4 Tips to Help Your Transactional Emails Convert

Every email you send a user is an opportunity to engage. Some emails you only want opened and others aim to have the recipient click through to your site. Here are some tips that will help you achive your conversion goals.

Remember, not all tips work for every type of email. You should always test your assumptions and let the data tell you if a change is working. Apostle.io allows you to A/B test your transactional emails and increase your conversion rate.

1. Remove Content

Do your emails have too much content? If your goal is to get a user to continue to visit your site, then providing all the information in an email can work against you. Removing part of your message can help bring users to your site. This is especially useful for “alert” emails.

For example, Twitter recently removed the actual message content from the “Direct Message Notification” emails. Where before you could see the message you had been sent, and choose not to reply, you now need to click through to the Twitter website – where they have a chance to engage you with more content.

Twitter’s Old DM Email

The old Twitter DM notification email

Twitter’s Old DM Email

The new Twitter DM notification email

2. Reduce calls to action

If you have multiple calls to action, it might be time to reduce that down to one. Having more than a single call to action can confuse the message – don’t make your users have to think! If your email is primarily for a single purpose, then you should make it as easy as possible for your users to convert.

A good example of too many calls to action is account activation emails. A lot of activation emails link to the website, the activation link and then another area if the activation link doesn’t work for some reason. There’s no reason for this – a single call to action, to activate your account, is all that is required.

Compare these two activation emails for clarity:

Too many links!

Which is the important link?

Too many links!

A single, clear, call to action

3. Make CTAs More Obvious

When your email only has a single purpose, you need to make the call to action as obvious as possible. If you bury a link at the end of a sentence, in amongst large passages of text, or not in an obvious place; you risk people missing it. People scan emails quickly, so you need to make your intentions clear.

Take this PayPal email for example. The call to action is a link at the end of the second sentence and you couldn’t be blamed for not seeing it at all (and this is an important email, you don’t get your money unless you follow through!)

PayPal’s not so obvious CTA

An obscure call to action link

Compare this to this email from Kiva. While there’s plenty of copy, it’s easy to spot the only call to action in the email – “Find a loan”.

Kiva’s obvious CTA

Kiva makes it very obvious what to click

4. Personalise Your Message

A little personalisation goes a long way. Adding a recipient’s name to the subject line has a drastic affect on open rates. We’re trained to skim subject lines and that simple personalisation can draw a user into opening an email. The same applies to your opening copy, if you know a users name then address them by it – no more ”Hi there”. The people opening your emails are individuals, so address them personally.

Note: This obviously only applies if you know your recipient’s name, but a lot of the time this is the case.

Personalised Subject Lines

Personalised Subject Lines

I hope that you can take some of these tips and apply them to your transactional emails.

If you want an easier way to change your transactional emails or want to run A/B tests on your transactional emails, why not check out Apostle.io? We exist to help you get better results from your email!

About the author

Mal Curtis is the Co-Founder of Apostle.io (an easier way to manage transactional emails). He’s been building web apps for over a decade and loves new technology.

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