How Top Retailers Use Transactional Email
New Silverpop study finds most companies fail to maximize channel’s revenue-boosting power
ATLANTA, January 17, 2007 -- With a growing number of consumers shopping online, more marketers are expressing interest in using transactional messages in new and effective ways, but few are harnessing the channel’s full potential.
To determine how top online retailers use transactional emails, Silverpop studied the messages sent to recipients immediately following an online purchase. Findings from the report, titled “How Top Retailers Use Transactional Emails,” reveal how some companies capitalize on using this targeted marketing channel to cross-sell and up-sell relevant products to customers, while others fail to exploit the full potential of transactional email marketing.
“Because transactional emails reach customers at a time when they are most likely thinking about the company in a positive light, savvy marketers recognize the power of transactional emails to enhance customer relationships, solidify branding and cross-sell and up-sell additional products,” said Silverpop Vice President of Strategy Elaine O’Gorman.
To identify best practices, Silverpop’s Strategic Research Group purchased items from 84 of the top online retailers as identified by Internet Retailer magazine. Each transactional email was evaluated for subject line branding, personalization, layout elements, promotional content and various administrative elements.
Key findings from Silverpop’s “How Top Retailers Use Transactional Email” study include the following:
Few transactional emails included promotional copy. Just one in five retailers studied promoted other products within transactional emails. “Far too many companies allow their companies’ IT departments to send static, text-only messages,” O’Gorman said. “When control over transactional messaging resides outside of the marketing function, the emails often lack cross-sell and up-sell promotional content that can boost revenue.”
When adding promotional content to transactional messages, she cautioned marketers to keep in mind that there are certain legal complexities to take into account. It’s best to consult with legal counsel with respect to complete regulatory interpretations and compliance requirements.