Transactional Email Best Practices


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Presentation from Silverpop's April 16, 2009 Webinar on Transactional Email Best Practices. Includes definitions, challenges, good and bad examples, best practices and tips. Intended to show marketers why they should own transactional emails for their company and opportunities to generation greater customer engagement and revenue from transactional messages.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Some good things to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing.
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  • nice intro to the transactional email opportunity
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  • Also, for further information on transactional email best practices and opportunities, check out this Media Post Email Insider column - Emails: Make Your First Impression
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    And for information on Silverpop's Transact transactional email messaging platform, visit:
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Transactional Email Best Practices

  1. 1. • • – – – – – – • – – –
  2. 2. Newsletter/Promotional
  3. 3. Transactional • – – – Note: This is a discussion of common practices, not legal advice. Please consult your attorney.
  4. 4. Transactional Message
  5. 5. Door #1 Door #2 • • • • • • • Source: Jupiter Research “US email Marketing Forecast, 2007 to 2012” Source: Quris, Harris Interactive, Executive Summary Consulting, November 2004 Source: Forrester Research, September 2003
  6. 6. Door #1 Door #2 • • • • • • •
  7. 7. Audio Dial-in: (605) 772-3434, access code 290-690-942
  8. 8. vs. 98% of promotional emails are HTML Source: How top retailers use transactional email, Silverpop, 2006
  9. 9. • • • • • • • • • •
  10. 10. Graph Source: Jupiter Research “The Transactional Messaging Imperative,” 2008 n=200 email marketers, US
  11. 11. Assumption Source: Jupiter Research “The Transactional Messaging Imperative,” 2008 n=200 email marketers, US
  12. 12. Not So Good: Subject Line & Copy Vague subject line Devoid of personality
  13. 13. Personality, Scannability & Calls to Action Personalization! Action!! Let users Excellent writing know what they for scannability can/should do next Personality: don’t be afraid of it
  14. 14. Hey, I recognize that logo! “This sender is DomainKeys Familiar site What Happened? verified” navigation Nice use of HTML When including promotional content in transactional Promotional offer in an appropriate messages, make sure the location transactional content gets the prime real estate
  15. 15. Two email sequence Promotional content is below the fold
  16. 16. Promotional Content Doesn’t Have to be Customized Main message clearly communicated in subject line Including and top of photos = message higher avg click- through Great rate (7.1% HTML vs 4.7%) Layout Silverpop’s 2006 study Same “email creative promotional that works” content reiterated
  17. 17. Dynamic Promotional Content Based On Purchase More real estate? More offers!! Customized cross-sell offers
  18. 18. Bad Ratio! Pressing Your Luck Inform me (a second time) that my order has shipped, but with no details LOTS of promotional content The majority of content in transactional messages should be non-promotional
  19. 19. One well placed banner accomplishes: Location and 1) Call to Action prominence 2) List Growth also pushes the 3) Promotion envelope “Banner image” will not show for 1/3 to ½ of recipients”
  20. 20. Find The “Check-in” Link/Button United Check-in Email -7 links - But no check-in
  21. 21. Oops – 2 Images – Link, Logo
  22. 22. Drive Financial Case Study
  23. 23. • • •
  24. 24. Best Practices Checklist
  25. 25. Best Practices Recap/Checklist Organizational Marketing should oversee all emails sent (including transactional) Perform an organization-wide “email audit” to take account of all emails sent out by your organization Technical Use a unique IP address & domain for transactional messages Use Authentication (SPF, DKIM) Make sure messages are sent quickly (preferably <1 minute) Use an informative and easily identifiable “from name” and “from address” Closely track performance metrics like other emails – deliverability, opens, click Different bounce handling(don’t retry soft bounces beyond 24 hours)
  26. 26. Best Practices Recap/Checklist Design - General Use a compelling, relevant and informative subject line Prominently display the details of the transaction Write with personality – don’t be a robot Use “writing for web” best practices - scannability Include a “personal whitelist” request to improve future deliverability Educate customers: anticipate and answer likely questions Include easy-to-find customer support info Let design mirror website experience – include navigation elements Design - Promotional Content Keep it secondary – 20% of content Include photos to increase click-through If capable, customize based on customer info
  27. 27. • – • – – Twitter: @Silverpop
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