The first ever email was sent in 1971, and with over 100 billion emails now sent for business use in the world every day, it's hard to overestimate the importance of email for organisations.
In a future where everything and everyone will be connected, it has never been more important for organisations to leverage email to gain a competitive advantage within fast-paced global markets.
How often do we really consider what type of email we are sending? In general terms, there are two main types of email: bulk and transactional.
Transactional emails include welcome emails, confirmation emails, e-receipts, cart abandonment and login credentials resets.
It may not seem like it, but these emails are important as they're already in a privileged position: they've already reached an inbox.
So how can organisations take advantage of this? How can businesses use transactional emails as an opportunity to communicate with their users?
Here are some areas which will help drive greater efficiencies in the application of transactional emails:
1. Leave the subject line alone
The message still needs to carry the same original intent or purpose.
2. Make sure the intended content stays at the top
The transactional portion of the message should stay at the top of the email, incorporate any marketing messaging at the bottom.
3. Keep it short and snappy
Make sure to use only 30 per cent or less of the email for the marketing call to action.
4. Make it personal
While a standard banner at the bottom of the email is a great way to start, fine tuning the message to the individual user has more impact. E.g. if you have sent a receipt for a particular item, catch their attention with an item that compliments that product/service purchased.
5. Make it aesthetically pleasing
Just because the message is transactional does not mean it has to be uninspiring. These emails are ultimately a factor in end user experience, so deliver the intended content and a little bit more.
6. Take advantage
Capitalise on any opportunity to drive traffic back to associated sites, whether that be by using company logos and any images, a link to the product, or links back to the website.
7. Don't forget
Add a preference centre link in emails giving recipients an opportunity to sign up for other email communications.
Ultimately, the use of transactional email as a form of contact with users, needs to have a measurable impact on your organisation.
Measuring and monitoring results will allow organisations to take stock of what works for their business and drive customers to their brands, ultimately impacting revenue.
Email is often underestimated but don't let its hidden talents go to waste.
Paul Heywood is EMEA director for Dyn.