Did you realise that there’s a goose laying golden eggs on your website that you’ve failed to make the most of?

Traditionally, web retailers have sent two different types of emails to customers: the first is when you want to run a special promotion, or to highlight particular special deals on certain items, or perhaps to send a newsletter. These emails are written by the marketing department.

The second are the emails that the website itself sends in response to some kind of customer action - things like signing up as a new user, or forgetting your password, or an order confirmation, or making an enquiry and getting an automated thanks-for-your-message in response. These are all called transactional emails, and these are (usually) written by the IT department.

And typically, these two different types of email - transactional and marketing - are generally thought of as being completely separate.

But does this need to be the case? Why not take the chance to combine the two!

Crunching the numbers

Let’s say that you have 10,000 customers, and these receive an average of five transactional emails a year. For each of these 50,000 emails - where customers have actually invited you to contact them - you just send a bland IT-style email that makes no direct effort at all to increase sales, and voilà! You just left 50,000 golden eggs lying on your front lawn, that some of your competitors have started picking up.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this could all add up to a sizeable chunk of lost income.

And after all, especially when your customers have actually asked you to contact them, then wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to showcase your products, and put your best foot forward?

Clearly these are opportunities that we need to start taking. The game-changer is to stop thinking about transactional emails as being anything less than a great opportunity to market.

And with the power of prediction, there’s a very smart way to go about doing this.

Behaviour-based predictions

Any time that a transactional email might be required, by definition you can guarantee that the customer has very recently been interacting with your site - otherwise they couldn’t have done whatever action it was that triggered the email in the first place. And if the customer has only just been interacting with your site, then clearly the best way to include marketing material in transactional emails would be to make this material relevant to whatever you know for a fact that the customer is interested in.

For example, by the time a new customer signs up, you potentially already know a whole stack of information about them - not just from the values that they entered on the sign-up page, but from their behaviour on your site:

  • What products they clicked on
  • Which pages they stayed on for the longest
  • Which products they added to their basket
  • Which products they’ve already bought.
  • Which products they viewed over a number of visits but not yet purchased.
  • Which products they hovered over, etc. etc.
So when you send your transactional sign-up email, you can predict, fairly accurately, exactly which products might be of interest to your new customer, and include a highly-personalised promotion within your communication.

Congratulations - in marketing speak, you just made a great first ‘impression’.

The way forward!

Examples like this could be multiplied across your site - any time that you send a transactional email, you have a great opportunity to include a very-targeted sales pitch based on intelligent predictions that are highly personalised to customer behaviour.

Imagine if this brought just 1% of an increase from these - or even 0.1%, or even just 0.01%! These are all opportunities for further sales from your customers; freshly-laid golden goose-eggs that are lying there on the lawn, just asking you to take them.

And with the right tool, making the most of this opportunity - bridging the gap between transactional and marketing mail - has never been easier.

Marketing mail based on behaviours, and transactional mail that markets - this is the future!