How to Personalize Transactional Emails to Connect with Customers

Brian Honigman on Email marketing, How to,


Did you know email is one of the most effective marketing channels for reaching your customers with a meaningful messaging? 72% of consumers favor email as the way to communicate with the companies they do business with.

Whether your organization is sending customers a promotional email, an alert about new inventory, a welcome email or otherwise, the personalization of that message is what connects with customers.

According to eMarketer, 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make additional purchases as a result of emails personalized to their preferences and shopping behaviors.

Many companies neglect to adapt their email marketing to their audience, especially when it comes to standard transactional email messages, neglecting a key opportunity to reach people in an interesting way.

However, the process of personalizing your transactional emails can be particularly time consuming which is why many businesses don’t customize what they are sending.

Here’s how to strategically personalize the transactional emails sent to customers in a timely manner to achieve your goals.

What’s a Transactional Email?

Transactional emails, also known as triggered emails, are messages sent to a customer based on their interactions within an app or website.

For example, when a subscriber receives a welcome email after signing up for your email list, this transactional email was triggered by their sign-up and automatically sent to them.

Transactional email

Receiving a product recommendation email is another type of transactional email as it’s a curated list of recommended products to browse based on what a customer previously purchased.

Know Your Audience

An important step in personalizing your transactional emails is to understand who your customers are. This involves understanding how to talk to them and what information they are looking for from an email.

The tone an edgy automotive brand uses in its emails will be vastly different than how a department store communicates with its audience and this distinction matters.

Some of your learnings on who your audience is will come from testing to see which emails resonate and which don’t.

But most of the insights gathered about your customers will come from creating buyer personas based on who your brand caters to and secondly, asking your audience for their direct feedback.

Buyer persona

Based on a combination of intuition and data, developing buyer personas is helpful to inform a variety of marketing activities and should provide a concise background, demographics and challenges faced by the different types of customers you’re after.

These insights can help clarify the age range of the people you’re communicating with, their gender, education level and more, which will directly impact your tone across an email.

Personalised email

Very, a women’s fashion label in the UK, sent a personalized email to customers with a curated list of products based on what they know about their audience.

The images included are simple, aesthetically pleasing and feature women wearing the product since that’s their intended audience.

Not to mention that the copy features traditionally feminine words that are intended to cater to women when paired with a concise and conversational tone.

To further inform the buyer personas created for your business, collect data from surveys, live chat, focus groups, interviews, feedback from customers in person, social media and more.

email survey

This data, both qualitative and quantitative, not only informs the accuracy of your buyer personas but your continued understanding of the customer you’re after.

Communicating with them directly gives your team first hand insight into who they are, what they want and how your transactional emails can deliver them what they need one email at a time.

Segment When Possible

Most of the transactional emails sent to customers can’t be personalized on a person-by-person basis as it’s too time consuming or requires expensive and complex enterprise software.

But at the same time, treating all your buyers the same over email misses the point.

Instead, a useful way to personalize transactional emails for medium to small-sized businesses is to segment your email subscribers into different groups and then customize what’s sent to these segments.

This way you’re customizing transactional emails for a smaller group of your subscribers as opposed to each individual customer, a step closer to a personalized experience.

Start using email marketing automation today

Interested in using email marketing automation? Jumplead is a great tool for quickly and easily implementing email marketing automation. Start turning your website visitors into customers. Try Jumplead today!

The primary goal of a transactional email is utility whether a person is receiving a receipt for a purchase, a password reset, a notification or otherwise.

Once the utility is addressed, there’s room to include a call-to-action and other secondary information for a marketing play within the email.

Don’t customize each individual email but instead, provide personalized information like a call-to-action to a particular group of subscribers.

Consider segmenting your email lists with a tool like Jumplead, MailChimp or Constant Contact based on any of the following attributes:

1. Geographic: By country, region, state or city.

Geographic segmentation email

2. Demographics: Age, gender, marital status, income, education, occupation etc.

Demographic segmentation email

3. Purchasing Behavior: Past purchases, add to cart, subscription requests etc.

Behavioural segmentation email

4. Lifestyle: Hobbies, preferences and interests.

Interest segmentation email

5. Content Interaction: Engagement by content type or subject area.

Activity segmentation email

It’s essential that you’re not over-segmenting your emails lists either. Instead, create two to four high-level segments of your audience initially to see how personalizing performs across emails.

Rely on Marketing Automation

To personalize a majority of your transactional emails and other marketing activities, automate when possible. Marketing automation software allows your organization to customize the interactions with customers by automating repetitive processes.

This can be anything from sending an email with relevant content to someone automatically after they take an action on a website to automatically removing them from your contact list after they click to opt-out.

This allows a company to avoid the hassle of personalizing every interaction with a contact over email, giving them more time to adapt copy and other elements of their messaging for a more personal touch.

Setting up automation starts with creating triggers in your software, whether using Jumplead or another provider, to notify the system when to take action based on a lead’s activity.

A trigger might be when a prospect downloads multiple case studies in a month, which then causes a transactional email (an autoresponder) to send them a follow-up email, tag them as a part of a specific segment of subscribers or take another action.

Any personalization to the copy, call-to-action, offer, images or another element within an email happens once upfront, prior to any prospect’s activity. This email will be sent to everyone that activates the particular trigger, which will likely only be a subset of your overall customer base.

There will be times where you’ll have to go back to edit and update your messaging for freshness, but for the most part, the work you’re doing once will impact multiple customers.

This level of automation is one of the most effective ways to add a personal touch to your emails, while limiting the amount of work required to do so.

What personalizations has your organization made to your email marketing? What types of emails performed best for you when adapted for a specific segment of your audience? Let us know in the comments.

