How Transactional Emails Raise Sales

d_transactionalemailTransactional emails are the necessary, functional communications that are customer-initiated. They include:

  • Password resets
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Purchase confirmation
  • Questions and complaints
  • Technical assistance
  • Welcome and thank you to new members

Due to their often important content, transactional emails have an almost three times higher open rate than other commercial email. Don’t waste this opportunity to connect with your customer. Every time you personally communicate with your customer, you are showing what kind of company they have entered into a financial agreement with.

A transactional email is a conversation; if they have not made a purchase yet, the tone of the conversation may encourage them to do so. If they already have made a purchase, email marketing allows you tools to encourage a return customer, or to encourage new business.

Coupons and Codes

Transactional emails are a time to thank your customers for their order with a coupon or code. To encourage new customers, the coupon or code could be transferable to a friend via email or Facebook to encourage new customers.

If the email is in response to a complaint, a coupon or code could help smooth over a poor customer experience.


  • All transactional emails should link back to your social media, website, and blog. Transactional emails are often saved or archived as reference, so give your customers a way to track you or find the link for return business. Use your software for email marketing to integrate your social media and email marketing.
  • Encourage reviews. Ask open-ended questions, such as “Rate your experience” or “Are you enjoying your purchase?” in transactional emails that are sent after a purchase has been made. Asking for a review shows you care about customer experience, and you are driving traffic back to your site. If the review doesn’t directly lead to another purchase, you have increased positive brand recognition.

Be friendly

  • The purpose of a transactional email is to acknowledge the customer’s interaction and encourage future interaction.
  • Say thank you in all transactional emails — for the business, for their interest, for their return patronage.
  • Be consistent across all business communication. Be sure all departments are using the same branded, business-friendly tone. Make sure everyone is up to speed on what your business can and can’t do for customers. Use consistent formatting and templates so all emails look like they’re coming from the same entity. Customers feel confident about a business that looks unified.
  • Promptly respond to customers’ needs. Set up auto-responders to let customers know if there is a queue, and offer alternate sources and links, including a customer service phone number. Be easy to get in touch with.

Spin Marketing in Transactional Emails

Every opportunity you have to interact with customers is a touchpoint, and can be optimized to express more information to further a sale. Some spin techniques to gently try at the bottom 20% of transactional emails:

  • Link to similar products
  • Provide coupon codes for free shipping or percentage off
  • Inform customers about new products
  • Invite a friend to try a product, service, or subscription
  • Ask to join the mailing list, Like on Facebook, or Tweet their new purchase.
  • Put promotions at the end of the email or the end of the email conversation, after the primary issue has been fully explored.
  • Text advertisements may be optimal, especially with short transactional emails.
  • Do not over-sell. 80% of the email should be devoted to the reason the customer originally contacted you.

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