The copy in your transactional emails is likely the most impactful text you will write as an online marketer. Some experts maintain that it has an even greater effect on your brand’s bottom line than the text on your website or social media posts. The reason for this phenomenal power of transactional emails is that the text in these missives will be seen by countless thousands of customers who have engaged your brand and thus establish the aura of your customer service. The tone of your transactional emails can have an enormous impact on your customer list churn, overall retention, and how your customer views your entire brand identity. In your quest to optimize the entire customer experience you have to pay close attention to your transactional email text!
Don’t have a robot write your transactional emails
Most brands write transactional email text that sounds like it was drafted by a robot. Therefore is your “product has shipped” email text more like this:
Dear John Smith. At 3.18 pm on Tuesday, November 7, we shipped your #497892A fishing net via UPS.
Than like this:
Hey John! Right now your fishing net is bouncing around in the back of a UPS truck somewhere between our warehouse and your house in Lakeland. Make sure not to strain your back pulling those huge fish out of the lake with that net!
Apply your quirky brand identity everywhere
This approach can be successfully applied to every aspect of transactional emails. Let’s suppose that you automatically send out an email a month after a completed purchase by a customer. If you’re like most “unimaginative” brands, that email is something along the lines of:
Dear John Smith. We hope that you have enjoyed using the #497892A fishing net and that you will consider Superfly Flyfishing Supplies for your future fishing requirements.
Wow, nothing but excitement there! Why not try something more along these lines:
Hi John. By now we figure that you have your freezer overflowing with all the fish you’ve pulled out of the lake with that fishing net you bought from us, so here’s a link to some great fish recipes so you can get some of that catch out of the deep freeze and into your frying pan!
Place yourself in the position of your customer. Which approach would leave a lasting impression with you?
Remember that the customer still needs the transactional info
Just because you have decided to take the plunge into truly individualistic and left-field transactional email copy does not mean that you no longer have to provide the critical information that the customer requires. In the case of the “product has shipped” email you still have to provide a link to the UPS tracking number and links back to the order, etc. What differentiates the conventional (and boring) online marketer from the innovative and engaging one is how they create the copy that surrounds those obligatory links.
You gotta know when to hold ‘em, and know when to fold ‘em
Of course you can take the entire humor angle a bit far by transgressing into the field of off-color jokes. Your transactional email copy should be very carefully crafted to ensure that it can not possibly be found to be offensive by anyone. Orthodox Catholics maintain the tradition of eating fish on Fridays but although it might seem to be a natural topic for the jokesters at Superfly Flyfishing Supplies to focus a transactional email around, any aspect which even remotely deals with religion should be avoided. Keep your transactional email copy strictly to the topic which is associated with your product and don’t go off on possibly controversial tangents such as race, gender, current world events, and anything else that can turn the fun into offended anger in the eyes of your customer.
When you decide that your brand’s transactional emails need to go in the direction of engaging the customer through a humorous approach, you are walking a fine line. It’s more than worth the effort as if you manage to do it right you will be rewarded with considerably increased engagement metrics.