Use Your Transactional Messages to Market Your App


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Transactional messages yield the highest open rates of all email. Why? It’s because your subscribers expect to receive them in the form of notices, confirmations and receipts. Smart senders can maximize this opportunity to incorporate relevant marketing messages into their transactional messages to deepen the relationship with their customers.

According to Experian’s Transactional Email Report, transactional email yields and average revenue per email that is two to five times greater than bulk email. They also have exceptionally high click through and open rates as subscribers tend to open them repeatedly. As a result, there is a prime opportunity to interact with this highly engaged audience through standard communications sent through your system.

Despite the ability to add promotional messages to your messages, you should focus on the primary purpose of the email. For example, if you are sending a shipping notification, make sure your focus on the delivery details. However, include targeted and relevant messages within the email to drive engagement such as links to similar products, a special offer or prompt to sign up for your promotional newsletter. The general rule of thumb is that marketing messages should take up no more than 1/3 of the email so involve your marketing department to ensure you develop a winning template that is highly personalized and branded appropriately.

Remember, you overall goal is to enhance the customer experience and deepen your relationship. Given the possibilities available with transactional email, don’t miss out on a prime opportunity to extend value to your audience. 

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Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

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2 thoughts on “Use Your Transactional Messages to Market Your App

  1. I suggest caution with this approach, although it could work. Generally users expect transactional email, but some of us *don’t* expect or want our confirmation emails or other transactional emails to be stuffed with marketing messages about unrelated products. I’ve even quit doing business online with companies that pushed too hard. (Hard sell = BAD customer relations) If the marketing messages are at the bottom of the email, and have a header that separates them from the purely transactional part of the email (perhaps “Would you be interested in…?”), then they’re less likely to annoy people like me while being just as available to those who like the advertisements.

    You also need to ensure that the email addresses that your “transactional” emails go to are current. I’ve seen a number of transactional emails hitting spamtraps because users don’t always update their email addresses even with businesses that they remain customers of. I’ve blogged about credit card companies that have made this mistake, and have ongoing security breaches because of it. :( You need to put something in your transactional emails that makes the customer respond *to those emails* at least once or twice a year. If a customer does not, mailings to that email address need to be suppressed til the customer updates it.

  2. Thanks, that is a good point. While I think that transactional messages can be a powerful marketing tool if optimized properly the key word is “properly”. I would not advise using Marketing messages unless of course the offer and/or message included content that deepens the relationship with the customer and complemented the experience. I also want to emphasis that I would recommend keeping the promotional content to 20% or less of the email. It should be a very small piece of the overall message and should certainly not distract from the information that the subscriber is expecting to receive.

    And excellent suggestions on keeping addresses up to date, that's a great way to keep your file clean.

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