Scariest mistakes of transactional email

Scariest mistakes of transactional email

Posted under Email Best Practices , Transactional Email on October 31, 2017

Move over Cyber Monday and Black Friday, it’s time for Halloween to rake in some big bucks.

Enjoying the frenzy of Halloween?

The most frightening holiday of the year sees a record all time high spending. People are taking their Halloween pretty seriously. And marketers are working overtime to make a killer impression with their scary good emails about monster sales or to simply treat customers to some Halloween fun; while ISPs are out there playing good witch bad witch guarding the inboxes.

Getting into the spooky spirit of Halloween season, we share with you the deadliest mistakes of transactional emails, along with a piece of advice how to overcome them.

  1. Landing in Spam

You don’t stand a ghost of a chance if your email doesn’t deliver to the inbox. Given the nature of email, one would think they are guaranteed to land in the inbox. Here’s one I recently received – in Spam.

transactional email in spam

But then the journey to the inbox is no easy one. As you hit the send button, the email passes through Sender MTA and knocks the ISP’s doors which may well reject because of bad reputation. Master the fundamentals, follow the best email practices and use a reliable email delivery service to get your emails delivered to the inbox.

  1. Reaching too late

This one’s a deadly sin.

A second delayed is a sale lost.

Slow transactional emails can cost you. Cart abandoned, forgot password, support request, payment done.. these are golden opportunities where customer must be quickly reached out to.

How fast are your transactional emails? Do you keep a track?

  1. Turning promotional

Tricking your customers with promotional content in your transactional messages? Be warned. ISPs are sure to play devil and pay extra scrutiny to such emails. As a rule, restrict such content to only 1/3rd of the total message.

  1. Getting unsubscribes

This one’s super creepy. Imagine receiving an unsubscribe request for a transactional email. In an ideal world, transactional emails must get zero complaints. In fact CAN-SPAM Act exempts these emails from the requirement of unsubscribe option.

Not all transactional email is 100% transactional

There are grey areas. Friend request on facebook, getting notified each time someone comments on forum.. these emails though transactional can get unsubscribes as users are annoyed seeing them way too often in the mailbox. To reduce unsubscribes from transactional emails –

  • Set expectation clear
  • Offer email preference option so users can alter frequency
  1. They are impersonal

You book your flight to Miami. Day before departure you receive a friendly email reminder to pre-order your meals or check-in. These are event-triggered series of automated, ‘highly relevant’ emails that customers are willing to receive. But not always. Triggered emails have earned the notorious reputation of being ‘set it and forget it’ programs that can run you into trouble.

  1. ‘Nobody’ sends them

That’s spooky. Receiving a communication and being told straight up that you must by no means try to contact the sender. It still amazes me to see brands send their automated/ transactional emails using the ‘noreply@’ sender name.

Nobody likes do not reply emails. They come across as uncaring.

Fact check: 68% Americans decide whether or not to open an email based on From name.

You are not just creating a bad user experience, you are also losing out on opportunity to improve your inbox delivery (Gmail tracks user’s actions closely. A reply to is seen as the highest form of engagement on email, winning brownie points straight to the inbox for future campaigns).

  1. Using same IP for marketing and transactional email

Here’s why you mustn’t send marketing and transactional emails from same IP:

  1. Marketing email servers are more likely to be blocked due to spam complaints, filters or spam traps, thus hampering transactional email flow.
  2. Marketing emails get throttled which will slow down transactional emails as well.

Even if you use the same ESP, we recommend you use different IPs to separate your transactional mailing from marketing so the inbox delivery won’t be affected.

  1. Dead looking transactional emails.

True these are system generated emails that are not sent out by the marketing team. But transactional emails don’t have to be boring. There’s no better time than now to get those cobwebs out of your transactional emails. Bring on a new refreshed look. Keep them simple.

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Sita Kalluri|Head - Marketing & Branding

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