How to Optimize Transactional Emails for Customer Contact

d_transactionalemailTransactional emails are an excellent opportunity to connect with your customers: they have a 53% open rate, rather than a less than 15% open rate for commercial emails. Most transactional emails are sent for basic business communications, such as resetting a password or shipping confirmation. However, you have an opportunity to incorporate transactional emails into your email campaign by encouraging return customers with a good buying experience.

Use transactional emails to show appreciation for customers by always thanking them for their purchase or interest in your store. Make your company feel personable and friendly by always including customer service contact information with every transactional email. Customers like to feel they can reach you if there’s a problem, and that you want to solve the problem if something goes wrong.

Use transactional email to encourage customers to engage with your brand by opening a dialog. In shipping confirmation emails, ask them to rate the buying experience with a simple, minimalist poll. Follow up on negative responses. The most successful way to encourage customer interaction is to use phrasing that is open-ended and emphasizes that you want their opinion, good or bad. When asking for a product review, make it easy with a single click. Using a button rather than link text may help click-through rates, as well.

Unify Tone

Don’t forget to give transactional the same consideration regarding formatting, copy, appearance, and testing that you give marketing emails and newsletters. Every time you interact with a customer, you’re building up your reputation. Appearances count, even in email receipts and shipping notices. Check your analytics on transactional emails as often as you do marketing emails.

Transactional emails may be sent from multiple departments, but they should all display a consistent, branded tone and format. Check that billing, marketing, and IT are all speaking from a unified company voice that supports the brand you want to project.

Social Media + Email

Transactional emails are an opportunity for social media involvement. Include Facebook and Twitter buttons in all transactional emails and ask readers to Tweet their purchase or Like you on Facebook in order to create word-of-mouth advertising. Since most people prefer to try out new products from the recommendation of a friend or respected personal source — such as a blog they follow — this is the most effective way to potentially get the word out to new customers.

Enhanced Transactional Email for Sales

You can use transactional emails to offer upsells or spin. If a customer has just bought furniture, maybe they need to purchase installation.

Another spin tactic is to offer a web tool that allows shoppers who are using the Internet to compare prices to create list of saved items (ie, a “wishlist”). Make sign-in easy with just their email address. If they left your site without making a purchase, send an email with images of the items they’ve saved, plus similar items.

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