The Transactional Email News Digest
In this week’s transactional email news we’ve got a lot of helpful information on best practices, the pitfalls of using transactional email for promotional purposes, and some ideas on how to solve the problem of messages that show up in multiple places. Let’s start things off with our friend Chris Penn, VP of marketing technology at SHIFT Communications.
Chris makes the case that when it comes to emails that people are expecting – transactional notifications, newsletters, etc. – it’s smarter to use straightforward, utilitarian or even boring subject lines. Why? In a word, brand. You want recipients of, say, your newsletter about transactional email to recognize it when it shows up in their inbox. Changing up your “From:” line or “Subject:” line might seem like a way to grab attention, but over time you’re likely to see engagement rates slip. And as usual, what works for one business might not work for another, so do test and test again!
Guillermo Rauch, who’s CTO and co-founder of LearnBoost, and blogs at DevThought, proposes a solution to a problem that’s becoming more common as the popularity of social media and mobile apps grow. Say you get a new friend request on Facebook. The site generates a message that you’ll see on your timeline, and also (depending on your notification settings) sends an email that you’ll see in your email client. This is basically the same message, but it’s in two places. Let’s say you get the emailed message first. Wouldn’t it be preferable to have the message on the site go away, since you’ve already seen it in your email client? Guillermo discusses a code fix to make this possible.
List segmentation is basically the ancient practice of audience targeting applied to the specific technical parameters of email marketing. Common approaches use demographic data, such as segmenting lists by gender or age, or geographic location and so forth. Michael Linthorst at Econsultancy shares some thoughts on how marketers can boost email marketing ROI by segmenting their lists on more arcane data such as customer shipping habits, or their level of social media engagement.
Jim Davidson of Bronto Software hosted a webinar earlier this month focused on how merchants can use transactional messaging strategies to boost customer engagement during the post-purchase period. Jim advises that post-purchase is the crucial opportunity for cementing loyalty, when interactions with the brand can either convert customers into brand advocates and spur additional purchases — or sour the relationship irreparably. Read the whole thing on the MarketLive blog for specific how-to’s and customer case studies.
Finally this week, Return Path’s Kelly Molloy relates her long history with mistaken identity and mistakenly getting automated messages for people who share her first and last name. It would be funny except for the fact that there’s usually no easy or automated way to correct these kinds of problems when transactional email gets sent to the wrong recipient. By way of Spamhaus, Kelly sets out some best practices that all transactional senders should adhere to avoid these kinds of problems, and make it easy for mistakes to be remedied quickly if and when they do happen.
Learn more about leveraging on transactional email to deliver better customer engagement and ROI with our Transactional Messaging Best Practices eBook!