According to a new white paper by e-mail marketer ExactTarget, no other message is as personal, relevant, and anticipated as a transactional e-mail. But most merchants have little or no visibility into the performance of transactional e-mails – from the most basic deliverability characteristics to more sophisticated behavioral data about them once they are sent.
In the white paper, ExactTarget outlines the five must-haves for any merchant looking to manage and optimize its transactional messages:
1) It must have marketing mindset Transactional e-mails must be thought of as a component of your overall marketing strategy, and as such must always reinforce your brand and strive to drive deeper customer relationships and business results.
2) You need an effective marketing console Merchants must have a console where they can see how much transactional e-mail is being sent and how well they are performing, and also include tools to make on-the-fly adjustments in response to the results generated by real-time transactional messages.
3) Real-time delivery The speed and power of the Internet has created a culture where consumers want instant confirmation and up-to-date information. If an online registration form is completed, a confirmation e-mail is expected instantly. As a merchant, it benefits you to react quickly if a Website visitor performs a specific site search or abandons a shopping cart. So the infrastructure of your e-mail engine must be able to scale to handle massive volumes – sending millions of e-mails, one at a time.
4) Integration capabilities Knowing when to send transactional e-mails is equally important. E-mail engines must have the ability to be tightly integrated to back-office systems, web analytics applications, e-commerce systems or any system where your transactional events are being captured. Flexible and open APIs should be leveraged to tie multiple data sources together and make the data seamlessly and automatically available. Only then can merchants be sure that e-mails are being triggered and sent at the precise moment.
5) Content creation tools With the peace of mind that e-mails are getting sent when they need to be sent, it’s crucial that transactional messages with commercial content are dynamically personal and relevant to the recipient. Sending the same old “mass blast” message through a powerful new marketing channel only results in more missed marketing opportunities – and potential harm to your reputation and brand.