The low down on Transactional Email

You may have heard the term transactional email, often referred to as triggered or SMTP relay based email. But what are these terms referring to exactly? Simply put, you are triggering an automatic transactional email based on a user’s interaction with your brand. It is a beneficial marketing tool that companies can use to grow loyalty and build trust. It creates a dialogue that allows marketers to benefit while consumers feel as though they are part of creating the brand itself. low down transactional email So what are some of the significant differences between marketing emails and transactional emails?  

Transactional mail vs bulk mail

The first main difference between transactional and bulk/ marketing mail is the fact that bulk mail is sent as a singular campaign to a pre-defined list of recipients while transactional email is sent on an individual basis to any user that triggers a set of rules. An example would be a woman buying shoes from an online retailer. She may receive an immediate automated confirmation email sent only to her, thanking her for making the purchase [transactional email], and then two months later, get retargeted by a bulk email campaign, sent to a mass list of recipients, advertising a new range of shoes that have come in [Marketing email based on what the retailer knows about her]. In summation, bulk mail, also known as broadcast mail, mail blast or marketing email, is usually sent to an entire list of people that have opted to hear what your brand has to say, whereas transactional email often carries information specific to the individual action of a subscriber and is delivered in real time as soon as that action is recorded.

E-commerce and transactional email

The higher open rates of transactional email work in favour of email marketers, who have a keen idea for the optimal content to deliver via transactional mailing communications. There are certain transactional email guidelines that need to be adhered to, to ensure that the email does not merely fall into the promotional mail category. While transactional mail can include a product promotion within the content of the email, its central focus needs to be on the utility provided to the customer rather than promotional content. Promotional content in transactional mail only becomes effective when a user is receptive to the central message of the email. In light of this, as more and more businesses are moving their business online, transactional emails will become an increasingly useful tool to engage with customers more regularly. However, the real question is how can a business stand out from the rest to ensure their transactional email is read? Here are a few tips:
  • Timespan – research suggests that most companies send follow up emails within 10 minutes of purchase. To stay ahead of the game ensure that emails are automatically sent immediately after the purchase to maintain engagement.
  • Subject line branding – the company name usually features so that consumers know that it is for them. Try to include something engaging whilst still having your brand name present.
  • PersonalizationJupiterResearch explains that 90% of the companies they researched had some form of personalization in their email. To ensure the customer knows that they chose to receive this email, always include their name.
  • Layout elements – include HTML formatted emails (aesthetically they look better but the main reason is because they are measurable). Always have the logo present in the email, and make sure that it includes a link to the website, either from the logo or anywhere else on the page. For an even better brand experience, include navigation bars similar to that of your website.
  • Upselling and cross selling – marketers need to make sure that the email is not entirely promotional, it could include pictures of relevant products or pieces of content which are linked to the website.
  • Administrative elements – make sure the transactional email includes as much relevant information as possible to cut down on calls to customer services. That said, it’s important to let consumers know they cannot respond to the email and to give them the customer service email or another appropriate one.
A good communication strategy for any online business entails both marketing and transactional email. Transactional is essential in order to offer key service elements within an online strategy, and can also act as a secondary vehicle for marketing content. This should not eclipse the role of marketing email, which serves a very important purpose within the traditional marketing mix, the merits of which are underscored in the fact that marketing email is still the single most effective ROI channel in online marketing.