Transactional emails, the emails that are sent once a user has completed some conversion (i.e. sale, lead, signup, etc.), are a powerful way to meet customer expectations and drive greater interaction.
While it may be a little too late to incorporate these suggestions into this year's transactional emails, here are a few practical tips to make the most of these essential brand messages next year:
USE INFORMATION-BASED SUBJECT LINES
Include information on what transaction has taken place. For example, if a user purchases something use a subject line such as "Reciept for Your Payment to Company X" or which indicates that the order itself is progressing, such as "Shipping Confirmation for Your Company X Purchase". The least effective transactional emails are those that don't referent order information, company identification.
ALL CONTENT SHOULD BE SCANNABLE
Much like a one-time sales message, transactional emails should be easy to read/scan. Merchants should consider laying out their messages in a format where information is most easy scannable. Emails should be in HTML format, using bold section headlines and use color to differentiate sets of information (e.g. blue could be for billing information, whereas green could be for the shipping information.
INCLUDE SECONDARY MARKETING MESSAGES CAUTIOUSLY
Customers and clients that receive transactional emails are rarely in buying mode, so if you're considering the inclusion of additional marketing messages, do so cautiously. Invitations to join social networks, notify the user of repeat purchase discounts or - are good uses of the available space.
Hopefully it goes without saying that monitoring the performance of these changes and others related to your transactional email campaigns is essential. Retailers must understand the deliverability rate of course, as well as email specific metrics such as open rates and click-throughs, but should also look at landing page bounce rates for each link included within an email.