For email marketers, it’s often easy to get carried away with exciting email blasts and, as a result, neglect our everyday transactional emails. Although they may appear dull and insignificant to some of us, transactional emails are probably the most important type of email you will send out to your customers. They’re also your most likely source of clicks – especially seeing as 64% of consumers find them the most valuable type of email in their inbox. If you perfect your transactional emails, you are making the most of the opportunity to show your customers who you are as a business by taking advantage of high open rates.
What counts as a transactional email?
In short, a transactional email is a confirmation of an exchange made between you and your customer. These emails usually contain information which a customer is likely to want to find and use again. Most often, they take the form of a sales receipt, but other types of emails can also fall into the transactional category. Here are some popular examples:
- Account creation (welcome emails)
- Shipping/Delivery information
- Booking/reservation confirmation
- Event sign up
- Newsletter registration
- Notifications (new followers, comments, etc.)
- Password change confirmation
Here are our top tips on how to create transactional emails that shine…
Give the email a clear subject line
In order for your transactional email to reach its maximum potential (which is pretty high), your customers first need to be aware that it actually is a transactional email. This is where a clear and effective subject line comes in. Your subject line is the chance for you to explain the gist of your email in just a few words; enticing your readers to open it. With transactional emails, it’s more important than ever to make this subject line concise and to the point so your readers don’t scroll past it in their crowded inboxes. For example, “Your order has been dispatched!” is a great way of clearly communicating a shipping confirmation. It’s clear and concise: your customer knows exactly what the email is about and will be much more likely to open it and view the information.
Think about personalization
In order to make the recipient feel valued, instead of feeling like one of many customers, you should consider incorporating personalisation placeholders into your transactional emails. One really easy way of doing this (without the need for extra data) is by including the customer’s name somewhere in the message. The email will be much more eye-catching to the recipient if they notice their own name, and it also shows you’re willing to go one step further as a business to make customers feel appreciated. Another way of personalising transactional emails is by adapting them based on the location of the customer. One example of where this can be useful is when suggesting nearby stores or upcoming events in the customer’s local area. We love this email from Everlane as an example of personalization. The customer’s name takes centre stage!
Don’t be afraid to upsell
In the world of business the word “enough” is rarely spoken. In order to maximise on potential sales, it’s important to try and upsell as much as you can to customers. Advertise new products, offers, and featured deals in your transactional mails, and you will benefit from maximum exposure. Your customers may not be looking to go shopping, but a tempting banner advertising your 20% off holiday sale might just be enough to tempt them to visit your site. As illustrated in the example below from Shoedazzle, it can even be effective to advertise to customers who have just placed an order! A little bit of creativity goes a long way!
Let the design speak for your brand
We covered the topic of branding a few weeks ago, and it’s just as important in your transactional emails as in any other email campaign. While it may be tempting to cut corners when it comes to designing a purchase or sign up confirmation email, this may be where it matters the most. Your business most likely sends out dozens of transactional emails every day – making them the face of your brand (think the digital version of customer service staff.) For this reason, you shouldn’t be reluctant to make your transactional email designs vibrant, eye-catching, and interesting. A simple white background and text is clear to understand, but is it the way you want to present your business? Experiment with colors, fonts, design elements, and more to create the perfect transactional template for your business. You can even adapt your design slightly for seasonal occasions or for special events. This email design from Steven Allan is an inspiring example of how you can make even a simple welcome email standout and represent your brand.
Use the opportunity wisely!
The last thing we would recommend is to try and use every transactional email to its full potential. As we’ve already mentioned, transactional emails have the highest open rates of all email types. To take advantage of these high open rates, you can also add a CTA (call-to-action) to the email. One potential CTA which is easy to fit in to any transactional email is the social media sign up. Inspire your customers to follow you on social media by including a CTA and a link to your Twitter/facebook/Instagram at the end of the email message. This is a great chance to gain more exposure for your social media sites, and existing customers in particular will most likely be interested in following you to gain more updates on upcoming offers and news about the business. You can also take the opportunity to offer discount codes for future orders in order to attract customers back to your site after they have already made a purchase. This example from Crate & Barrel is a proactive way of using a thank you email/purchase confirmation to subtly point customers towards your social media sites.
We hope you found these tips for transactional emails useful. Take this opportunity to really benefit from the hidden gem of the email marketing world!
Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 Team