Transactional emails are one of those infrequently mentioned parts of your digital business process that you and every single other entrepreneur is using on a regular basis, possibly without ever having even realized that this is the name it goes by.

And, just like many overlooked parts of a business process, the transactional email can be used far more effectively than it often does get used, in ways that will directly affect your financial bottom line of increased sales and conversions.

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photo credit: 500 Distribution

So, what are transactional emails? Well, quite simply, they consist of all those many different email messages a business sends out in response to a specific action by a customer or email follower. Instead of bulk emails, these are messages sent out as a response to activities like purchases, joining a particular service, changing aspects of their relationship with your company or failing to do certain things like pay a bill on time etc.

For example, if you offer XYZ Hosting services to your clients and regularly send out a brief receipt email message every time one of them pays their monthly hosting bill, you’ve just sent out a transactional email right there. Likewise for emails sent out to customers or fans because something that affects them just happened in the context of your relationship with that client.

To name another example: you offer a real estate advertising service on your website and your internal system sends out a notification email to a client every time some third party has viewed their profile. Bam! That right there is another excellent example of a transactional email.

In essence, transactional emails are emails that get triggered and sent to your subscribers by actions, inactions and indirect actions by third parties within the context of your relationship with these email subscribing fans and customers.

Why Transactional Emails are Important

So what’s the big deal with transactional emails? Quite simply, because they play into an activity of direct personal importance to your client, they have a tendency to get opened, read and clicked on much more frequently than typical bulk marketing emails. This, if taken advantage of, can directly lead to greater sales conversions and sales revenues for your business within its email marketing context.

This isn’t simply speculation, it’s backed by a heavy body of research from the people at Experian.com, whose analysis of transactional emails, clearly showed that they can earn an average of double the amount per email sent in comparison to conventional bulk marketing emails.

Yet despite this tendency with transactional emails, many companies completely fail to take advantage of them, despite the fact that they have to send them out anyhow!

You shouldn’t allow yourself to do the same in your business.

How To Take Advantage of Transactional Emails

With the right application and programming tools at hand. You can create customized, highly professional transactional emails that not only notify clients of the necessities around their relationship with your business but also entertain, engage and convert those clients into more invested buyers of your products or services.

The bottom line is that many transactional email mail-outs that companies use are completely and mundanely boring. Despite being opened by readers at a greater rate than promotional emails, these transactional messages are used to do nothing more than inform said readers of whatever transaction or notification they’re designed for.

Don’t follow this same process with your own transactional emails. Instead, spruce them up and turn them into something that does four key things:

  1. Make sure clients/readers are clearly aware that the message came from you and that it has their best interest at heart. In other words, focus primarily on the transactional part and why it’s valuable as a notification to your reader or client.
  2. Includes further Value to your client in the form of additional valuable information that they might not have even thought to ask for with regards to what the email is about. Thus, for example, you send a basic sales receipt but also include valuable details on shipping times with it.
  3. Creates an overall professional impression of your company by being well put together, with an elegant email template, your company logo clearly displayed and a clear “reply to” address or contact details available for in case the reader has any further questions
  4. Creates an incentive for further interest in other offers that your company has which are related to the transaction mentioned in the email itself. In other words, since you’re sending the email as a genuine notification courtesy to your customer, take advantage of the opportunity to inform them of other services/products you can offer them.

Why should your transactional emails do these four fundamental things? Because you already need to send them as part of your general business process and your customers are more likely to read them and open them than they are to open your purely marketing related messages.

Since these two factors are the case, you absolutely need to take advantage of them and create transactional emails that are not only memorable but also useful and yet another more subtle part of your overall email and content marketing strategy.

In other words, make the most, visually and promotionally of the free open rates and click throughs for your business is generating with its existing customers.

About the Author: Stephan Jukic covers email marketing subjects like transactional email and emailing marketing campaigns. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.