Q&A: Incorporating Marketing into Your Transactional Email


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When SendGrid’s email experts Carly Brantz and Brian O’Neill waded through the shades of grey of transactional email marketing, their conversation sparked questions that they were unable to answer during the webinar. Later, they took the time to respond to some of them.

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Q&A: Incorporating Marketing into Your Transactional Email

  1. 1. Shades of GreyWebcast Q&A with Carly and Brian
  2. 2. When SendGrid’s email experts Carly Brantz andBrian O’Neill waded through the shades of grey oftransactional email marketing, their conversationsparked questions that they were unable to answerduring the webinar. Later, they took the time torespond to some of them. If you missed the webcast, you can access arecording here.
  3. 3. Q: This Webinar is meant for larger companies with dedicatedstaff to take care of the myriad of things involved here… Soundssimple, but not really. A: I would say that the tips provided here can work with companiesboth large and small. Starting out at SendGrid, I focused on small areaswhere I could make a meaningful difference in how users interactedwith our emails. I implemented NPS surveys, getting started campaignsand personalization based on usage in a few primary email campaignswhich resulted in a huge increase to those campaigns and thesubsequent ROI. If I could do that at a small organization with a team ofa few people in the department, I am confident that you could makesome thoughtful changes to your campaigns as well.
  4. 4. Q: How do you reconcile your transactional email strategy with adramatically shrinking use of email as a digital tool amongyounger audiences? A: Despite countless blog posts that love to decry that email isdead, our findings suggest that nothing could be farther from the truth.Fortunately for us, the vast majority of companies expect to increasetheir use of transactional email going forward. While younger audiencesare being targeted with online applications, the majority still usetransactional email to confirm sign-ups and connect with their users. Ifanything, most of the companies we work with view the transactionalemail channel as important for keeping their customers happy andloyal.
  5. 5. Q: Click-to-action surveys were mentioned earlier, do you guyshave a recommended survey service that allows you to createclick-to-answer surveys without much effort? Or is this somethingthat will have to be custom built? A: At SendGrid we embed a link to a Survey Monkey survey intoour transactional NPS surveys. It is very simple and can be done easilywith a variety of service providers.
  6. 6. Q: Do emails that detail downtime or changes to service count astransactional and marketing emails where service updates areconcerned? We regularly send out service updates announcingdown time and new features being released, or changes to billing.How do you know clearly which kind of email is which? A: The official wording for the types of email that must comply tothe CAN SPAM regulations is: “Any electronic mail message theprimary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotionof a commercial product or service.” This can be confusing, and up todebate but it is better to be on the safe side and follow regulationswhen in doubt. I would argue that service changes most certainlypromote the product while downtime may be more of a transactionalmessage.
  7. 7. Q: Do most companies send transactional emails throughSendGrid? A: Yes, however our newsletter emails are growing in volume veryquickly.
  8. 8. Q: What were the average rates for photo, home & garden (or thelike industry Brian just mentioned?) A: ~28% open and ~6% click
  9. 9. Q: Do you use your own newsletter service to send“transactional” emails? A: No, but we use our own transactional service to send ournewsletter emails.
  10. 10. Carly Brantzcarly.brantz@sendgrid.com@carlybrantzBrian O’Neillbrian.oneill@sendgrid.com@emailpm