Transactional Email Best Practices for Ecommerce Business

Posted on January 6th, 2015

For eCommerce businesses, email marketing is a crucial way to reach your customers. But if you aren’t optimizing every transactional email sent via your SMTP server, you’re not taking full advantage of your email marketing capabilities. Every email you send is a chance to interact with your customers, reinforce your brand, and increase your profit. Here’s how you can use email marketing to go beyond the typical newsletter and optimize your transactional emails to your customers.



Welcome emails have the highest revenue per email for transaction emails, netting you an average of $5.83 per email. They also boast an average transaction rate of 4.01% and an average open rate of 88.3%, both significant increases over bulk mailing statistics.

To optimize your welcome email, include an offer, which can more than double your revenue per email. Keep subject lines clear and concise, making sure to include your brand name. Sending emails in a series rather than just once can improve transaction rates by as much as 40%.

Abandoned Cart

Over two-thirds of online shopping carts are abandoned, usually due to unexpected costs popping up that the consumer was unaware of. Sending a quick email reminder can reduce cart abandonment by as much as 40%.

To increase your open rate by 10%, use the specific items left in the shopping cart in the subject line. If you recommend additional purchases, your click-through rate can increase by as much as 50%. Although open rates change depending on industry, the first email in a cart abandonment series is opened about half the time; this rate falls to 40% and 27% for the second and third emails, respectively.


No, this isn’t a typo: the average open rate of receipt emails is 114.4%, since many emails are opened several times. This number dwarfs bulk emails, which have an average open rate of 14.4%.

Remember, be polite and say thank you in your email (it pays off- click rate for confirmation emails decreases by 35% if the email doesn’t say “thank you.”). Push your social media channels by including links to your various profiles; you’ll get an average click-through increase of about 55%.

Shipping Confirmation

Similar to receipt emails, shipping confirmation emails are typically opened several times, for an average open rate of 107.4%and a 20.8% click rate.

To optimize your shipping confirmation emails, include a cross-sell recommendation for a related item, which will increase your transaction rates by 20%. You can also cut costs on customer service by making your email as thorough as possible with all the information your customer will need, such as order number, tracking number, delivery date, products ordered, and links for tracking, returns, and questions.

Product Review

No matter how detailed your product descriptions are, people tend to trust other people more when it comes to making purchasing decisions. 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site offering customer reviews, and customer reviews are trusted nearly 12x more than manufacturer descriptions.

Use this positive peer pressure to your advantage by asking customers to review your products online. On average, only 1/10 people will respond to an email asking for a product review; however, you can maximize these odds by using the word “review” in the subject line, which can boost open rates by up to 28%. To ensure that your customer has had enough time to use the product, wait 2-3 weeks between purchase and sending a review email.

Email marketing gives you a direct way to reach your customers. Use the information above to make every email work for you.