A thoughtful, strategic transactional email campaign is a smart way for online retailers to level up the customer experience from the very beginning of the relationship. By sending the right emails at the right time, you’ll build trust through the end of the sales funnel and create a solid foundation to encourage more purchases from existing customers in the future. Follow these best practices to create a transactional email campaign that sets your brand apart from the competition.
What is a transactional email?
Transactional emails are different from traditional email marketing campaigns. They don’t take place over a set period of time to promote a specific offer or product launch; instead, transactional emails are part of an ongoing process that connects one-on-one with customers whenever a purchase is made. The process is automated with specific triggers and contains information that’s unique to the recipient, such as order details or shipping notifications.
One major benefit of maximizing your transactional emails is that they don’t apply to email marketing laws, which limit recipients to people who are subscribed to your email list. Instead, transactional emails can be sent to anyone who has made a purchase, even if they haven’t opted into your marketing list. You don’t even need to include an unsubscribe link since the message is intended only for one individual.
Types of transactional emails
Make the most of your transactional email sequence by including the following touchpoints with your customers.
Order confirmations: This is typically the first stage of a transactional email campaign. A customer places an order through your website or app, which triggers an automatic order confirmation. The information in the email is all unique to the customer’s purchase: it outlines each item bought with price and quantity, taxes, shipping costs, and the total amount charged.
An order confirmation also includes shipping details, like how many days it takes to process the order, what day it should arrive, and a link where the customer can check on their order status.
Welcome emails: A welcome email can ride the line between transactional and marketing, so it’s important to include information that’s relevant to the individual’s order. For instance, you can outline what steps they can expect to happen between now and delivery. You could also include details on how to ensure their order updates don’t get lost in their spam folder. This is a good opportunity to include an opt-in to receive future emails on your marketing list.
Shipping updates: Sending an update on shipping is another opportunity to touch base with your customer. Let them know when an order ships or if there’s a delay. Keep communication open for both good news and bad news; in fact, you can even set up automations to let them know about a happy surprise if their order is set to arrive early. Or you can apologize if there’s an unexpected delay.
Account alerts: Sending account alert emails is a great trust-building exercise. Anytime someone signs into an account from an unrecognized device or has any new account activity, an automated email is sent to confirm that there’s no suspicious activity associated with the updates.
User status updates: This one is a great strategy for turning customers into loyal rewards program members. Start with an opt-in message, then send a status update when they reach a milestone in the program, whether it’s accruing a certain number of points or earning a reward or discount.
Abandoned cart emails: You can include abandoned cart reminders as part of your transactional email sequence by including specific details about what the customer left behind. You could also include a special offer or contact information if they need more information about completing a purchase.
Customer service requests: Be sure to have processes in place to respond to customer service inquiries. Even if your team can’t respond within the first 24 hours, you can send an automated email outlining exactly when the customer can expect to hear back. Again, it’s all about keeping a clear channel of communication so that the customer knows they’ve been heard.
What makes a good transactional email?
Online retailers can implement an effective transactional email to reinforce their online digital efforts. While transactional emails can’t explicitly be used for marketing efforts, you can maximize the opportunity to build a positive experience with your customers to move them into the next stage of your marketing funnel. Here are some best practices to incorporate when building out or refreshing your transactional email sequences.
Personalize the content
Build out your transactional email campaign to import customer details within each email. This includes all the information related to their order in one place, rather than forcing them to log on in a separate browser to find their details.
Keep it brief
Your transactional emails should be short and sweet. Help them easily navigate to the information they’re looking for, otherwise they’re likely to click out of the email with a negative impression formed about your brand.
Include company branding
This early sequence of emails can start cementing your brand awareness with your new customers. Customize your transactional emails with your brand’s logo, colors, and fonts.
Provide a way to connect
Include customer service contact options in your transactional emails as well, whether it’s a link to click or a phone number. This makes it easy for them to get their questions answered, and confirms that your brand is accessible and easy to connect with.
How to send transactional emails at scale
Sending personalized, transactional emails allows marketers to build on the experience they want customers to have with their brand. Tailoring transactional messages to your customers’ needs can make their experience with your company even more memorable.
Transactional emails can be a great way to remind your customers to take action, however they are only as useful as the data that your system is working with. No matter how organized and clean your customer data is, none of that is going to matter if it’s out of date by the time you’re using it for segmentation.
Having real-time access to your data is the only way to ensure your transactional messages are both accurate and timely when you want to make transactional campaign segmentation work for your business.
Real-time transactional messaging is achievable through MessageGears’ direct connection to your customer data warehouse. Simply select the desired template using our drag-and-drop UI and select which channel(s) you would like to send through.
Apply your preferred subject line or let Phrasee React create one for you. Then preview and test your campaign to make sure everything is exactly how you want it before sending your campaign live.
Connecting with customers through transactional email
From welcome emails to shipping alerts and even abandoned cart offers, all the different types of transactional emails we’ve discussed here give your brand an opportunity to connect one-on-one with your customers. Don’t miss out!
Make sure you’re making the most of these points of communication along your customers’ experience with your brand.