Transactional emails are the still relatively unknown power tool in the savvy email marketer’s arsenal of mechanisms for taking conversions, clicks and sales to their maximum possible level.

Unfortunately, many email marketers are still not too well aware of what these rather distinct types of email messages are all about and these same marketers often also know even less about how they can use transactional messages as part of their promotional campaigns.

Luckily, getting either branch of knowledge settled isn’t complicated and with just a few fairly straightforward tips that we’re about to go through, you can have your transactional email campaign running at top game in no time.

eCommerce transaction via mobile

First of all, what is a transactional email?

Almost all internet business owners and website administrators are already using transactional emails whether they know it or not.

These messages are the client specific, one-at-a-time emails you send to customers or subscribers individually whenever they interact with your business or website in some distinct way. Some examples of transactional emails include: sales receipt messages, abandoned cart notifications, shipping notifications, welcome emails, comment notifications and even product reviews.

Importantly, transactional emails can’t be mailed in bulk and their chief focus has to be reproductive in nature.

For even more information about optimizing transactional emails than that found in this post, you should really look at the original infographic this is all based on, made by researchers at the email management company Easy SMTP.

Transactional emails in ecommece infographic

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Now, here are the transactional emails you need to most focus on and here’s how you can optimize them.

Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are those messages you send to specific subscribers when they sign up for something or interact with your site with a purchase. If optimized well, these emails can garner as much as $5.83 per message in revenue. Much higher than the average of 53 cents for an average bulk email message.

Optimizing them can be done by including promotional offers in each message, which according to Easy SMTP has been shown to double revenues.

Adding a subject heading that’s clear, concise and includes your brand message can increase open rates by as much as 80%.

Finally, serializing a single welcome email into several that follow the above procedures can also increase interaction by as much as 40%.

Abandoned Cart Emails

According to the numbers from Easy SMTP, shopping carts get abandoned as much as 67.45% of the time by potential customers. Sending optimized notifications to a user who does this can reduce abandonment by as much as 40%.

These emails can be optimized by steps such as simply including a subject line that mentions specific items in the abandoned purchase, which can increase open rates by 10%. Recommending further products in the same email can increase clicks by 50% and also grow sales.

The open rates for these kinds of emails can also drop with time however. First time abandoned cart notifications will be opened 10% more often than second time messages and 25% more often than those sent a third time.

Receipt Emails

Sales receipt emails enjoy very large open rates according to Easy SMTP. Because they’re often opened more than once by the same user, their open rates can go above 100%. This is more than 10 times the 14% open rate of bulk emails.

Optimize your receipt emails by adding a simple “thank you” notification in their subject heading. This can increase open rates by 35%.

You should also add social media share buttons inside the message body of a receipt email. This has been shown by Easy SMTP to increase click rates by as much as 55%.

Finally, use receipt emails to also cross-sell extra products via tailored offerings. This can increase both clicks and revenue.

Shipping Confirmations

Shipping confirmations get clicks about 20.8% of the time; low for a transactional email but still much better than average bulk email click rates of just 3%.

Optimizing shipping confirmations can include putting cross-sell recommendations in them too. These can increase new transactions by 20% or more.

You should also take advantage of shipping notices to reduce customer service expenses by adding plenty of relevant information to them before-hand. This includes tracking numbers, order numbers, expected delivery dates, product descriptions and also links to pages where the packages can be tracked and a contact page for reaching you.

Product Review Emails

Adding links to real product reviews from real people of the items you promote in your transactional messages can really boost your sales figures, by as much as 12 fold over what’s seen with generic product descriptions, even if they’re written beautifully.

Simply using the word “review” in a transactional email’s subject line can increase open rates by 28% according to Easy SMTP’s findings.

Also, linking to product reviews in your transactional emails can create additional sales in as many as 63% of existing customers who’ve already bought with you.