So what are the different types of transactional emails you need to be sending to your customers?
Let’s quickly take at 9 of the most important ones you need to be sending and how you can optimize each for maximum impact.
Type #1 - Opt-in Confirmation and Account Activation Emails
The very first email you get to send to your subscribers is the opt-in confirmation email. This can also double as your account activation email.
Often used in cases where you use double opt-in when subscribers sign up (as you should always do), the opt-in confirmation email is your first chance to impress. A few tips on doing just that include:
- Let recipients know where they signed up from (in the example below, it’s from signing up from a mobile device)
- Tease them with what they can expect by confirming their email (“we’ll help you find your Slack workspace…”)
- Highlight the one step you want your subscriber to take so they know exactly what to do without even thinking about it
Notice how Slack makes sure their branding is clearly evident in this transactional email. This is not just for the sake of aesthetics. Slack knows the power of branding and they make sure they use every touchpoint to increase brand awareness.
Type #2 - Order Confirmation and Receipt Emails
You’ve closed the sale. Congratulations!
Now you can relax and focus on landing the next customer, right?
No, exactly the opposite. Once a prospect orders a product from you, it means they’re interested in what you have to offer. As such, nurture them to become a repeat customer.
That’s where your transaction emails come to play - your order confirmation email to be exact.
For most brands, an order confirmation email serves one main purpose - to confirm that the order has been successful. This puts your customer at ease as they know their latest purchase has been a success. Unfortunately, this is where most brands end. While the order confirmation email would have achieved its main purpose, it could be optimized to do more.
Here are a few elements you can add to this particular transactional email to optimize it for more engagement (and sales):
Include a Call to Action
An order confirmation shouldn’t be the end of the customer journey. It should actually a doorway to a deeper relationship with your customer. While they’re still excited about their purchase, give them a gentle nudge to interact more with your brand. This could be anything from sharing the experience on social media to browsing through some related products or accessories. Here’s a great example from Door Dash:
This is a perfect example as DoorDash includes 3 CTAs (Track Your Order, View Your Receipt, and Refer a Friend) to get customers to interact with the brand more.
Add a Bonus
People love snagging sweet deals. That’s why they purchased your product after all, isn’t it? Sweeten the deal more by adding a bonus in your order confirmation. Of course, the bonus should be tied to a specific action you want your customer to take. Not only will this encourage interaction, but it will also help boost your image in your customer’s eyes as they’ll deem you very generous.
As you can see, an order confirmation can do more for your business than just convey important information. Optimized well, it can be used to drive sales and encourage engagement.
Type #3 - Shipping Confirmation
Shipping confirmation emails are another transactional email type that is heavily under-utilized. Because your customer is excited about their purchase and anticipating its arrival, your shipping confirmation email has very high chances of being opened.
And that’s why you need to optimize it to drive business growth.
Here are a few tweaks you can make to your shipping confirmation email to help your brand sail into the sunset of e-commerce success:
Tell a Story
In most instances, it only takes a few sentences to let customers know all the details about the shipping status of their purchase. Take advantage of this to tell your brand story. No, don’t ramble on about how good your brand is. Instead, use storytelling to assure your customer that buying your product is the best decision they could have made.
Get creative but make sure to keep it brief. After all, you don’t want to overshadow the main purpose of the email.
Tell a Story
If there’s one thing that makes people anxious, it’s waiting for a product they ordered online. Use a friendly tone in your shipping confirmation emails. In fact, a little bit of humor is encouraged. This helps put your customer at ease, making all their interactions with you positive. Of course, positive experiences are the best way to foster and build trust with your customers.
So, next time you send out that shipping confirmation email, use it for more than just alerting your customer that their order is on the way.
Type #4 - Delivery Confirmation
One of the most important reasons for sending a delivery confirmation email is to confirm that your customer’s order has been delivered to the right address. While this email may seem to be more of a ritual, it can be used to nurture stronger relationships with your customers. Here’s an interesting example from Ritual, a big player in the health and wellness niche:
Simple enough, right?
However, Ritual included certain subtle and overt elements that you can borrow for your delivery emails:
- Branding. Scrolling through the above delivery confirmation email and the companies website feels exactly the same. From the tone to the brand colours even to down to the typography, it’s all the same.
- Hyper-personalization. Good sleep is one of Ritual’s product marketing angle. The language employed in this email adds a touch of personalization as the recipient can easily connect their purchase to this email.
- Option to change the delivery date. This is one of the overt elements in this email. Very few brands give customers the option to edit their delivery date. By including this option in the email, Ritual are showing their customers something very important - that they care enough to bend over backward to please.
Remember, every email you send is an opportunity to interact with your customers. Treat it like a date and always aim to please.
