The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about using transactional emails is: “I want my customers to buy something”. This may be true but it doesn’t mean that’s all there is to it. There are other ways of using them and they can help you with different things like keeping track of orders, sending reminders, etc. In fact, I would argue that most people who send out transactional emails don’t know what else they could do with them.
Depending on how you use your transactional emails in your sales process, the results will either disappoint you or satisfy you. Your company needs to invest in using these types of emails to sell your products/services, make an offer and use them as a channel for your customer service.
Transactional Emails – A Quick Overview
The main purpose of transactional emails is to keep your customers informed about any changes made by your business. They also serve as a reminder to take action. For instance, if you’re selling a car, then you might send a confirmation email after someone buys one. You’ll probably tell him where he can pick up his vehicle at the dealership. If you’re shipping goods, then you’d notify the recipient via email once the package leaves the warehouse. And so forth.
There are many more reasons why businesses need to use transactional emails. However, this article only covers some of those reasons. It’s important to note that not every type of transaction requires a transactional email. Some transactions require no communication whatsoever. So before you start thinking about creating a template for each possible scenario, think carefully about whether you really need to create a specific message for each situation.
Answering the Customer
Your business can send such emails when it wants to answer customers who have interacted with your business. Customers may be shopping for a product or service, or they could be doing something as simple as opening an online account with your business. To ensure your transactional emails are effective, you must introduce your customer to the tone, voice and values of your business.
As mentioned, transactional emails are sent to respond to customer actions. Most companies will automate the process of sending transactional emails. An example of such automation is when you send an email to confirm an order or to provide a receipt. Other examples include sending a notification that your customer’s order has been shipped. Transactional emails are the busy bees of your business’s marketing effort.
Driving Customer Service
Another thing about transactional emails is that they drive your company’s customer service in the online space. Your business can use them to welcome new customers, thank them when they make a purchase or respond to their inquries/requests. These emails are a direct link between your company and the customer. Your business should use them to effectively engage with consumers.
Most customers today expect to receive an email from your business whenever they make a purchase. The aim is for your business to do everything in its power to engage with and provide satisfactory customer service.
Are Your Transactional Emails Boring?
The trouble with transactional emails is that they are often very boring. They are also automated and so are not give enough attention or personalization, which is sad. The fact is they help your business communicate with your customers. Your business should take this opportunity (when communicating with its customers) to begin a conversation about your brand. Here is what your business can do to use transactional emails in its sales process.
1. Create Interesting Transactional Emails
The first thing that needs to be done is to ensure that the emails you send to your customer are not generic or boring. Whether it is a receipt or shipping update, your business needs to ensure that its transactional emails convey, in an effective way, the voice, aesthetic and values of your business. Your customers should be introduced to the people that are responsible for sending the emails. The language used should be informative without being salesy. The image created in the customer’s mind through the transactional email should be vivid. Be sure to also update your customer on a regular basis. Communication, even by email, is the key to successful customer service.
2. Content should be Interesting
The second thing your business needs to do is to weave some interesting content into the email. Don’t just limit the content of the transactional email to information about the purchase. Instead, make sure to add some useful tips on how the customer can save money or use the product and also provide links that send the customer to a blog post on your business website. You need to create the right balance between informing your customer and entertaining them and providing them with some very handy content.
3. More Contact Points
The third thing that you need to do is increase the number of points of contact. Your company’s transactional emails must engage the customer and include them in other parts of the business sales cycle. So, when the customer abandons his or her cart, you need to send a transactional email that motivates the customer to come back and complete the purchase. Maybe they got distracted and forget to finish purchasing or needed time to decide if it was the right purchase for them. If you’re not following up – out of sight, out of mind. You also need to use transactional emails to get feedback/reviews from your customers. Also, make sure that the emails are used to provide suitable updates about your business’s other products and services.
4. Welcome Emails
When your customers register with your business, you need to send them a transactional email in the form of a welcome email in which the customer signs up for a web service (ie: your latest sales or blog posts). Make sure that the message in the email is clean and clear about your brand. It should also have a call to action which is for the customer to log in.
5. Confirmation Emails
When customers make a purchase, you need to send them a transactional email in the form of an order confirmation email. This email should contain all the details of the transaction and product as well as its shipment. This email informs the customer that the transaction was successful and your company is acting to deliver the product. One way to improve sales is by ensuring that this email gives the customer peace of mind knowing that their transaction is safely being handled and you are communicating with them and not leaving them wondering what the status of their order is.
6. Shipping Information
When the product is ready to be shipped, send a transactional email informing the customer that their order is being processed. The email should also inform the customer that their product(s) is on the way. Be sure to add a shipping link that allows the customer to track their order so they will know exactly where their order is.
7. Delivery Confirmation
After the product has been delivered, your business should use its transactional emails to create momentum. This is possible if you send an email that gives your customer a reason to be excited about their purchase. The email should ensure that the right product has been received by the right recipient.
This is a great opportunity to send out additional information on their purchase (ie: if they purchased some plant seeds, send them planting tips or if they bought a sweater, send them some washing instructions or ideas on how to pair it with accessories for different looks).
By providing specific emails about their order, they feel it was personally sent to them since you know what they bought. It’s not just a random email sent to everyone. You can even ask them to send a picture of them wearing the item and you’ll post it on your social media. This builds a relationship with them. Also, ask for a review and provide the direct link for them to do that.
8. Double Opt-in Emails
Finally, your business’s transactional emails should ask the customer to confirm receipt of its emails. Double opt-in emails help your business verify the email address of the customer to further ensure that no spam is sent to them and to ensure better delivery of emails to the customer.
It is also a good idea to send transactional emails in which a password reset link is provided. Just make sure that these emails are not just functional (providing a password link) but also interesting by displaying your company’s branding.
If you’d like more information on email campaigns, check out our blog: 3 Email Strategies to Win Customers to Your eCommerce Store
How to Create Better Transactional Emails
Create transactional emails that have the information at the top of the message. If you’re making a marketing offer, make sure that it fits in with the rest of the email message. The messages you send should be consistent with your brand and should be sent on time and should be appropriate.
The inclusion of social media buttons to those channels where your company is active is a good way of improving your company’s sales.
The emails should work well on mobile devices because most customers today will first interact with your business on their smartphones.
Make sure that the emails are personalized and do not just focus on selling. Instead, create transactional emails that help to keep your business uppermost in the mind of the customer in a way that builds relationships and repeat business.
The bottom line is transactional emails, if created properly, are eight times more likely to be opened by customers than promotional emails. Before creating transactional emails, keep the CAN-SPAM Act in mind. You do not want your transactional emails to cross the line by making the customer believe that the emails are a marketing item and not an informative item.
If you need help with your transactional email sequences, we provide that service. Reach out by email or book a call today.