5 ways to use transactional emails to your advantage in subscription business

~ 5 min read | January 8

Transaction emails Boosts Revenue

Subscription based businesses are increasingly relying on transactional emails to improve their operations. Just a few years ago, email marketing was mainly associated with promotional messages such as offers and newsletters. However, today transactional email is used by subscription businesses for updates and notifications to customers.

There is a misconception everywhere, that a transaction email is ONLY about financial transactions. Wrong. Not anymore. You can read more about this in Mailchimp’s Blog Post.

Application-based businesses use transactional emails to educate their customers, capture new leads and drive revenue. Examples of how transactional emails are used include:

  • Message delivery. Daily deals and flash sale sites rely on transactions emails to deliver critical messages to their subscribers. After purchase, the emails are used to confirm the sale.
  • Order confirmation. Retailers use transactional emails for order confirmations and shipping notifications. These emails also provide prime opportunities for up-sell of other products.
  • Connecting businesses. Location based businesses rely on transactional emails to connect friends and businesses

Transactional emails have the highest open rates in the industry (up to 75% in some cases) and are more engaging to customers. Their open rates are higher than that of commercial emails because customers took a certain action (e.g. signed up to be notified for certain events, submitted a friend request, signed up for your services or placed an order) and are expecting a confirmation from you.

As a subscription business owner, you are working hard to promote your products and increase revenue in other ways. All these mean increased costs. Therefore, you should use all avenues you can to achieve your goals. Optimizing your transactions emails can help in marketing and subsequently increase your revenues. Here are five ways you use use transactional emails to your advantage:

1. Surveys

Do you think your company is doing a great job? Let your customers tell you how you are fairing. You can insert survey links in your transactional email to gain valuable customer feedback. Find out your company’s Net Promoter Score, feedback about your service or ask for suggestions from your customers.

hootsuite survey

hootsuite survey to find why the user downgraded

Simply include a link to your transactional email directing your customers where they can take the survey. e.g. click here to rate our services. AppSumo uses surveys frequently in its transactional emails.

2. Referrals

Getting referrals from happy customers is easier especially when your service is awesome. Customers who purchase your service are definitely seeing the value you are providing and can recommend others to your service. Ask them to refer your business to others in your transactional emails.

drop box referral program

drop box referral program

To make sure customers refer others, promise them a reward. Perhaps it can be a discount on their next purchase or a free add-on for sending a number of referrals. This is a great way to find new customers.

3. Opt-ins

You want your customers to know what is happening in your company, your new releases, press coverage, product tips and so on. How about letting them subscribe to your newsletter or marketing emails through the transactional email. If the prospects looked forward to your transactional email, they may wish to keep up with your company.

Option to sign up for more news

Option to sign up for more news

If you send newsletters on different subjects, make it easy for your customers to select which subjects they would like to receive information. Perhaps your prospects are mainly interested in promotions only. Remember to make it easy for your customers to unsubscribe to your newsletters through your email settings.

4. Social media followers

Include social media buttons to your properties in your emails. Nowadays, it is almost obligatory for all companies to be on social media. Use your transactional emails to get more followers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked , Google+ or other social networks where you are active.

socia media icons in email

social media icons in email from Walmart

You can use social media to build brand awareness and improve engagement with your customers. Apart from this, you can acquire new prospects at a lower cost, educate your prospects and drive traffic to your websites and offers.

5. Proactive support

Include a link to support pages, forums or documentation of your service. This strategy, when used effectively, can help to cement your relationship with the customer and will reduce the number of support emails you get.

Including all options to contact

Including all options to contact from Commission Junction

Make it easy for the customer start using your service right away without having to contact your company. For example, you can include links to FAQs about billing, shipping or getting started. You want your customers to have a smooth transition from payers to users.

As a business owner, marketing is one of the biggest challenges you have to tackle And for the subscription business owner, the challenge is even more profound. While working to acquire new customers, you want to keep your churn rate at a minimum. You can use transactional emails to find out about your customers and address their concerns to minimize churn.

How are you using your transactional emails to your advantage?

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John Solomon

Marketing Leader / Sales Enabler. Head of India Operations for @Infrascale / @sosonlinebackup.