What actually sets your brand apart from your competitors'? What makes a customer buy from your shop or subscribe to your service rather than another? Branding your product or service determines the value your customer attaches to it. We call this: brand added value. This article explains how you can leverage 'brand' in transactional email to reinforce that value.
Without a brand, a product or service is just that. Without a brand, there would be only two factors that matter: price and quality. With a brand, however, products and services now convey feelings and emotion, give meaning, and solve all the problems you've ever had. 'Brand' has a positive impact on customer perception, purchase intention and purchase satisfaction. The more your customer values your brand and the experience that brand brings with it, the greater the chance that they will buy, buy again, and buy even more.
Your brand added value is determined by all the so-called touchpoints with your brand combined. Every single time a customer comes into contact with your brand, it effects how they perceive your brand. Transactional emails are interwoven throughout the Customer Journey, but are often left untouched. A little goes a long way, so here are three tips to make your brand stand out in transactional email, too:
Research shows that personalization has a positive impact on your email experience is clear. McKinsey stated that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% of those consumers get frustrated when there is no personalized experience. And in email, there's no reason not to personalize content.
However, personalization goes beyond just knowing someone's first and last name and some basic details. The real added value lies in being able to pinpoint where personalization makes a difference. It could still be very simple:
"You bought a plane ticket, maybe you'd like to book a parking spot at the airport, too?"
Personalization is about understanding the needs of your recipient, based on what you know of them or people that behave like them. Use collective data to predict what someone might want to read, use customer-level historic data to build a profile and serve personalized content... The possibilities are endless. A fun and simple example is this one from ASICS:
After opening the email, the things that catch your attention are:
This example shows that ASICS really knows who their customers are. In this example, the recipient ordered running shoes (and socks), so chances are high that the recipient will use them for a running workout. Subtly, the background image is one of a person running. Since they probably want to run as soon as possible, ASICS lets their recipient in on the average delivery time (2/3 business days) and the order status (processing). Just by opening this email, the recipient is (mentally) ready for their next workout.
To really go the extra mile in personalizing your transactional emails, you need to look beyond 'just' the email software or even CRM that you're using. Only a handful of tools allow you to actually go deeper than 'standard' personalization. Tools that allow for the use of 'diagnostic' and/or 'predictive' data really make your transactional emails stand out from the crowd.
Customer Data Platforms (CDP) are the future of hyperpersonalizing customer experience. Everywhere - in every email. CDP's allow you to serve relevant content to every individual recipient: both informative and persuasive.
An important part of 'brand' is to what extent your values match those of your customer. Your brand can mean more to a customer than you think. More than the product or service you're using, brand is something consumers want to be associated with. It has 'psychosocial' value: "When I use this product or service, people will think this of me".
A good example is an animal testing-free cosmetics brand. Its user uses the product to raise their social profile and is eager to share that they use this brand. Even if your company isn't necessarily a SJW, you can come up with brand values that really express who you are as a brand. Common brand values like 'integrity', 'honesty', 'passionate' or 'fun' can still do the trick, but try to really go beyond the obvious.
This welcome email from Ubisoft's Riders Republic really hits the spot. It's adventurous, playful, and it tells a story. It's really incorporated in the gameplay of Riders Republic - which, honestly, isn't something we've ever seen:
Completely in line with the previous tips is to provide a consistent brand experience. Email is - and will always be - an important part of your Customer Journey, but it's never alone. Your website, social media posts, customer service agents, chatbots - everything has to be in line in order to give a brand its value.
With a lot of transactional emails coming from a variety of sending sources (ERP, CRM, webshop, etc.), it might seem difficult to really get those in your brand's style, but it's not. At Flowmailer, we offer a variety of features to manage, design, and track all the transactional emails that leave your business. Not sure where to start? Here's a few resources on creating amazing transactional email designs:
Clearly branding your transactional emails sets them apart from all the other messages in your customer's inbox. It adds to the customer journey, gives them a comfortable feeling, and can really elevate their perception of your brand. Through hyperpersonalization, brand identification, and a consistent look & feel of your emails, there's unlimited potential in getting more out of your transactional emails.
With years of experience in the email (marketing) industry, Tom currently manages the marketing department at Flowmailer. In this role, he mainly writes about transactional email, email deliverability, and the API-first economy.
Interested in the details & the data, Liana is currently working as Digital Marketer at Flowmailer. Whether it's writing about GDPR or optimizing our digital campaigns, Liana has proven to be a true T-shaped marketer.