As a small business, email blasts are a highly effective weapon in your marketing arsenal—but no one likes unsolicited spam. Finding the fine line between effective email blasts and overrunning your customers’ inboxes can be the difference between securing repeat clients and sending them running. Fortunately, it’s likely that you already have one greatly underestimated e-marketing tool of which you aren't taking full advantage: your transactional emails.
Why Transactional Emails?
Transactional emails have two distinct advantages over regular subscription newsletters or bulk email solicitations. First, they can be set up to send automatically after your customers interact with your website in a certain way, such as receiving a notification from Google+ or Facebook when someone has commented on your profile. This means that, unlike traditional email marketing, they are by nature tailored to the individual recipient and therefore more relevant to the customer. The transactional email’s relevancy makes it more likely for your recipient to open and read it, instead of flagging it as spam and sending it to the trash.
Second, because of the interactive nature of transactional emails on certain kinds of websites, they can become expected or even anticipated. For example, when you subscribe to a new favorite forum or news site, you may expect to receive a transactional email containing your new username and password. When you buy a gift off Amazon or eBay, you expect to get an email receipt, as well as email updates as to the progress of your package’s shipping. The combination of relevancy and anticipation mean that your customers are more likely to open their transactional emails, more likely to act on them, and more likely to find any related marketing messages helpful—after all, it’s already pertaining to their own interactions with your business.
How to Include Marketing Messages in Transactional Emails
Though traditional practice might draw a firm line between transactional and marketing emails, adding a small bit of unobtrusive marketing towards the end of a transactional email can generate views and responses without coming across as to aggressive, as long as it’s relevant and helpful to your customer.
Have you ever received an email from a utility service provider and seen at the bottom of the email that they have an app which will allow you to pay your bills over the phone? Or ordered something from an online store and seen a number of other, similar items you might like? These are examples of ways to market your other services or products in transactional emails, without becoming obnoxious. Many users skim their transactional emails, so placing the relevant content first (whether it be an item receipt or account information) and then the marketing content towards the end of the email will expose your clients to your marketing message in a way that doesn't hold the anticipated practical information hostage.
Finally, remember the importance of both a call to action and a genuine thank you. By clearly inviting your consumers to interact with your small business and its website further (perhaps reminding them to like your small business page on Facebook, or follow your blog or Twitter), you can create more options for interaction with your new or returning customers—and more interactions means more chances to send transaction emails. Finish off your transaction email with a polite and hearty “thank you,” and you have yourself a handy little marketing tool that has a higher likelihood of getting opened, read, and compelling customer interaction than a traditional bulk email blast.
If you would like assistance in designing, setting up, or hosting your email marketing, BuzzAGeek can provide email services that are customized to your business’ needs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.