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7 Tips To Enhance and Optimize Your Transactional Emails

This post was originally published on Deliverability.com.

Transactional Email SuccessIf you send email, there’s a pretty good chance that some of it is transactional. Transactional email is unique in that it is email that everyone wants (something we discussed in a recent webinar). While it may be hard to believe some people do not want your bulk email, you can only hope to get a portion of the open rate transactional messages do.

Different people have different definitions of what transactional mail is, so let’s try to define it so we are all on the same page. It’s a 1-to-1 communication medium that is expected and in most cases, initiated by the recipient. These messages include welcome emails, thank you emails, receipts, cart abandonment, password resets and many more.

So how do you take advantage of messages that land in the inbox and ones that are actually going to be opened and read, but without getting carried away? It’s simple, but counterintuitive to what you may think: add some marketing to it. If you follow best practices and stay within industry guidelines, adding a marketing message is a great way to drive customers back to your website and boost sales.

Seven Key Tips

  • Leave the subject line alone as it needs to continue to identify the purpose of the message.

  • Make sure the transactional portion of the message is at the top of the email, and put your marketing messaging at the bottom.

  • Use 30% or less of the email for the marketing call to action.

  • While a standard banner at the bottom of the email is a great way to start, fine tune the message to the individual user if you have dynamic content and segmenting capabilities. If you have sent a receipt for a particular item, catch their attention with a item that compliments that item.

  • Just because the message is transactional does not mean it has to be a plain text email. Let your marketing department help you spruce the message up, while staying within technical best practices and standards.

  • Take advantage of opportunities to get users back to your site. Link your company logos and any images, and link the product, service or shipping details back to your website where you have a better opportunity to resell to your customer.

  • Don’t forget to add a preference center link in your email as this can give recipients an opportunity to sign up for other email communications that you offer.

After Implementation

Track Your EmailOnce these are set up and you are reaping the rewards of your hard work, don’t forget to measure results. Do some a/b testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Track your inbox placement on your transactional stream.

This highly engaged email stream will outperform your bulk email percentage-wise, so you should continue to see these messages getting to the inbox. But you should be checking that in the process, your marketing has not affected your placement due to these changes.

As always, take advantage of the relationship with your ESP. They should have the experience and expertise to make all of your email ventures a success!


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Whois: Stephen Wheeler

Stephen Wheeler is the Director of Deliverability for Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @InboxExpert and @Dyn.