Shades of Gray: Incorporating Marketing into Transactional Email
Transactional email is one of the most engaging communication channels, yet many companies fail to take advantage of its potential. With the CAN-SPAM act and deliverability concerns, many companies are afraid to incorporate marketing into their transactional messages. Carly Brantz and Brian O’Neill broke down ways to increase ROI and engagement with your customers through discrete marketing in your transactional email.
Industry-wide there are traditionally two main types of B2C emails; transactional and marketing. The definitions are important because this is how they are classified by the CAN-SPAM regulation.
Some examples of the types of emails sent in each category. Generally, the transactional are all driven by actions that have taken place and marketing are scheduled
These figures show the average volume of each type of email.The high percentage of the marketing emails show the noise a typical recipient will have in their inbox, hinting at the value transactional emails contain.
As you can see, transactional emails have a much better open and click rate. Recipients more willingly engage with emails that are action-driven and targeted.This data was pulled from emails sent through our system over the course of the last 3 years. The ranges percentages are a reflection of the differences that are seen between industries, industries like music, politics and medical see open rates on the very low end (13%) and industries like Construction, Home and Garden and Photo&Video see higher rates (28%).The unsubscribe rates are both low, but when you add in SPAM reports, Blocks, and Bounces, you see a much more successful engagement rate overall for transactional emails
Here is a little look at our systems’ aggregate data for the last few years. The numbers are artificially by approximately 5% because a not all of our email is sent with open and click tracking enabled.
Warning: You must exercise caution when adding marketing content to transactional emails as you run the risk of spoiling your most valuable emails. Make sure you proceed with changes slowly to minimalize the risk to your critical emails.
One of the most important aspects of successful marketing through transactional email is knowing your audience. You have to know your customers, your product and how they interact.
Remain CAN-SPAM compliant by not taking up too much space. Keep the main focus of the email on the transactional message
Some ConsiderationsWhat state is your customer in?What is the next thing you want them to do?What has changed since their last visit?What are their friends doing?
Expand all examples and call out why they’re succesfull
Use Dynamic ContentUse place holders in your content and replace with personalized call-to-actions
Shades of Gray: Incorporating Marketing into Transactional Email
Shades of GreyIncorporating Marketing into Transactional Email
Delivering Email at ScaleServing 60,000+ customersSending 4 billion emailsper monthTransactional and marketingemail solutions 3
Agenda• Categories of Email• The Value of Transactional Email• Ways to Incorporate Marketing into Transactional• Knowing Your Audience• Shades of Grey• Examples 4
Categories of Email DefinitionsTransactional Marketing• Sent based on direct • Commercial in interaction and within nature, either the bounds of a VS advertising or previously agreed promoting upon contract commercial product or service 5
Categories of Email Typical VolumeTransactional Marketing• 1% of all email • 99% of all email volume volume• 2% of all recipients • 98% of all recipients email emailSource: SendGrid Source: Jupiter Research “US email Marketing Forecast” 7
Categories of Email Success RatesTransactional MarketingOpen: 41 - 54% Open: 15 - 19%Click: 18 - 23% Click: 2 - 5%Unsubscribe: < .4% Unsubscribe Rate: 1.2% Average of ~20% Better Open and 16% Click Rates!Source: SendGrid Source: Juniper Research 8
5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Marketing Follows ProactiveSurveys Referrals Opt-ins and likes support 12
Surveys• Gain customer feedback by asking them to complete a quick Net Promoter Score survey• Ask them to answer a single question. A click-to-answer approach works well. 13
Referrals• Ask happy customers to refer your company to their friends• Give the opportunity for them to earn a reward.• We’ve seen great success with this approach at SendGrid. 14
Opt-Ins• Allow recipients to subscribe to your marketing emails• Incorporate a link inside the transactional email. 15
Follows and Likes• Include a few unobtrusive (and nowadays, almost obligatory) social icons• Facilitate extra follows and likes on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and Google+. 16
Proactive Support• Include a link to documentation, forums or support page to offer help when the user most needs it.• Help your users while avoiding customer support time. 17
Know Your AudienceWho are you? Who who, who who?He really wants to know. 18
Know Your AudienceBe Personal• Include personalized content DaveJon Bob Tina Kate 19
Know Your AudienceBe Gentle• Don’t go overboard, use the space efficiently. 20
Know Your AudienceBe Relevant• Present applicable, targeted offers 21
Know Your AudienceKnow Your Interaction Lifecycle• How do your clients react with your application?• What is the typical path a customer takes when making a decision to purchase? 22
Know Your AudienceKnow Your Customer’s Interaction LifecycleMap your application’s transactional work flow:Example Work Flow1. Email Validation2. Sign-Up Completion3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 23
Know Your AudienceExample Work Flow Complementary Marketing Message1. Email Validation - Account Completion - Product Walk-Throughs2. Sign-Up Completion3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 24
Know Your AudienceExample Work Flow Complementary Marketing Message1. Email Validation - Further engagement, push next steps2. Sign-Up Completion - Product Recommendations3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 25
Know Your AudienceExample Work Flow Complementary Marketing Message1. Email Validation - Recommendations - Social Sharing reminders2. Sign-Up Completion3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 26
Know Your AudienceExample Work Flow Complementary Marketing Message1. Email Validation - “Thank You”s - Social Sharing reminders2. Sign-Up Completion3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 27
Know Your AudienceExample Work Flow Complementary Marketing Message1. Email Validation - Surveys - Proactive Support2. Sign-Up Completion3. First Purchase4. Shipping Notification5. Delivery Follow-up 28
Know Your Audience• Pro-Tips: – Don’t repeat yourself. – Aim, then fire – Weekly Summaries: Consolidate the transactional notifications to increase your ability to engage your customers 29
Measuring Your Results• Metrics To Track – Open Rate • Unique Opens / Deliveries • Reflects on the effectiveness of your subject lines, the timing of your message, and the strength of the call-to- action implied – Click Rate • Unique Clicks / Deliveries • Measures the strength of the call-to-action and the perceived benefits 30
Measuring Your Results• Metrics To Track – Email-To-Action • From Open to Purchase • Open -> Click -> Landing Page -> Desired Action • Find weak-points in your customer interaction cycles • Desired Actions: Purchase, Sign-Up, Engagement 31
Measuring Your Results• Tools To Use – Multiple-Link Tracking Reports • Show where in the email recipients are clicking • Help you tailor and adjust your messaging to put the most important links where users are most likely to click – A/B Testing • Automatically test out content variations to send our messages with proven mark-up 32
Measuring Your Results• Tools To Use – Content Versioning • Allows you to track changes to similar content over time Version • 13% Click 1 Version2 • 14% Click Live • 15% Click Version 33