Transactional e-mails: the chocolate mousse torte of your marketing

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The term e-mail marketing can mean a variety of things besides the traditional e-mail newsletter. The best e-mail marketers think about their e-mail marketing program broadly and realize that any e-mail communication with a customer or prospect is a chance to market to them. A good example of this type of opportunity that is often overlooked are transactional e-mails.

Transactional e-mails are the untapped wellspring of your e-mail marketing program. For one thing, transactional e-mails have a really astounding open rate. Given that fact, why not-gently, politely, respectfully-promote a product to them while you're providing them details about the transaction they just completed. You know what I'm talking about because you've gotten these types of messages. The ones that say, "We notice you just purchased widget #4. Other customers who purchased widget #4 also found thingamajig #3 useful."

You don't even have to be so bold as to promote another purchase. You could simply alert your customer to the new line of bits-and-bobs coming out next week, or the weekly release, every Tuesday, of the latest and greatest in whatchamacallits. Whatever your business and whatever it is you normally promote via e-mail, you can use your transactional messages to mention them to your customers. Include items that you genuinely think your customers may be interested in, and they'll appreciate it.

It's just like when you go to dinner and after the meal, the waitress mentions the specials on the dessert menu to you. Upselling really works. Because didn't you really want dessert anyway and just needed some gentle nudging to go ahead and order the chef's famous Chocolate Mousse Torte? Well, transactional e-mails can work the same way.

Now, this does require some work on your part. You have to know what the customer purchased widget #4 and include this fact in your e-mail. This involves creating personalized content. Then, you have to have tied that personalized content to some other related content that you think they'd be interested in like thingamajig #3 and include that as well. Additionally, it would be good if you're quite sure that thingamajig #3 is in stock at the moment or all your efforts will be for naught. But, these are pretty easy things to resolve if you have good e-mail marketing software.

Like the taste of melting chocolate on your tongue, the exquisite satisfaction of the increased revenue from your new upselling-via-transactional-e-mails program will make it all worthwhile.

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