My company is going to send out 3 follow-up emails to users who place orders of our product. The first email informs them we receive the order and we are working on creating the product. The second email informs them that the product is being produced and will deliver to them in xx weeks. The third email informs them that the product is almost finished and be sent to them shortly. With each email we include support materials only about the product such as user guide and link to FAQs. Are these email considered operational emails? Would the support materials considered marketing or promotional?
If they are directly related to a transaction, they may be considered operational in nature since they relate directly to the operation of your business.
However, if they are more marketing focused without direct information about an order or transaction, then no, they would not be operational emails.
As long as the support materials really relate to the usage or implementation of the product being built, which seems to be the case, yes, you can consider these emails operational indeed.
I'm going to agree with Greg and Geoffrey here and say that as long as the emails are "we received your order", "we're building your item", and "we're shipping your item", then they're transactional.
From a best practices standpoint, I'd avoid any promotional content in these emails since their purpose is to let people know the status of their order.
Chris Saporito if an email is directly related to a transaction that a person has made with your website (inquiry, registration of some sort, purchase, etc) then it would be considered transactional/operational. Hope this helps!
More specifically, information about upgrades to our product that will be affecting the customer. We have a series of emails that gets the customer prepared for the upgrades by giving them information and tasks. Are those considered to be operational? These are not promotional at all.
Hey Chris, I'd say that yes, those would be operational. I would make sure to explain that clearly in the footer language of the email, though.
Hi Dory & Chris,
In fact, no, product upgrade information are not operational emails, as they do not specifically relate to a transaction or following up a request from the customer or prospect. Those are emails that you send unsolicited.
They fall in a grey category that is "Customer relevant information". I call it "grey" because it's nature depends on the various anti-spam laws and will differ from one country to another. Most of the countries will consider that, although it's not transactional, it is still relevant information to your customers and therefore does not require and opt-in to be sent. But the limit between relevant information and promotional info can be easily crossed and, in countries like Germany, you should really pay attention to the content of these messages.
Hey Greg, yes, there is an important distinction here and caution should always be exercised when sending operational emails. But, from what Chris outlined it sounded like there were things that they need to do these things for their purchased product to function properly -- which is likely a contractual obligation. While I'm not a lawyer who specializes in this, I'd say that this would be operational. Chris, I'd suggest consulting someone who specializes in the laws surrounding emails if this is a concern or you've run into issues with these emails.