Transactional emails are central to a host of ecommerce tasks. They enable retailers to efficiently send customers order updates, re-engage visitors that have abandoned their carts, and process technical issues like password resets and new account confirmation
Yet most online retailers don’t pay much attention to transactional emails. They view them as a necessary but unimportant part of running an ecommerce store.
This is a big mistake. Despite widespread belief to the contrary, transactional emails present many opportunities. When you consider the fact that they have a six times higher open rate than other types of emails, and that some formats boast a conversion rate of nearly 20%, the possibilities become clear.
What’s more, buyers have come to expect certain transactional emails as an essential part of the shopping experience. Overlooking them can have negative consequences, causing frustration and confusion among both existing and new customers.
In this post, we’re going to look at the main types of transactional emails and provide you with actionable tips for improving them, leading to higher engagement, conversions, and revenue.
What Are Transactional Ecommerce Emails?
Example #1: Cart Abandonment Emails
Example #2: Order Confirmation Emails
Example #3: Shipping Update Emails
Example #4: “Leave a Review” Emails
Example #5: Welcome Emails
Example #6: Technical Emails
Sounds good? Let’s dive in.
Generally speaking, ecommerce emails fall into one of two categories: marketing emails and transactional emails.
In a nutshell, transactional emails communicate information about a transaction.
They are unique to the recipient and only one person will receive the email, unlike marketing broadcasts. Furthermore, transactional emails are triggered by the action of the recipient, like adding a product to their cart or opening an account.
Order confirmation emails, delivery updates, and requests for a product review are all examples of transactional emails.
That said, the boundary between marketing and transactional emails isn’t always clear (hence the term transactional email marketing). Cart abandonment emails, for example, are highly personalized emails related to specific transactions. But they can also be described as marketing emails (and mighty powerful ones at that). Password reset emails, on the other hand, fall exclusively into the transactional category.
If you’re in any doubt, just remember the three criteria described above: transactional emails relate to a transaction, they’re highly personal, and they are triggered by a specific action.
Ok, onto the examples…
Cart abandonment emails are sent after a visitor abandons their cart. The aim is to encourage them to complete the original purchase. These emails usually include a reminder, along with images and descriptions of the products.
Out of every 100 customers that add a product to their cart, 70 will leave your site without completing the purchase. It’s essential to reduce cart and checkout abandonment as much as you possibly can. And transactional emails are an integral part of this process.
Here’s what you can do to boost the effectiveness of your cart abandonment emails:
Oh, and make sure you ask for customer emails as soon as possible – via a pop-up when they land on your site and at the beginning of the checkout process – so you can actually get in touch with them!
Order confirmation emails are sent immediately after a customer successfully makes a purchase. Their main purpose is to let customers know that the order has been placed and to reiterate important details like the delivery date and order number (in case of any problems).
It’s common practice for retailers to send order confirmation emails. In many cases, they will also act as a legally-required receipt.The best approach with order confirmation emails is almost always simplicity. While there is the opportunity for promotion, technical order details should take priority. Most recipients just want to double-check that all their… Click To Tweet
Here’s how to make the most of order confirmation emails:
Finally, reiterate any discounts on the cart and checkout pages, thus eradicating customer doubt.
Delivery emails keep customers updated about the status of their order. The ability to track packages is very important to customers, so it’s essential that you utilize these types of emails.
Most commonly, delivery emails are sent when a product leaves the warehouse and on the day it’s due to arrive.
Fundamentally, shipping update emails are about boosting customer satisfaction rather than driving sales. There are promotional opportunities, but it’s essential to prioritize technical details first – the status of delivery, order number, expected arrival time, and shipping address.
Here are some practical tips for creating engaging delivery update emails:
Customer feedback emails are sent after a customer has received their product, usually when enough time has elapsed for them to use it.
Feedback emails are excellent tools because they enable you to gather reviews, which have a direct impact on conversions, in a cost-effective way.
Increase the conversion rate of your review/testimonial emails with the following tips:
When a customer sets up an account with your online store or subscribes to your mailing list, they’ll receive a welcome email.
These emails, with the exception of an initial account confirmation email, will often be the first that customers receive from you. Because of this, they represent the perfect opportunity to make a positive impression and encourage a first or second purchase.
Here’s what to do to engage customers and prompt them to make a purchase in welcome emails:
Technical” emails streamline small tasks that are usually unrelated to product purchases. They’re generic, automated responses designed to achieve a single objective
Examples of technical emails are password recovery emails, acknowledgments from customer service that a question has been received, two-step account verification, mailing list opt-out confirmation, and so on.
Keep the following tips in mind when creating technical emails:
Getting it right with ecommerce transactional emails can lead to a big boost in sales.
Most retailers miss the opportunities because they’re not obvious. But lots of small changes can add up to significant revenue gains. It’s always crucial to remember that engagement for these types of emails is far higher than most marketing emails.
Finally, don’t forget to test alternatives. Because transactional emails have such a high open-rate, they’re ideal for experimenting with. Virtually all email marketing apps now offer a split-testing platform. So take advantage of it.
Want to take your ecommerce store to the next level? We’ve created a completely free ecommerce optimization checklist that covers every aspect of your site, from your homepage to your checkout form. It’s filled with actionable, straightforward tips that are proven to boost conversions. Download it now.