Free ebook: Improve Your Transactional Email With Campaigner SMTP Relay

Best Practices SMTP Relay Think of the last message you sent out to a segment of your email list. Do you know if it was a “commercial” or “transactional” message, as defined by the CAN-SPAM Act? If it was one of the many transactional emails you probably send regularly, such as a shipping notification or request for a password update, did you optimize it for the unique issues such messages face reaching your subscribers’ inboxes and avoiding the spam folder? Are you also working with a reliable SMTP Relay partner to increase message deliverability, improve customer service, enhance your brand and drive more revenue?

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Improve Your Transactional Email With Campaigner SMTP Relay Think of the last message you sent out to a segment of your email list. Do you know if it was a “commercial” or “transactional” message, as defined by the CAN-SPAM Act? If it was one of the many transactional emails you probably send regularly, such as a shipping notification or request for a password update, did you optimize it for the unique issues such messages face reaching your subscribers’ inboxes and avoiding the spam folder? Are you also working with a reliable SMTP Relay partner to increase message deliverability, improve customer service, enhance your brand and drive more revenue? Okay, enough questions. Let’s give you some answers. Introduction As a marketer who communicates with customers via email, you regularly send commercial messages to your opt-in list of subscribers — newsletters or time-sensitive offer coupons, for example. But you almost certainly also send at least as many messages to that same list (and probably far more) that are designated “transactional” by regulators. This category of messages includes shipping notifications, order confirmations and requests for updated contact details, among many others. And they’re worth discussing because they present genuine obstacles to your processes, can undermine the overall success of your online business if not handled properly, and can even put you at risk of legal problems. To deal with these issues, and to turn the potential risks of sending transactional emails into a competitive advantage for your business, you should consider an automated, trusted email-relay solution. TERMS EXPLAINED Before we begin, let us define a few terms. Transactional Content: According to the federal CAN-SPAM Act, “transactional” (also referred to as “relationship”) content is a message that “facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction.” In other words, these messages are typically triggered by actions your subscribers take (or by a time milestone) and represent a communication regarding a relationship already underway. Commercial Content: CAN-SPAM defines commercial content as a message that “advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose”. SMTP Relay: SMTP Relay uses the standard email protocol, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send email messages from one email server to another — that is, from yours to your recipient’s. Whenever you send email to your subscribers (commercial or transactional), your email server must communicate with theirs, requiring an SMTP Relay. And this, as you’ll see below, is where things can go badly if you’re not careful. TWO SPECIFIC RISKS OF TRANSACTIONAL EMAILS You no-doubt have already taken steps with your email marketing to ensure you send the right commercial messages to the right subscribers (opt-in-only) at the right time... staying on the right side of CAN-SPAM rules and crafting compelling promotional messages that enhance, rather than detract, from your customer relationships. But what about all of those other messages you send, many of them auto-triggered by some action your subscribers take? You might have 10, 20 or 100 of these types of automatic mails for prospects, customers, subscribers and members of the public — most falling under the “transactional” category. They could include any of the following (not to mention dozens of others): - Delivery confirmations - Password reset requests - Content downloads - Contact-details requests - Receipts of exchange requests - Account statements - Shipping notifications - Thank-you notes