Discussion

How valuable is transactional email?

In order to determine how valuable transactional emails are, we first must define exactly what they are. Some would say that transactional emails simply refer to emails that are sent after a monetary transaction has taken place. Whilst that’s true, there are many other actions that customers can take that should trigger a transactional email from your business. Examples include:

  • Thanks for signing up‘ emails
  • Password reset‘ emails
  • Shipping notice‘ emails.

So, now we know what transactional emails are.

But, just how valuable are they?

In this article, we are going to delve into the world of transactional emails to find their true value.

Value is all about quality

So, first thing’s first: not all transactional emails are the same. Transactional emails, as a whole, cannot be placed into one single basket labelled ‘valuable’ or ‘worthless’. Each transactional email must be measured on quality to determine whether it is valuable or not.  Take a look at this email as an example:

photobox-screenshot

This transactional email tells the customer everything they need to know. Not only that, the information is presented in an engaging way with a timeline of events showing exactly what has happened, and interesting copy. The section at the bottom also encourages users to make further purchases. This is a perfect example of a valuable email.

However, transactional emails can be just as ‘un-valuable’. The email below was found on a blog titled: ‘The least valuable email of all time‘.

worstemail-screenshot

This transactional email provides no value to the reader whatsoever. The email is boring and offers no information to the customer or advice on what to do next. On top of that, the ‘reply to’ email address is ‘no-reply@amazon.com’.

Both emails above show that transactional emails can be very valuable, but also they can add no value at all. It’s up to you to make your emails valuable.

So, how do you do that?

Optimize

Just like any other type of email in your marketing strategy, your transactional emails should be optimized to increase their value to your customers. Like the Photobox example above, think about using images and engaging, useful, even humorous, copy in your transactional emails. The ‘thanks for signing up’ email below is a great example:

email-screenshot

Another way to optimize your transactional emails to be as valuable as possible is to implement A/B testing.

A/B testing, also known as, split testing, is the process of creating two or more different versions of the same content in order to see which one performs better. There are hundreds of different ways that you can A/B test your transactional emails. For more information on A/B testing, click here.

So, that’s how to make transactional emails valuable for your customers. Now it’s time to find out how to make transactional emails of value to your business.

3 ways transactional emails add value to your business…

1. Customer support

Customers like to feel special. Almost everyone will agree that it’s better to hand your hard-earned money over to a business that values your custom, than to a business that you don’t really have a connection with.

Transactional emails help customers feel secure when using your website. It’s reassuring to instantly receive an email when you need to reset your password, or confirm your email address, or complete any other kind of action.

dominos-email-screenshot

This email from Domino’s sets the tastebuds tingling! As well as being visually engaging, it’s practical, listing the order details, price, date, and delivery time. Another nice touch is the ‘from’ address. ‘thekitchen@dominos.co.uk’ is much better than the usual ‘noreply@email.co.uk’. Little touches like this can really increase the entire customer experience.

2. Positive business reputation

Happy customers and a positive business reputation kind of go hand-in-hand. To reiterate the above point, customers like to feel supported and know that you are on the ball. Transactional emails help to portray this image because they are instantaneous and contain relevant information.

Transactional emails can also include links to feedback surveys. Giving your customers this opportunity to tell you how they feel about your business will help you to improve your business processes to further increase and maintain your positive business reputation.

3. Higher revenue

According to Experian’s Transactional Email Report, transactional emails have a higher revenue per email, as well as higher transaction rates, opens, and click rates.

Another way to increase revenue through transactional emails is to upsell. Transactional emails are a great place to upsell because of the higher open rates. All of the emails used as examples in this article (aside from the ‘Amazon Payments’ email) have taken the opportunity to upsell within their transactional emails — so you definitely should too!

So, back to that all important question:

How valuable is transactional email?

In a word? Very.

Transactional emails are another way for you to connect with your customers and show them that you appreciate their custom. Done correctly, transactional emails will prove to be a very valuable asset to your email marketing strategy.

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