Transactional emails are a simple concept, but they are surprisingly difficult to use effectively. Or rather, they are straightforward to use incorrectly. Let’s take a quick look at what a transactional email is and how to best deploy them.
1. What Are Transactional Emails?
A transactional email is a type of automated email that is often used by marketers, along with promotional emails. The contrast within a promotional email and a transactional email is that the transactional email is triggered by specific events, interactions, or user preferences for the service or platform they are on. A promotional email is one sent out by the business during their marketing campaign.
Promotional emails are generally targeted at the audience as a whole, whereas a transactional email is more personal and aimed at a specific user. For example, if a customer has filled their shopping cart with items, but then not checked out, a transactional email can automatically be sent to remind them that they have a full shopping cart waiting.
2. How to Use Transactional Emails
First and foremost, the subject line of your transactional email should immediately make it clear what the email is concerning. Similarly, as soon as the recipient opens up the transactional email, they should only need to skim over the body of the text to gain a full picture of why it is being sent.
You should also aim to make your transactional emails visually appealing, and not just present the recipient with a wall of text. Using HTML instead of plain text enables you to craft a more engaging and exciting email. Make sure that the email contains a direct link to the page your customer needs to visit to solve the issue at hand. For example, if they have abandoned a shopping cart, then include a link that will take them straight back to the checkout page.
Finally, choosing a reliable email provider is also essential if you are going to use transactional emails effectively. In particular, you want as much control as possible when it comes to defining the trigger events that result in an email being sent. Two ever-popular options include Mailgun and SendGrid – check out this article from PieSync for a more detailed comparison. The PieSync blog is a fantastic resource for marketers full of useful articles.
3. How Not to Use Transactional Emails
As is always the case with customer communications, you must think carefully about what you say and how you say it. One of the most typical errors that companies make with the transactional emails is that they go overboard on the marketing aspect of it and begin to embellish and exaggerate.
A transactional email is supposed to encourage your users to take a specific action. These emails can easily lead to improved customer engagement and enable you to make a sale where you would otherwise lose one. However, the marketing power of a transactional email lies in the fact that it is genuinely useful to the recipient, not that it is actively trying to sell them more products.
If you utilize them correctly, transactional emails can improve your users’ experience and benefit your business. Remember, simple is better. You don’t just want to send an annoying plaintext email, but you should also avoid weighing it down with excessive baggage. What you say and the way you present it will determine the effectiveness of your messaging.