Making the Most of Transactional Emails

Making the Most of Transactional Emails
Jill LeMaire Redo • October 21st, 2011

Transactional email messages—such as purchase confirmations, account services messages and triggered alerts—have higher open rates than typical marketing messages (42.8% according to our Q2 2011 Email Trends and Benchmarks report). This creates a significant opportunity for marketers to reach consumers who have interacted with their brands. Transactional emails have the potential to be more than just purchase confirmations.  They can be used to strengthen relationships with consumers and drive incremental revenue. 

Marketers should take into account three key components to maximize transactional emails:

  • Personalization. Transactional emails are already personal due to the type of information they contain like recent purchases, account information or confirmation of behavior.  This is all the more reason to add even more personalization.  Consider addressing the recipient by name, and offering relevant or complementary products as well as content that is tailored to their specific behaviors or interests. Data is crucial in order to incorporate personalized content.  
  • Cross-sell and promotion. Based on transactional data and product affinity models and analytics, determine what products and services should be cross-promoted in emails.  Also use this opportunity to further promote your brand by incorporating links to your social media sites, such Twitter and Facebook, upcoming promotions and mailing list registration.   
  • Testing. In additional to monitoring open, click and bounces rates, conduct a test of those who receive cross-sell promotions and those who receive standard system-generated messages. You’re bound to see a notable difference and improved up-sell and cross-conversion rates.  

Below are a few examples from Email Institute’s Email Gallery of brands who have successfully integrated one or more of these tips.