The Power Of Transactional Emails


Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a startup or a cozy café that people love, if you have an digital presence, a website or an app, then you are already sending out more transactional emails than the bulk promotional ones.

What Are Transactional Emails?
Transactional emails are emails sent in response to any transaction that the customer performs. For instance, creating an account, placing an order, making a payment, booking a hotel room or a travel package, or even requesting a new password, all these are actions, that the customer performs to get a response/assistance from you.

According to a research by Borrell Associates Inc. and Merkle Inc. 64% of customers find transactional emails to be valuable as against 18% customers who find promotions to be valuable. Why the difference? It’s actually very simple. Transactional emails are in a way requested by the customer, when she performs an action on your website, app or in your store. For the entire process of say, payment or account creation, your intervention i.e. merchant intervention is necessary. To put this the other way round, customers typically wait these emails.

Transactional emails, as explained, are sent only when a customer performs any particular action. These emails are very simple, laden with operational details, clear call to action and quick to absorb. Transactional emails have three times more open rates than commercial emails.

Why Are They So Effective?

1. Customer Initiates
The unique thing about transactional emails is, they are initiated by the customer when they perform any action. For instance, download an app, sign up to receive offers and updates, or request service from the support team.

2. Anticipation
Customers know they have approached the merchant with something and they are already anticipating a reply. Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter.

3. Delight
This is exactly like expecting a reply to a text message or a handwritten letter. Transactional emails have the same effect on the anxious recipient. Building up excitement and the longing for it which converts into pure delight when they receive it!

4. Action
The next step is of course the call to action associated with the email. It is the value that your customer seeks through the entire cycle.

How To Harness The Power Of Transactional Emails

1. Confirm New Account opening with an incentive
Who doesn’t love free stuff! Send out a blog subscription or a sign up confirmation email with a tiny incentive to get more customer love!  Give out a free ebook, or a report or go out and be more quirky like Paper Kawaii and give your subscribers free printable origami papers!

New Account Opening Confirmation Example

Source: PaperKawaii

2. Deliver it straight to the inbox
You know now that transactional emails seldom go unopened and the fact that your customer is waiting for it more than your promotional emailer! So dive right in! If you are an app based company or you manage a productivity tool like, photo touch ups or file convertors, instead of showing the download link on the screen, just deliver it straight to their inbox!

3. Use a simple subject line
Transactional emails are meant to assist the customer in any way possible. Use a simple subject line to convey the intent of the email and increase your email open rates!

4. Keep it Personal and a Clear Call to action
Personalized emails strike a chord with your customers. Keep your emails personal by addressing them with their first names. Keep the email short and give a clear call to action for the customer to reach the end of the mail quickly.

Personalized Transactional Email Example

Source: Apple

Some promotional email etiquettes also apply to transactional ones like getting an honest opt-in. But, they are the sole willful communication channel, opened by your customers. So get creative and cash in!