Online shopping (2)

“Save 20% on our latest Summer collections in-store now!” We’ve all seen this land in our inbox and more often than not, we’ll dismiss the content as irrelevant, poorly timed or simply uninteresting. Somewhat ironically for marketers, “Confirmation of your recent order: #012345” is something we’re far more likely to open in our inbox.

The paradox is down to the simple fact that in the latter case we are expecting this email to come through as a requested online proof of purchase. Of course, similar rules apply to password resets, account activations or booking confirmations, they are all examples of requested communication that the consumer will sit up and pay attention to.

Despite this fact, Mailjet, recently revealed that almost 60% of senior marketers admit that they aren’t generating revenue from transactional emails, or have no idea if they are or not. This detached approach to transactional emails is in the main part, the result of a lack of shared direction between marketers and the technical teams in charge of distribution. To date, transactional emails have been sent out via an organisation’s CMS, which means sidestepping the marketing team entirely.

With communications professionals increasingly being called upon to justify every aspect of their budget, these automated emails should not be overlooked, but used as a way to drive ROI through increased consumer focus and engagement.

To help you get the most out of transactional emails, here are 3 tips to focus on:

  1. Deliver a brand experience
It is important to remember that every contact with your consumers offers an opportunity to strengthen your brand image. Transactional emails are a great medium for leaving an impression on your users. Think of them as a communication channel that needs to reflect your brand and the value you offer. A great way to do that is to design your transactional emails to correspond with your brand identity.

Rather than going with a simple, text only layout, consider teaming up with your designer to create a visually appealing template. Spice up your email layout with visuals and make your messaging more powerful. Add images, logos and colours to your email that complement your overall visual identity. By ensuring that your brand identity and corporate style are perfectly integrated you can retain customers and drive sales.

  1. Retargeting
Transactional messages are a fantastic source of data. With enhanced sight of how effective key messages are, you can serve valuable additional content. For example, it is entirely possible to use retargeting if, when shopping, the consumer adds two products to their basket but only actually purchases one of them. The purchase confirmation email thus becomes an opportunity to talk to them about the second product.

However, to best profit from the customer’s expectation of receiving the email and heightened level of attention, content should be easily recognisable as transactional, rather than promotional. This will allow you to retain the consumers trust, and avoid being seen as spam or overloading the customer with information.

Additionally, you can use customer data to help keep users engaged and active, check in with users who have been inactive, or haven’t opened or clicked an email in the past few months. This doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested, they might just need a prompt to remind them to revisit your site. To turn inactivity around, embrace your transactional emails and give users a good reason to come back.

  1. Call to action
The call to action is as essential to transactional emails as it is to landing pages. It encourages the user to take action and engage with a brand. A call to action can be as simple as informing users about your current promotions to increase sales, but why not try introducing users to a newly added feature or adding social media buttons which encourage them to follow your online channels. Regardless of the specific call to action you choose to use in your emails, remember to always be clear about what you’re offering and give users an incentive to take action.

By ensuring that email efforts are integrated across the entire business, transactional messages give organisations the chance to make the most out of every communication and demonstrate a flawless service from start to finish.

By Amir Jirbandey, UK Marketing Manager at email service provider, Mailjet