By: Kevin George
Posted: July 22, 2016 | Email Marketing
As an email marketer, subscriber engagement is undeniably one of the most critical factors that makes or breaks your efforts in converting your subscribers into lifetime customers. Considering that 54% of US and Canadian consumers consider ending their brand loyalty if they are sent irrelevant content and offers, according to CMO Council, what’s the way forward?
Repeated surveys have proven that transactional emails are more effective at engaging subscribers and result in greater ROI than bulk emails. In fact, Experian reports that the average revenue per transactional email is two to five times greater than standard bulk emails and that they have almost eight times the open and click rates. Yet, out of all marketers, only 40% are using transactional emails.
A transactional email, otherwise known as an operational email, is essentially a personalized email that’s system-triggered by a subscriber’s unique behavior during an online transaction (registration, form-fill, purchase, etc.). Here are a few best practices to consider as you’re developing your transactional email campaign:
If you aspire to join the 40% marketers who are sending transactional emails and seeing serious results, then sending friendly, timely, and informative emails is a must. Here are six types of transactional emails you can send your subscribers based on their behavior:
If a buyer subscribes to your newsletter, fills out a form, or registers for an event or webinar on your website, send them an email to confirm their action. This enhances the customer experience and sets the tone for building a trusting relationship. You can also use these emails as a double opt-in for subscribers to confirm their email address. Some businesses do this to confirm that subscribers enter valid email addressed, which is a great way to keep your database clean.
Email address confirmation and registration emails are also a great way to provide your subscribers with additional information they may need like your contact email, phone number, or social media profiles, and it opens the door for them to connect with you in different ways. For example, Best Buy’s welcome email contains various calls-to-action (CTAs) to help subscribers learn more about their different services.
If your website has a portal for visitors to log into, make sure that when your subscribers request a password change, they receive timely, personalized, and clear instructions regarding the password reset procedure. Moreover, with the prevalence of phishing activities, adding a link or email where they can report unauthorized password requests strengthens your credibility. This email from Treehouse has clear instructions on how to perform a password reset, an alternate link, and a contact email for any issues that come up.
After subscribers make a purchase or register for a conference, follow up with an email that confirms their order and includes their shipping information and tracking links when applicable. Buyers are often eager to view their order confirmation because it provides reassurance that their purchase was processed and gives them information on when they’ll receive their order. This order confirmation email from Fitbit includes a receipt and link to check the order status in real-time.
Take advantage of your subscriber’s high level of engagement by showcasing customer testimonials or cross-selling relevant products, services, or events. In fact, Experian reports that transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20% higher transaction rates than those without.asking for referrals within the email. You can also use order confirmation emails to ask your subscribers for referrals. For example, Skillshare includes a referral code at the bottom of their receipts to encourage their subscribers to refer their friends.
There is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand how your buyers feel. Ask your subscribers for feedback directly based on the proper context (e.g. after they book a trip from your website or 3-months into their software subscription). Since their feedback can be extensive, you may want to provide a CTA to a landing page to collect it. For example, after a game, the Arkansas Razerbacks send attendees an email thanking them for attending, recapping the scorecard, and directing them to click a link to take a survey about their experience.
Reactivation emails are sent to subscribers who have previously interacted with brand, but haven’t continued to engage. This could include consumers who abandon their shopping cart before making a purchase, email subscribers who haven’t been opening your emails, or existing customers whose subscriptions are expiring soon. Target your offers based on each subscriber’s behavior and lifecycle stage (e.g. send more aggressive offers to subscribers with lower engagement or existing customers who are likely to churn).
Reactivation emails are a great way to keep your brand top-of-mind and remind your subscribers about the value your brand provides. You can take a humorous approach like Bonobos or send a clear-cut email that gets to the point like Apple Music.
Increase engagement by bridging the divide between your different channels. By providing in-email functionality that connects to your website or app, subscribers have the freedom to interact with you on their preferred device. For example, LinkedIn sends a CTA email when you receive a new LinkedIn invitation that is personalized and prompts the user to confirm the invitation.
No matter what industry you’re in, transactional emails can help you generate more revenue, build brand loyalty, and improve your email deliverability. Are you ready to take them on? Trigger away!
Are you currently sending transactional emails in your campaigns? Share your tips and tricks below!