Transactional emails are the messages that get triggered by a specific action your contacts have taken and enable them to complete that action. For instance, if you are signing up for a webinar, you will fill out a form and then receive a transactional (thank-you) email, which gives you login information in order to join. If you are using a double opt-in, people will receive an email asking them to click on a link in order to confirm their registration.
Email marketing is, quite simply, using the tools of email to deliver advertising messages. The vast majority of Internet users have email accounts which allow them to receive an almost unlimited number of messages instantly. According to a survey conducted by Pew Internet, 82% of U.S. adults use the Internet, and email is one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways for marketers to connect with customers.
Setting-up an email campaign is relatively easy. There are many email marketing resources and software companies online that enable you to upload subscribers’ information, segment your lists, use email templates and fill-in your content, and send emails to subscribers on a regular basis. Two of our favorite email marketing service providers are Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. To really stand out, instead of using a pre-made template, having an email template custom designed for your business that matches your company’s brand can be even more effective.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was passed by Congress as a direct response to the growing number of complaints over spam emails. Congress determined that the US government was showing an increased interest in the regulation of commercial electronic mail nationally, that those who send commercial emails should not mislead recipients over the source or content of them, and that all recipients of such emails have a right to decline them. The act authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. However, it does not ban spam emailing outright, but imposes laws on using deceptive marketing methods through headings which are "materially false or misleading". In addition there are conditions which email marketers must meet in terms of their format, their content and labeling. As a result, many commercial email marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the act. A variety of older systems exist that do not ensure compliance with the act. To comply with the act's regulation of commercial email, services also typically require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses that may not have given valid permission.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of creating email newsletters, you will need to determine your goal. What is it that you want your email newsletter to achieve? You might want to nurture your existing contacts and become the first brand they think of when they need a product or service in your industry. This would be a fantastic goal if you are a B2C company. Or your goal might be to increase sharing so that you attract new people to your list. As you define your goal, think about what metrics you can use to track your progress.