Scariest mistakes of transactional email

 In About Email

Are your transactional emails the scariest part of Halloween?

Spending is at an all-time high on the spookiest day of the year. People take 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 on 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.  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 the Sender’s MTA and knocks on the ISP’s doors, which may well reject the email due to bad reputation. No treats – only tricks! Master the fundamentals, follow the best email practices and use a reliable email delivery service to get your emails delivered to the inbox.

  1. Slow emails cost you sales

A second delayed is a sale lost.

Slow transactional emails can cost you. Forgot password, support requests, payment done.. these are golden opportunities where customers expect an immediate reply. When they don’t come, it results in frustration and unhappy customers.

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

  1. Turning promotional

Trying to trick your customers with promotional content in your transactional messages? Be warned. ISPs are sure to play the role of the devil and pay extra scrutiny to such emails. Some email regulations are clear on just how much promotional content can be added; make sure you know the rules!

  1. Getting unsubscribes

In an ideal world, transactional emails should have zero complaints. In fact CAN-SPAM Act exempts these emails from the requirement of unsubscribe option.

Not all transactional email is 100% transactional

But there are grey areas. A friend request on Facebook, being notified each time someone comments on forum; these emails are transactional but can result in an unsubscribe if users are annoyed by their frequency. To reduce unsubscribes from transactional emails –

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

You book your flight to Miami. The day before departure, you receive a friendly email reminder to pre-order your meals or check-in. These are examples of event-triggered, automated, ‘highly relevant’ emails that customers are willing to receive. But not always. Triggered emails that have been set should not be forgotten, something that Expedia forgot.

  1. No one is behind the email (or answering the door)

That’s spooky. Receiving a communication and being told straight up that you may not contact the sender. Many brands continue to send their automated/ transactional emails using the ‘noreply@’ sender name.

Nobody likes “do not reply emails”. They come across as uncaring and frustrating to the user.

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 special treats straight to the inbox for future campaigns).

  1. Using the same IP for marketing and transactional email

Here’s why you shouldn’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. Don’t get talked into this, as an effort to improve marketing email deliverability.

  1. Emails from the haunted house

So many transactional emails are text heavy. They may be 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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