Getting Transactional - 10 Tips for Launching a Transactional E-mail Campaign
January 06, 2011
When it comes to e-mail marketing, building a single broadcast e-mail doesn't intimidate most of us. But a triggered or transactional e-mail campaign always causes high anxiety. Here are a set of ten tips to help get you started.
1. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is an effective triggered e-mail campaign. Start with a plan or goal for your campaign, but create a single e-mail first and launch that. You can always add more later.
2. Keep your messages small. If you're going to be creating multiple e-mails and a true "campaign" don't stuff all your content into a single e-mail. When designing a message, if you're beginning to think you've included too much information, you probably have.
3. Your subscriber isn't likely to be able to find, locate or save the previous e-mail you've sent out. So, if information in e-mail #3 is a follow up to e-mail #2, then make sure you've referenced it properly or have a link to the previous content – links back to your website are even better.
4. It's ok if the design varies slightly from your typical e-mail design. The differentiation may help the customer to recognize that the e-mail is separate from the more traditional marketing flow.
5. If the campaign relates to a transaction – include a unique ID or identify the e-mail as being a part of the transaction through the subject line. A shipment confirmation e-mail might say: 'Yourdomain.com Order #1234 - Your Order has shipped' and subsequent e-mail subject lines as 'Yourdomain.com Order #1234 - Review Your Order'
6. Interested in getting started with personalization? Personalization is perfect for transactional e-mails. If you haven't made the leap yet, even with something as simple as first or last name, a transactional e-mail is a great way to get started.
7. When you launch additional e-mails into the campaign, make sure you go back and review the content and effectiveness of the previous e-mails.
8. Don't be afraid to build out a summary map of what the transactional campaign might look like. In fact, if you're concerned about subscribers receiving too much e-mail seeing the campaign mapped out might help. In addition, creating a list of the scenarios and situations in which you might
9. If your platform lacks the sophistication to run A/B or segmentation testing, using transactional e-mail to test creative on a weekly basis is a viable alternative. When creating your mailing – create two versions and launch one version as part of a transactional campaign, at the end of the week.
10. Tracking! While the numbers and analytics might not be as sexy as larger e-mail broadcasts, but the key trends are important. Single e-mail broadcasts are short bursts of activity with an extremely short shelf life. Transactional e-mails are constant outbound flow. Flip the switch and they'll go out until switched off. As a result, when updates and changes are made it's possible to compare performance from one week to the next. The analysis is akin to that of what is done on the website – present vs. past.
Bonus Tip! Use your e-mail marketing program or service to deliver your transactional messages. Using your default application level service to create and deliver the messages gets the job done, but it also means that you're going to rely solely on your content management system or web developer to create and manage those messages. The branding, messaging and analytics will all be substandard to the rest of your e-mail marketing efforts. You have probably seen those plain text e-mails you receive from competing sites when they've elected to not use their standard branding or ESP to deliver transaction mail. Try to avoid falling down the same trap.
Put in the extra effort to use the API or integration offered by your ESP to ensure that marketing can lead and manage the campaign. As a marketer, you should know the open rate of your “Welcome” and “Registration” confirmation e-mails.
With any transactional campaign, start with a goal in mind, draw a broad outline of what the campaign might look like when complete and launch first message.Back To What We're Up To