E-commerce Link: Rise Above the Fray
Companies today are faced with the daunting task of standing out in crowded customer e-mail inboxes increasingly stuffed with spam, commercial opt-in, business and personal messages. The sad reality is that more than half of the 2.4 billion e-mail messages online marketers send out go unread. To win the coveted click, one thing is certain: Online marketers must send e-mail marketing messages that are more relevant and timely. Only then will they increase conversions.
While marketers wring their hands over how to solve the problem, many are missing out on an obvious e-mail strategy; one that is fairly simple to implement and far more likely to capture new business. It’s called transactional e-mail, and it’s both an underused and underappreciated marketing tool you can use to drum up more business.
The Potential of Transactional E-mail
Transactional e-mail encompasses all messages you send to visitors who have already conducted a transaction of any kind on your Web site. It includes anything from an order confirmation to a shipment status update to warranty information to a product recall or upgrade notice.
Transactional e-mail is proving far more effective at reaching audiences than traditional opt-in e-mail, according to aggregated data from e-mail service provider Harte-Hanks Postfuture. Customers open these messages more than 70 percent of the time, with a clickthrough rate of more than 50 percent when the message includes a redeemable discount offer. Compare those impressive numbers to a mere 35.5 percent open rate for opt-in messages and a clickthrough rate of just 6.6 percent, according to e-mail marketer ExactTarget. When used properly, transactional e-mail can be a far more effective way to market your products and services.
How to Make Transactional E-mail Work
Transactional e-mail performs well for one obvious reason: You’re following up with customers or people who’ve already signed up to receive information from your company. Research has found that clickthrough and open rates are the highest in the minutes, hours and days following a transaction—a prime time for marketers to reach customers with relevant offers relating to a recent purchase or activity. At the very least, a promotion tacked onto a customer’s receipt has a far better chance of finding a captive audience than a random e-mail.