The To/CC rule for sending email

When sending an email:

‘To’ is for action

If you want someone to do something, then you send the email to them.

‘CC’ is for information

If there is something in the email you are sending that you think someone should know, but they don’t have to do anything with that information, CC them.

If the reply is likely to contain some information that you think someone should know, then CC them and hope the person replying clicks ‘Reply-all’.

The challenge of transactional emails: achieving context

I’ve been doing a piece of work to improve the transactional emails that we send to customers.

The challenge of transactional emails: achieving context

At first glance transactional emails seem simple. They are just about providing simple information to update a customer, right? Actually, the more you think about it the more complex it becomes. Does the email contain the right information? Is it presented in the right way? Does it clearly indicate if the customer needs to do something, and if so does it explain how to do and what will happen because of it? Is the email sent at the right time? Does the email contain too much information or not enough? Do customers want to receive an email as soon as an update on the status of their order is available or would they prefer it at the most convenient time, especially if they need to do something? Should the email be trying to seamlessly fit into the customers life and just be there when they need it or should it be trying to interrupt them and get them to pay attention to the message in the email?

Trying to understand the context of transactional emails for all customers is really interesting and difficult. I don’t know if it’s something you could ever get right for everyone. That’s the challenge of context.

An awful email from my bank 

I received an email from my bank. It’s the same email I get every month. That’s the only reason I know it isn’t spam, because looking at it, it sure looks a lot like spam.

“Dear Customer”! What do you mean,” Dear Customer”? Don’t you even know my name? When it comes to email personalisation, that’s day one stuff. You have so much data about me that could be used to personalise the emails I receive and yet you’re not even capable of putting my name in an email.

“Your latest statement is ready for you online now” – But if I want to see it I’m going to have to open a browser, search for your website, click on the result to load your website, navigate to login page, then find this month’s statement, when all you had to do to make it easier for me was to include a link. It’s almost like you don’t want me to look at my statement.

“It will be ready to download as a pdf two days after the statement date” – Does it really take two days to generate a pdf? And what makes you think I even want a pdf, you haven’t asked me? What if I want a .csv? What if I want to connect my account with Google Drive or an Expenses Tracking system and have my statement exported to either of them? It’s the twenty first century. This is not complicated stuff.

“Log in to Online Banking to see more information on your account.” – I could probably do that a little bit more easily if you bothered to include a link to the login page on your website. If you are trying to encourage your customers to use Online Banking rather than high street branches, why make it difficult for them?

“Remember,within Online Banking” – When I went to school commas had spaces after them. A major high street bank sending emails to hundreds of thousands of customers with grammatical errors like this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they’ll be correct and accurate with my money.

Was this email really worth sending?

Cost effectiveness of email marketing

£1,800 for 19,000 emails. That’s 10.5p per email. But the average open rate is only 15%, so out of those 19,000 we can only expect 2850 emails to be seen. That takes our cost-per-email up to £6.66. If we assume that 10% of the people who see the email might actually want to buy the item advertised, that takes our cost per email up to £64.28. And if 10% of those interested enough in the product to click on the link and view it on the website do actually buy, that takes the cost-per-email to £600. And we’ve sold three items.

B2B Email Marketing

Considering using Thompsonlocal for some targetted B2B email marketing to sell a particular product to a particular type of business. They haven’t got back to me with numbers and costs yet but once I have all the figures I can do a cost analysis to a) work out how many units we’d have to sell to see a good ROI and b) see if its worth doing.