This post is written by Erin McKeeby. Erin is the Marketing & Community Manager for SendinBlue, an email marketing and marketing automation platform. SendinBlue empowers businesses to build and grow relationships through email campaigns, transactional emails and SMS messages. SendinBlue serves 100k+ business around the world and integrates with top ecommerce and CMS platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and Prestashop. SendInBlue also has a Privy integration for growing your email list.
The concept of transactional emails tends to cause confusion among new email marketers, and with good reason! The name “transactional email” seems to imply that it’s simply correspondence in reference to the purchase made on your site. While purchase-related emails are types of transactional emails, there are many more examples as well. So what exactly is a transactional email?
Basically, a transactional email is any email that’s sent to an individual recipient based on an action he/she has taken. Savvy marketers will set up email campaigns based around actions taken on their site so that when someone requests a password reset, signs up for emails, makes a purchase, etc. that event triggers the sending of an email automatically. For this reason, they’re often referred to as “trigger emails” or “automatic emails” as well.
To provide more context, here are the six most common examples of transactional emails used by ecommerce sites:
1. Email Sign-Up
When someone signs up for your email newsletters or offers, you should send a confirmation email right away. This lets subscribers know that their sign-up was received and gives them an opportunity to opt-out if it was a mistake (like if the wrong email address was entered). This is also a great chance to make a good first impression! Provide exclusive content or a promotional offer in this initial email to reward them for signing up and give them an idea of what kinds of things they can expect to receive in the future. Offering something valuable to subscribers upfront increases the chances that they’ll open subsequent emails.
2. Abandoned Cart Reminder
If someone has already created an account on your site and then he/she visits and then leaves without making a purchase, you can follow-up by sending an abandoned cart reminder. Sometimes simply reminding someone of the shopping cart that was left behind is enough to persuade him/her to come back. Other times, however, sweetening the deal with a discount or free shipping offer is needed. By tracking abandoned cart reminder emails you can determine which follow-up offers convert the best.
3. Order Confirmation
Once an online order is placed, it’s crucial to send an order confirmation email right away. This reassures a shopper that you have received the order. This email should include the customer’s information, order reference number, products purchased (including price and quantity), shipping charges, and order total. Really good order confirmation emails will also include the opportunity for social sharing. Enabling shoppers to easily share the good news about their purchase equals free publicity for your company.
4. Shipping Confirmation
Once a shopper’s order has shipped, he/she should receive a shipping confirmation email. This should include a tracking number from the shipping carrier and delivery window. Clever companies will also use this email to provide a promotional offer for use on a future purchase.
5. Feedback Request
Asking for feedback after a customer receives his/her order is a helpful way to get information about where your company can improve. There’s no set timeframe when you should ask for feedback. You just need to ensure you wait long enough for customers to actually have received their products but not so long that they’ve forgotten about their purchase experience. Urge customers to be honest and make suggestions for improvement. This tells customers that you really care about providing the best possible experience to your shoppers.
6. Customized Recommendations
Use what you know about your customers’ interests and purchase history to make customized recommendations for future purchases. You can recommend specific products, offer a volume-based discount, provide a special shipping rate, etc. These types of custom recommendations make shoppers feel recognized and result in brand loyalty and advocacy.
Now that you understand the importance of transactional emails, start identifying places where you can automate emails to improve your customer service. With SendinBlue it’s easy to sync your customers from ecommerce platforms like PrestaShop (via plugin), Shopify and more (via Zapier) so that you can create winning customer-centric emails. You can also create, manage, and track transactional emails through Privy with SendinBlue.