Did you know email is one of the most effective marketing channels for reaching your customers with a meaningful messaging? 72% of consumers favor email as the way to communicate with the companies they do business with.

Whether your organization is sending customers a promotional email, an alert about new inventory, a welcome email or otherwise, the personalization of that message is what connects with customers.

According to eMarketer, 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make additional purchases as a result of emails personalized to their preferences and shopping behaviors.

Many companies neglect to adapt their email marketing to their audience, especially when it comes to standard transactional email messages, neglecting a key opportunity to reach people in an interesting way.

However, the process of personalizing your transactional emails can be particularly time consuming which is why many businesses don’t customize what they are sending.

Here’s how to strategically personalize the transactional emails sent to customers in a timely manner to achieve your goals.

What’s a Transactional Email?

Transactional emails, also known as triggered emails, are messages sent to a customer based on their interactions within an app or website.

For example, when a subscriber receives a welcome email after signing up for your email list, this transactional email was triggered by their sign-up and automatically sent to them.

Transactional email

Receiving a product recommendation email is another type of transactional email as it’s a curated list of recommended products to browse based on what a customer previously purchased.

Know Your Audience

An important step in personalizing your transactional emails is to understand who your customers are. This involves understanding how to talk to them and what information they are looking for from an email.

The tone an edgy automotive brand uses in its emails will be vastly different than how a department store communicates with its audience and this distinction matters.

Some of your learnings on who your audience is will come from testing to see which emails resonate and which don’t.

But most of the insights gathered about your customers will come from creating buyer personas based on who your brand caters to and secondly, asking your audience for their direct feedback.

Buyer persona

Based on a combination of intuition and data, developing buyer personas is helpful to inform a variety of marketing activities and should provide a concise background, demographics and challenges faced by the different types of customers you’re after.

These insights can help clarify the age range of the people you’re communicating with, their gender, education level and more, which will directly impact your tone across an email.

Personalised email

Very, a women’s fashion label in the UK, sent a personalized email to customers with a curated list of products based on what they know about their audience.

The images included are simple, aesthetically pleasing and feature women wearing the product since that’s their intended audience.

Not to mention that the copy features traditionally feminine words that are intended to cater to women when paired with a concise and conversational tone.

To further inform the buyer personas created for your business, collect data from surveys, live chat, focus groups, interviews, feedback from customers in person, social media and more.

email survey

This data, both qualitative and quantitative, not only informs the accuracy of your buyer personas but your continued understanding of the customer you’re after.

Communicating with them directly gives your team first hand insight into who they are, what they want and how your transactional emails can deliver them what they need one email at a time.

Segment When Possible

Most of the transactional emails sent to customers can’t be personalized on a person-by-person basis as it’s too time consuming or requires expensive and complex enterprise software.

But at the same time, treating all your buyers the same over email misses the point.

Instead, a useful way to personalize transactional emails for medium to small-sized businesses is to segment your email subscribers into different groups and then customize what’s sent to these segments.

This way you’re customizing transactional emails for a smaller group of your subscribers as opposed to each individual customer, a step closer to a personalized experience.

Start using email marketing automation today

Interested in using email marketing automation? Jumplead is a great tool for quickly and easily implementing email marketing automation. Start turning your website visitors into customers. Try Jumplead today!

The primary goal of a transactional email is utility whether a person is receiving a receipt for a purchase, a password reset, a notification or otherwise.

Once the utility is addressed, there’s room to include a call-to-action and other secondary information for a marketing play within the email.

Don’t customize each individual email but instead, provide personalized information like a call-to-action to a particular group of subscribers.

Consider segmenting your email lists with a tool like Jumplead, MailChimp or Constant Contact based on any of the following attributes:

1. Geographic: By country, region, state or city.

Geographic segmentation email

2. Demographics: Age, gender, marital status, income, education, occupation etc.

Demographic segmentation email

3. Purchasing Behavior: Past purchases, add to cart, subscription requests etc.

Behavioural segmentation email

4. Lifestyle: Hobbies, preferences and interests.

Interest segmentation email

5. Content Interaction: Engagement by content type or subject area.

Activity segmentation email

It’s essential that you’re not over-segmenting your emails lists either. Instead, create two to four high-level segments of your audience initially to see how personalizing performs across emails.

Rely on Marketing Automation

To personalize a majority of your transactional emails and other marketing activities, automate when possible. Marketing automation software allows your organization to customize the interactions with customers by automating repetitive processes.

This can be anything from sending an email with relevant content to someone automatically after they take an action on a website to automatically removing them from your contact list after they click to opt-out.

This allows a company to avoid the hassle of personalizing every interaction with a contact over email, giving them more time to adapt copy and other elements of their messaging for a more personal touch.

Setting up automation starts with creating triggers in your software, whether using Jumplead or another provider, to notify the system when to take action based on a lead’s activity.

A trigger might be when a prospect downloads multiple case studies in a month, which then causes a transactional email (an autoresponder) to send them a follow-up email, tag them as a part of a specific segment of subscribers or take another action.

Any personalization to the copy, call-to-action, offer, images or another element within an email happens once upfront, prior to any prospect’s activity. This email will be sent to everyone that activates the particular trigger, which will likely only be a subset of your overall customer base.

There will be times where you’ll have to go back to edit and update your messaging for freshness, but for the most part, the work you’re doing once will impact multiple customers.

This level of automation is one of the most effective ways to add a personal touch to your emails, while limiting the amount of work required to do so.

What personalizations has your organization made to your email marketing? What types of emails performed best for you when adapted for a specific segment of your audience? Let us know in the comments.

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Brian Honigman
Content Marketing & Social Media Consultant
http://www.brianhonigman.com/