E-mail Marketing: More Than a Formality; Tips to Transactional Success
Making your transactional e-mail more than a simple purchase receipt or shipping order was the dominant theme of StrongMail’s recent Webinar, “New Trends in Transactional E-mail.” Presenters Ivan Chalif, senior product manager at StrongMail Systems, an e-mail software delivery, tracking and management firm; Kevin Flaherty, vice president of marketing for Wetpaint, a supplier that powers wikis, blogs, forums and social networks; and Kimberly Bower, Wetpaint’s e-mail marketing manager, discussed how to take advantage of every transactional e-mail, a key moment when consumers are most engaged. The panel provided the audience with several tips to make the most of transactional e-mails.
First, Bower of Wetpaint listed five factors to always consider before sending a transactional e-mail.
1. Every user interaction is a potential transactional e-mail;
2. Make your transactional e-mail timely; these messages should arrive when customers are most engaged with your product or company;
3. Keep the content fresh. Wetpaint rotates content blocks each time customers receive transactional e-mails (e.g., Top 10 wikis, wild and wacky wikis, wiki of the day);
4. Take inventory of your transactional messages; and
5. Send an HTML version rather than text.
Transactional e-mails present the opportunity for branding. According to Chalif, this interaction with customers shouldn’t be wasted. A technique as simple as including a picture of the product the customer has just purchased along with the shipping order personalizes the e-mail to recipients. This technique also can help alleviate customer service problems since customers can make sure they’re being shipped the right items.
Other best practices offered by Chalif included the following:
* Make messages relevant to recipients beyond mere info on an offer or an interaction on the Web site;
* HTML vs. text vs. hybrid vs. multipart — evaluate what is best for your audience (e.g., if a majority of your audience uses mobile devices, then a text version is probably the better option since many HTML messages will not translate well on a mobile device);