4 Ways to Make Your Transactional E-Mails More Effective

A constant challenge for marketers is to properly craft a transactional message after a customer has made a purchase. What should be included? How much promotional content can it contain? How many emails can be sent?

While transactional email still has the primary purpose of confirming the purchase and the actual costs, post-purchase emails can be much more attractive (and effective) if you add additional items. Here are some examples of excellent post-purchase emails that include more than just transactional information.

Relevant Upsell
Airbnb sends a purchase receipt as an independent campaign, but also sends a confirmation email a few minutes after the end of the transaction. The confirmation message Confirmed Booking for [location] contains at least 50% of the e-mail containing important details of the reservation required by the customer (address, rules, hours of registration, etc.). The rest of the content mentions relevant activities at the place of booking. These suggestions help to bring traffic back to the site and provide additional sales opportunities.

Here's another great example of a promotional campaign showcasing related products, this time from Best Buy. Several days after the purchase, Best Buy sends an e-mail with reference to the initial purchase, as well as recommendations regarding other relevant items that may be of interest. The subject line is also personalized with a reference to the purchase: "[Name] the customer chooses your new audio purchase."

Cava's post-purchase e-mails manage to mention the restaurant chain's reward program in a subtle way. The purpose of online order confirmation is to display important details such as the time of purchase support, the cost and the credit card used. In addition, a chart indicates how much money has been spent for the reward program. There is no detailed description or link to the program itself, but the graph reminds you of how close you are to releasing money without taking up the content.

Sears PartsDirect sends a purchase confirmation with the order number, billing information, costs and warranties. Towards the end of the email, it includes a promotional code to take advantage of a special offer. In addition, another good practice included here is the inclusion of links to Sears PartsDirect's social media channels.

UberEats only sends a single email to confirm a transaction. Typical reception items are included above the fold, with a call-to-action button asking customers to rate the order.

Tips for Improving Your Transactional Email

Here are some things to remember when working to improve your transactional emails:

The priority of purchase is the confirmation of purchase. Transactional messages must be intended to describe the important details of the purchase. Incentive and promotional content should never be the main goal. However, these elements can make e-mail more efficient.
Reduce the number of campaigns. Pay attention to the number of messages you send. Campaigns can easily add up to different items to include: receipts, order confirmations, shipping notifications, inquiry requests, reward programs, and more. Ensure that all campaigns a subscriber receives are counted, on all sending platforms.
Avoid redundancies. There is no benefit in running repetitive campaigns. Some of the senders I've searched for this article have repeated the topic and content in later mailings, which is more likely to ignore your campaign than to generate the results you're looking for.
Maintain the consistency of your brand. A consistent branding strategy in all campaigns – promotional or transactional – is essential. Marketers sometimes send transactional messages from a different platform without realizing that they use a different "De" name or color scheme.
Test and monitor. What works for others may not work for you, and what works once may not work forever. Therefore, keep an eye on your measurements and test as much as possible. Important indicators to monitor success include openings, clicks, spam complaints, and the "no-open" rate.

This position originally appeared in Total Retail.

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