Leading companies are using transactional email on their websites to communicate with their customers. But what is transactional email and why should you be using it? In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of transactional emails and how you might use technology to improve deliverability.
There are really three types of emails that companies send out:
- Corporate emails – these are the traditional emails that are assigned to users – staff, company management and administration. Staff use these to communicate to other staff and to the outside world.
- Marketing emails – these are typically one-way emails that are ‘blasted’ out to customers and subscribers to the company newsletter. The email recipients are housed in a database which monitors which recipients open the emails, and which emails bounce as non-deliverable. These databases may also contain additional demographics of the user such as age, address, sex, purchase history and of course, name. They also have a flag that allows the company to send emails to them, complying with CASL, CAN-SPAM laws and/or GDPR rules. If they unsubscribe, then the email system will no longer send them emails, complying with their privacy preferences.
- Transactional emails are the topic of today’s blog, and they are emails that are automated from an action initiated by a user, usually from ecommerce or website activity such as online order confirmation, login alerts, password reset emails, and order delivery notices. These emails are not usually subject to CASL, CAN-SPAM, and GDPR laws as they are related to business transactions with the user.
The primary benefit of transactional emails is that they enable you to keep customers informed about their interactions with your business in real time. Transactional emails can include confirmation emails for purchases, password reset emails, and other types of messages that provide value to the recipient. It’s important to avoid sending email that recipients could perceive as being spam or unwanted. If they flag your email as being spam, then there’s a danger your whole domain name could be permanently flagged as spam and being added to a list such as the Spamhaus blacklist.
By delivering transactional emails quickly and accurately, you can help build trust between you and your customers while providing them with a better user experience. Additionally, sending automated messages helps reduce the workload on customer service representatives who would otherwise have to manually respond to such inquiries from customers.
Transactional emails can be sent from a different domain name from your main corporate email domain. There are some good reasons why you might want to set up a different domain from which to send your transactional emails.
Protecting your company domain name reputation is important. Your main company domain name is one of your brand’s most important assets. Getting your domain name flagged as a spammer is one of the worst things that can happen to your corporate digital footprint (getting your social media accounts hacked is another). Since transactional emails are important, putting them on their own domain, provides a ‘fast lane’ to the users inbox, so that password reset or ecommerce order confirmation email gets there quickly.
Transactional email providers that provide these high-availablility email servers are separate from your corporate email provider such as Office 365. This requires a separate domain name or sub-domain to be used to send transactional emails.
One way to improve the reputation of your domain when using transactional emails is to make sure that you are sending relevant and useful information to your recipients. This means the user is expecting to see, or is not surprised to see the email.
To further build trust of your domain, you can use authentication methods such as SPF and DKIM to help protect your domain from being used for spam. This can improve your domain reputation and increase the chances that your emails will be delivered successfully to your recipients.
How to set up transactional email
Some email providers offer blazing fast delivery specifically for transactional email. Companies such as SendGrid and Mailgun offer free and low-cost solutions. In addition, they offer an API key that allows you to integrate their solution directly into your website programmatically to avoid login issues when a password is changed. Using these services that specialize in transactional email, ensures deliverability of your valuable emails from your website to your customers.
Why not use [email protected] email addresses?
Website forms often use “noreply” email addresses to indicate to the recipient that they should not expect a response if they reply to the email. An example of a noreply email is an email address that does not actually exist on the company email server such as [email protected]
There is a very good reason why a no-reply email should not be used. Email is a conversational medium. Users receiving an email, even if it is an expected transactional email such as an order confirmation, expect the ability to be able to hit ‘reply’ and send a response. Seeing their email go to a no-reply email is a frustrating user experience.
To ensure your transactional email addresses are monitored for replies, a reply-to setting can be configured that will send any replies to a monitored email address on your corporate network, rather than the non-monitored transactional email address. Your sending email address may be [email protected] but your reply-to address could be [email protected]
How do I know my website form emails are working?
With technology changes, website updates, and server o/s updates, your website forms may stop working without you realizing. It’s important to conduct manual tests regularly, and after any website update. In addition, it’s good practice to implement an alert system that montors when a website form fails to send an email. In addition, a backup copy of all website form submissions should be saved to a database, in case the email fails.
Contact us today to implement and monitor transactional email on your website.