Type #5 - Feedback Emails
Customer feedback is crucial to ensuring that your brand always delivers an exceptional experience. The feedback email is a great way to get to know what your customers think of your product and customer journey. For this reason, it should be an integral part of your transactional email campaign.
However, the mistake many brands make is to make it a bland email requesting feedback.
Little or no interaction.
Here’s how you can optimize your feedback emails to increase their engagement rates.
Craft an Irresistible Subject Line
One reason many feedback emails go unopened is that the subject line reeks of “here’s another boring survey”. Therefore, to increase your open rates, unleash your creative juices and craft subject lines that your customers won’t be able to resist. Here’s a great example from Abstract:
Subject line - First Came Sketch, Next Comes...
Personalize Your Copy
Besides a captivating subject line, personalize your email copy. Not sending feedback emails is a big mistake many brands make. But an even bigger mistake is to send an impersonal feedback email. Personalizing the email copy will help make your customer “own” the survey. As a result, this will increase the chances of them taking time out of their busy schedule to give you the feedback you need.
Type #6 - Password Reset Emails
Ah yes, the password reset email. So-called because you send it to customers who have forgotten their passwords and have requested to reset it. This is one transaction email you won’t use every day. But it’s one email that has a 100% open rate. And that means only one thing - once given an opportunity to send it, maximize it. Here are a few tips to help you squeeze this opportunity out of all it has:
- Keep it short and concise. At this point, all your customer is concerned about is resetting their password and accessing their account. So don’t include too many elements in the email.
- Use a reassuring tone. Being locked out of your account can be unsettling. That’s why it’s important that you use a reassuring tone in your password reset emails. Just creating an environment that makes your customers feel safe will go a long way in etching your brand on their hearts.
- Emphasize your brand elements. Password reset emails are a challenge for many marketers because they’re usually a negative touchpoint. However, executed well, you can use them to offer a positive brand experience. A good way to do this is to employ a touch of humor in your copy.
Here’s a brilliant example from Slack:
This transactional email from Slack has the hallmarks of a well-crafted password reset email in that it embodies all 3 elements above:
- The branding is clear
- The tone is reassuring
- The touch of personalization (you) helps turn a would-be tense situation into a lighthearted moment
A classic example that even the most “blah” email can be used as a memorable touchpoint.
Type #7 - Subscription Renewal Email
If you run a subscription-based business, then you know how important your subscription renewal email is. This is a transactional email that is triggered by a customer’s subscription nearing its expiry date. As such, it is a reminder that they should renew it.
A poorly designed one could result in fewer customers renewing their subscriptions. A well-optimized one, on the other hand, can increase the chances of more customers continuing using your service.
So how can you optimize this type of transaction email?
Start Your Campaign Early
Don’t wait until a few days to remind your subscribers that their subscription is about to expire. Instead, start sending reminders at least 3 months before the subscription expires. Doing this will help you:
- Warm them up to the idea of renewing the subscription
- Get feedback on what you could do to improve your service
People fear losing something than they do gaining. This is why the fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful marketing tactic. Use your subscription renewal email to show your customers the benefits they’ll miss out by not renewing their subscription.
Dangle a Carrot
Even if your customer enjoyed your service and are highly likely to come back, it’s still a great idea to offer them a reward for renewing their subscription. This could be anything from a discount or a free gift. Not only will this encourage more renewals, but it will let your customers know that you appreciate them.
Type #8 - Cart Abandonment Emails
Cart abandonment emails are one of the most sent transaction emails. That’s because cart abandonment rates are as high as 69.57%. Fortunately, a good portion of these can be recovered using a cart abandonment/cart recovery emails.
But to increase the chances of your customers completing the purchase they abandoned:
- Time it right. Don’t bombard your customers with a barrage of cart abandonment emails. Instead, send the first email about an hour or 2 after the cart has been abandoned. This will help you leverage the purchasing urge that the customer has.
- Include an image of the abandoned product. Showing the abandoned product in your email is a great way of reminding your customer what they are missing. It’s also a great way to rekindle the emotional connection your customer had with the product.
- Leverage social proof. Social proof is a powerful way to get customers to retrieve their abandoned carts. Include reviews of the product in your email to fortify the FOMO effect.
- Provide support. Sometimes customers abandon carts because they failed to checkout. Offer them assistance in completing their purchase.
Cart abandonment emails are one type of transactional email you need to pay attention to. Ignoring them will definitely result in you leaving some money on the table.
Type #9 - Reactivation Emails
Reactivation emails are sent to subscribers who haven’t interacted with your emails in a set period of time (60-90 days) or have not opened a certain number of emails from you. For your reactivation campaign to be a success:
- Craft a captivating, scroll stopping subject line
- Remind recipients what they’re missing by not opening your emails
- Tug at your customers emotions
Need an example to inspire yours?
One important reason to make sure you send a reactivation campaign regularly is that it ensures you maintain a healthy email list.