Your roving reporter had an opportunity to sit down (over email, of course) with a leading email industry expert and ask a question of interest to our readers. As part of our continuing series of “Partner Insights,” we hope it will continue to provide you with answers to some of your most vexing issues.
Our panelist this month is Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak
FreshPerspectives: Ross, the CAN-SPAM Act defines a transactional or relationship message as an ‘email that facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship’ and further states that such messages ‘may not contain false or misleading routing information and are exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.’ Industry authorities agree that marketing through transactional messages can add an amazing amount of revenue, but what are the rules/best practices to follow?
Ross: Transactional messages are one of the “last miles” of email marketing and lots of opportunities exist to leverage this channel when done right. Since transactional messages have significantly higher open rates than regular email communications, marketers should look to implement best practices from the following perspectives: branding, customer experience, marketing, deliverability, and regulatory compliance.
Firms embarking on their first transactional messaging project should ensure that their transactional messages espouse the same brand standards used within their commercial email marketing messages. By doing so, marketers will realize marked improvement as their customers receive emails that match their expectations. Best practices dictate that customer service phone numbers, FAQs, etc. are clearly present within the creative which will also further improve your customers’ experience. Additionally, transactional messages sent through your Email Service Provider should support best practices such as dedicated IP addresses, sender authentication, feedback loops, bounce processing, etc. Consistent branding, improved customer experiences, and conscientious sending practices will help optimize your deliverability.
With everything now running like clockwork, marketers can leverage some of the space within a transactional email for revenue and still be CAN SPAM compliant. Each marketer will want to consult with their own legal and marketing teams; however, to determine just the right mix of transactional and promotional material – “not too hot and not too cold.” I have seen very successful implementations of cross selling and up selling within transactional emails. These activities can generate substantial incremental revenue constituting a repeatable money-making opportunity with each additional transactional message.
FreshPerspectives: Thanks so much, Ross, for sharing your insights on this subject. We’ll “talk” again next month!