Every customer expects to receive a transactional email after they’ve completed an order.
The transactional email offers the customer peace of mind that the checkout is complete, their order is on its way, and they can track the shipment every step of the way — which is why transactional emails have higher open rates than all other emails.
For these reasons, transactional emails have higher open rates and are an enormous opportunity to build customer relationships and generate repeat purchases.
Here are 11 ways you can optimize your transactional emails to engage and activate your recent customers.
1. Keep Your Layout and Message Simple
Keep your template and layout clean, simple, and easy to skim.
You don’t want customers to have to hunt down important order details among other messaging.
Remember that to be compliant with spam laws, transactional emails must be 80% transaction-based, with 20% of the real estate leftover to promote marketing-based content.
2. Include Order Details
Customers care about where their money is going and the status of their order.
Be sure to include all the relevant order information someone might be hoping to find in your email:
- Order or confirmation number
- Product name(s) and images
- The quantity of each item ordered
- Product price
- Total transaction amount
If you’re able to provide a delivery date or window prior to the shipping confirmation email, include that as well.
3. Add Shipping Details
When will my order arrive?
You’ll want to keep shipping information detailed and easy to understand. Once you’ve confirmed their order is on its way, customers will likely want to start tracking the shipment.
Be sure to include the:
- Tracking number and link
- Carrier company
- Third-party tracking tool (if provided) by your fulfillment partner
4. Offer Customer Service
Customers may have questions about their order details or notice an error, so be sure to include customer service contact information in your transactional emails to make the change or cancellation process simple.
Be sure to include:
- Contact information of your organization
- Phone number
- Email address
- Live chat link
- Their order or confirmation number to make it easy to reference for the customer service representative
5. Promote Your Newsletter
Your customer was likely asked upon check-out if they want to sign up for your newsletter.
Sometimes that field is overlooked or a box is left unchecked, so include a note in your order confirmation emails promoting subscription!
Remind them of all the great benefits included when signing up to your email program. Be among the first to hear about offers, new arrivals, etc. If you have the ability to restrict the display of this banner to those customers you know are not yet signed up, even better.
6. Encourage Social Engagement
Do your followers use social channels to engage with your brand?
Include links and a call-to-action to follow and/or post on your top social media channels in your transactional emails. This is a great way to get new customers engaged with your brand and generate word-of-mouth marketing by sharing their excitement about their recent purchase.
Have you thought about user-generated content? Urge customers to share product photos and tag your brand in them.
Note: You’ll want to include specific calls-to-action for social once you know the customer has received their product (think delivery confirmation or survey-related emails).
7. Add Cross-Sell Incentives
A great time to get customers to buy something is right after they’ve just purchased a product.
Ideally, you’ll be able to showcase other items based on what they just purchased. Maybe the coffee table they just bought is frequently purchased with a great rug, or the water bottle they snagged could use some extra caps.
Keep these types of banners towards the bottom of your transactional email; you want to capitalize on cross-selling opportunities without taking away from your transactional messaging.
8. Promote Loyalty Programs
Do you have a loyalty program?
Consider adding a banner for anyone new who is not signed up quite yet, with some key bullets on benefits of the program. Offer some points for the purchase they just made and that they can collect for free products.
Are they a returning purchaser?
Include a confirmation of the loyalty points they just earned and acknowledge their loyalty to create excitement as they earn toward future rewards.
9. Reward Your Customers With Refer-a-friend
Do you offer an incentive for customers willing to refer a friend?
Include information on what this looks like (example, “Give $20, Get $20”) with a call to action for more details on the program.
Remember to keep this section minimal and towards the bottom of your transactional email.
10. Refresh Your Look With Holiday Creative
If your email program is getting a facelift around special times of the year (like the Q4 holidays) make sure to also update your transactional emails.
Small additions such as twinkle light GIFs to your seasonal headers to give your emails a seasonal feeling, just don’t forget to keep your brand voice consistent.
11. Include Long-running Offers
If you’re running a longer promotion, include a banner in your transactional emails to remind customers.
It can be tough to update them all on a consistent basis when offers are changing frequently, but if you’re running 25% off the entire site for Cyber Week, it doesn’t hurt to plug that in to your templates (just be sure to remove it after the fact).
Take some time to add strategic angles to your transactional emails.
You might be surprised at what small tweaks you can make that will not only have an impact on your customer experience but also brand loyalty and engagement.