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Transactional emails are one of the few things you can expect to arrive in your inbox – and this makes them powerful! Nothing causes panic quite like making a big purchase online and realizing the order confirmation has yet to make an appearance in your inbox. This simple transactional email is a powerful tool to any company, so make sure you harness it to its full potential.

The Good finds that transactional emails are opened eight times more often than promotional emails. The main factor that sets these two types apart is that transactional emails are emails that recipients EXPECT. Recipients are willing them to arrive and, when they do, they see higher open rates and engagement than marketing and promotional emails. This email real estate is important, but so often underutilized, and many don’t see it as the powerful sales tool it can be. We’ve gathered a few ideas to help you polish up your transactional emails, but first:

What are transactional emails?

They’re one-to-one communications related directly to subscriber actions. They’re often triggered by a request or action like the below:

They facilitate an action or provide a requested service to the customer, making them a welcome arrival to the inbox – a coveted place to be! An error or delay in a transactional email can impact the level of trust with your customer, further proof of their vital importance to your company. As a pivotal avenue of communication, transactional emails provide you with a huge marketing opportunity. Transform these short, boring messages into pockets of potential!

Creating effective transactional emails:

Tips to maximize marketing potential:

A transactional email is primarily functional. It communicates a clear message in a timely manner, but as an expected message your customer is likely to open, it also creates an opportunity for relevant marketing.

Transactional emails and the CAN-SPAM Act:

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that establishes requirements for commercial messages. It’s paramount you keep it in mind when putting together your transactional emails so you don’t cross any lines between marketing and transactional purposes, potentially leaving you with a hefty penalty. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that when an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. You don’t want to be sending a transactional email acting as a disguise for a marketing message. Keep the purpose of your email clear – if it was designed to sell, it’s a marketing email, if its main function is to follow-up a transaction, it’s transactional. While you can access the marketing potential of a transactional message, its main function must stay the main function. 

The FTC website provides some helpful examples and further outlines the main requirements of a transactional email:

A transactional email can aid you in maintaining a relationship with your audience, while making the most of your messaging opportunities. Optimize your emails while meeting your customers’ expectations and adding value to every message.

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