The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Sara Steinnagel serves as Community Manager at Gold Lasso. Follow her on twitter at @Sara_C_Stein

Transactional Emails: An Email Marketing Strategy that Actually Works

Email marketing strategies are a dime a dozen. The internet is filled with them. In fact, a quick Google search will reveal over 1.3 billion hits on the subject. It seems that everyone has an opinion on how to compose fool proof emails, yet somehow only a small percentage of marketing messages are actually opened and read.

An expanded view of transactional emails

Historically, transactional emails tend to have very high open rates. Order confirmations are the most common of these. Consumers open order confirmation emails to check their order’s status and to get a delivery estimate. However, it is obvious that order confirmations are not necessarily feasible or needed across all genres. In fact, any message sent to a subscriber based on a given action can be considered transactional. For example, if someone signs up for a webinar or asks to receive your weekly newsletter, you should send them a message thanking and welcoming them. This is an extremely useful opportunity and should be taken advantage of.

To make the most of the high click through rates of transactional emails, embed promotional materials directly into your response template. is one company that does this with a high success rate within their confirmation messages.

Another example of a transactional email is an account status update. Depending on your type of business, an account update might be a reminder of when a membership expires, an account balance, a credit limit, or a recap of their order history. However, if you include a promotional offer within this type of message, it will fall under the CAN SPAM act according to various FTC regulations. Therefore, make sure to follow proper guidelines to ensure a compliant message.

The key to remember is that no matter what type of transactional message you send, be sure to include a call to action that grabs the reader’s attention.

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Back to Basics: Get Results with Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is a primary factor in generating leads and initiating a call to action. But how can you make your campaign the best it can be?

Start with a Solid Email-Marketing List

A well cultivated and relevant list is the most valuable tool any email marketer can have. This means a list that has been carefully compiled, consisting of contacts of a true opted-in nature (not one that has been purchased) and genuinely want to hear from you. It is also important to keep your list up to date. Proper list cleansing and maintenance will ensure the best deliverability possible.

According to the September 2012 Business2Business post, “Get to Know Your Email Marketing List a Little Better,” the size of your marketing list is not nearly as important as the quality.

If you don’t take time to get to know the people in your list, you stand the risk of sending irrelevant, untimely, and potentially boring emails to the majority of your subscribers. This will result in poor engagement—sometimes referred to as email fatigue—and will lead to declining open rates and click-throughs, and ultimately poor sales.

Give Your Message the Creativity it Deserves

In order to produce a truly creative and targeted email, marketers must take into account several key components. The message’s subject line, body content and graphics all come into play.

The subject line should be engaging and include a strong call to action. After all, the first thing viewers will want to know is “what’s in it for me”. The first impression is invaluable. Marketers should make sure to tell subscribers what they want up front, what they will get in return, and then reinforce it several times throughout the email. By grabbing the subscriber’s attention from the start and layering their call to action several times, marketers will increase the strength of the first impression.

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Practice Permission Marketing and Earn Your Customer's Respect

 “Permission marketing” is one of the most important terms marketers encounter. However, despite its importance, many marketers struggle with its implementation. Marketers should not be discouraged though, success is possible. Still, it is not an element that should be overlooked; in fact, every marketer should aim to master it.

This marketing effort is unique because it understands and respects your customer's ability and right to ignore you and your correspondence. It is built on the knowledge that the best way to earn customer loyalty is to earn customer respect. You want your customers to always value your contact and in turn see that value build as your relationship grows

Permission Marketing means being completely upfront with a customer about what you want from them and what they can expect from you in return. An example of this marketing is the social media site that lets you establish an online presence on their platform in exchange for the ability to push relevant advertisements. LinkedIn has done a great job so far of mastering this balance. The key to maintaining a successful relationship is to only do exactly as promised and resist the urge to change the rules. Changing things behind your customers back in order to obtain more of their attention will only strain the relationship. Do not initially promise monthly contact, and then suddenly switch to daily correspondence. Managing this permission base will demand patience and study. You will decide how you interact with different types of customers based upon what they want to hear.

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Gold Lasso's Joint Study With Azam Marketing Reveals Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume

We are happy to introduce to you our newest whitepaper, in collaboration with Azam Marketing, entitled The Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume.  It is free for all to download in our resources section.

In collaboration with Azam, we have uncovered the complex balance of scaling and successfully executing a high volume email campaign and are overjoyed to be able to share that knowledge with you.

This whitepaper addresses the importance of the five key components for success in scaling email volume: Sender reputation, bounces, list management and cleansing, content and engagement, and finally, technology. We believe these components can be mastered if the following key points are kept in mind:

• Managing deliverability for high volume is a joint effort between the ESP and client.
• Reputation success stems from data cleanliness and a good sending strategy.
• Abrupt strategy changes can cause issues and must be planned.
• There is no direct line to the ISPs. Vigilance and responsible sending practices are a must.
• Be prepared for a long scaling process. Extreme volume swings will not be effective.


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Email marketing and the art of subject lines

On average, marketers have a four second window in which to grab the attention of their audience. In those four seconds, a subscriber will decide to either open or trash your message. The most important factor in this decision is of course, the subject line. The subject line is the most valuable piece of email real estate, as it’s the first impression a message has on its recipient. Marketers can make the most of their subject lines by keeping in mind these five valuable tips:

Ask a question
Ex: “Organic vs Conventional? What chow is best for your pooch?”

Get the customer’s gears turning by posing a question. Engaging them from the beginning is a fool proof way to ensure the message gets opened. For example: A pet supply company may lead an email with a question about whether organic pet food is better than conventional. It's likely their audience has wondered the same thing. By asking the question within the subject line, the audience is encouraged to open the email in order to learn the answer.

Teach something
Ex: “Fuel cost is rising. How to cut your gas cost in half”

Everyone enjoys learning something new. By teaching your audience something, you immediately increase your brand’s value in their eyes. Instead of just selling them something, you have situated yourself as an authority on a subject. Now, customers will see you not only as a retailer, but as a valuable informant. Give them value for their time, and it is likely they will repay you with theirs by opening your message.

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