Transactional email vs. email marketing: what are the differences?
Definition of email marketing
We qualify as email marketing any form of email with the direct or indirect purpose of selling a service or a product. The marketing emails can therefore take various forms: newsletter, promotional email, emailing campaign ...
Definition of transactional email
The transactional email is the email that is part of a transaction in progress. It makes the transaction more fluid and keeps the customer informed of its progress. Order confirmations, collection or delivery follow-ups fall within the scope of the definition of transactional email.
The difference between the two
In theory, transactional emails, in their simplest form, do not have a marketing purpose as they are sent as a result of a purchase.
But in practice, transactional emails can also be used for marketing purposes. And most companies should probably do so, for two reasons. The first reason is that transactional emails have particularly high open rates. Indeed, they are by essence personalized, and concern closely the customer who wants to be informed about the evolution of his order.
The second reason is the admission, based on statistical empiricism, that the time when a prospect is most likely to buy a product is right after they have already bought the first one. Selling with this favorable timing even has a name: it is called " upselling ".
In short, since transactional emails are opened more than others, by engaged customers who have just trusted your company, they are great vehicles for upselling. One idea is to integrate a promotional offer on a complementary product after the message informing you that a payment has been made. Moreover, an emailing software like Kiliba makes sure to send the transactional email at the right time, when the customer's reactivity is optimal.
This discount will then be valid for a short period of time. The customer will receive the complementary product at the same time as the one he/she originally bought. For example, if you sell cameras, this complementary product could be a lens or a tripod.
Content of transactional emails and strategies to be implemented
Transactional email varies depending on when it is sent to the customer. Different strategies can be implemented to take advantage of it. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the different types of transactional emails:
Proposal for additional purchase
As we mentioned above, the complementary purchase proposal after an initial sale is a strategy that is often used. And for good reason: it is profitable in many sectors. We talk about additional sales or " cross selling ".
For this strategy to work, it is important to offer a product that is related to the one the customer has just bought.
This additional sale must be presented in a logical, almost obvious way for the customer: the basic product and the additional product must form a coherent and complete whole. We mention the example of the camera and its lens, which is fairly typical of the concept.
Information on renewing a package
If your company works with flat-rate payments, you can send the proof of payment made by your customers every month. This is usually a good habit. It reminds the users of your services of the good and useful things your company does for them. It also lets them know that you care, and that you are available to them when needed. This email is also the ideal text to try to upgrade your customers by showing them the advantages of the higher range.
The satisfaction survey after receiving an order
Finally, it is always good for the relationship between you and your customers if you ask them what they think about your company. It is no coincidence that the largest companies in the world cultivate this practice of satisfaction surveys.
Customers appreciate it when you take their opinion into account. And often they will give it back. It's important to include a phrase like "we value your opinion", "satisfied?", "we're interested in your opinion" with a link to the "customer reviews" section of your site. You will find that your most satisfied customers will promote your products wholeheartedly.
How to choose the right software to send transactional emails?
The classic solution: mass emailing software
In a classic way, you can use mass mailing software ("mass mailer" in English) for your entire contact base. In general, these solutions have, in addition to a campaign management tool, an automation tool that allows you to manage your transactional emailing. Once connected to your e-commerce, the software launches a sequence of transactional emails as soon as a sale is detected.
Today, most CMS's include such software with basic functionality in their platform. Whether it is integrated into your CMS or not, you will still need to prepare the sequence to be sent in advance, in terms of text and design. The sequence will then be standardised and sent to each client with a limited degree of customisation.
The innovative solution: automated marketing software
The alternative solution is based on machine learning. Newer and more sophisticated software is able to send highly personalized messages to each customer. Their algorithms collect and analyze data from your contact list to learn from its behaviors.
There are two advantages:
- The software itself finds the best complementary products to offer to each customer, depending on what they have already bought in your shop.
- The software finds the best timing to optimise the chance of action without exerting marketing pressure, which is harmful to your brand image.
In short, these emailing solutions allow you to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person.
In France, Kiliba is the most complete software. It takes care of everything, including the content of transactional emails, including text and design. The optimization and the time saving granted allow in principle an easy and fast return on investment.
Here are the two types of services available to you. In any case, make sure you choose a solution that is recognized by the market and that guarantees you to reach 100% or almost 100% deliverability rate. This criterion is essential to process your transactional emailing, knowing that if it ends up in spam and not in the inbox of your customers, it is the brand image of your company that suffers...