will increase your exposure to more conversion opportunities. As I noted above, if someone orders a product from your site, they’ll be expecting a sales receipt and a shipping notice, thus, send them both but in separate messages instead of just one single email. Doing this can boost revenue by 13% or more.
- Say “Thank You”: The simple act of saying thank you to your users in all of your welcome emails, shipping confirmations and order receipts can increase clicks by 35% or more. It’s a simple strategy, easy to implement and it’s polite!
- Personalize your emails: If you’re sending out order confirmations, newsletter sign-up emails and welcome messages, personalize them by using your users name, restating the benefits of their buying or joining and make reference to special offers, news, discounts and tips that are relevant to that users interaction history with your site.
- Be Social Media Friendly: Social media engagement is extremely important and dynamic, so include it in your transactional emails. Your users might want to share your email content on their social pages or simply want to check out your own social media presence, so give them a chance to do either by adding social share and connect buttons in all of your transactional messages. According to the Easy SMTP infographic, social media buttons increase unique clicks by as much as 55%
- Customize Email Templates and Test Them, but stick to Simple designs: Test multiple email layout formats for different kinds of transactional messages and A/B test them all to see which ones garner the best responses but remember to keep things as simple and easy to load as possible for maximum readability across a range of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and different brands of smart phone.
- Deliver Strong Calls to Action: Clearly and in absolutely easy to understand terms, invite your users to engage further with your brand and explain the value of their doing so unambiguously. If you have links to fan pages, sales offers and discounts, make them obvious and give powerfully clear instructions for how to take advantage of them.
- Finally, Stick to the Transaction: In order to be CAN SPAM Act compliant and in order to please your customers into continued clicks, your transactional messages need to keep their essential transactional character even if you’re using them for promotions. Their high open rates exist specifically because a user knows that they aren’t simply promotional material. Thus, keep your subject headings relevant to each messages transactional purpose and keep the transactional content inside each message front and center, above any promotions you’re doing.