Online Email Marketing vs. Transactional Email Services

Cloud Based Email Marketing Services

Every business can benefit from successful implementation of email marketing strategies, but the variety of SaaS on the market can be a little overwhelming at times. Whether you’re interested in learning more about email marketing or hoping to clear up any confusion surrounding transactional email, a little research into these services can only improve the ways you digitally interact with your clients.

What You Need to Know About Email Marketing Services

We’re already familiar with email marketing—we find those emails in our inboxes on a regular basis. You’re on the receiving end of an email marketing service any time you receive a mass email update from a company you care about, or a promotional message from your favorite store. Businesses employ these services in order to streamline the mass emailing process, reach out to potential clients and keep current clients loyal and informed.

Depending on your business’ average number of contacts, your chosen marketing service could run you anywhere from $10 to almost $200 a month (but that’s a lot of contacts). Some favorably reviewed examples are Benchmark Email, iContact, and MailChimp.

What You Need to Know About Transactional Email Services

Transactional emails are, to put it simply, triggered messages. When you make a new account with a website or purchase something online, for example, the confirmation email you receive is transactional—it’s sent in response to a user action. Those notification emails you get from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (He’s following you! She replied to your message!) are transactional, too.

Using a dedicated service means that you will be able to send a greater number of these emails at higher speeds, which is good news for both growing and established businesses. Pricing obviously varies depending on the amount of clients you serve. Depending on the service, you can pay per thousand emails sent (usually $.10 or more) or purchase a monthly plan that comes with a set number. Additionally, quite a few services offer a set number of free emails. The Cloud based Amazon SES, MailChimp’s Mandrill, and Mailjet are just a few transactional email options to choose from.

When to Use an Email Marketing Service

You should consider an email marketing service if your business is the type to send newsletters, new product announcements, automated (not triggered) marketing campaigns, birthday messages, demographic-specific info, “lifecycle” messages (emails sent at certain points over the course of a client’s relationship with a business, i.e. discount incentives for new users or sign-up anniversary rewards), or general promotional emails.

Successful businesses measure and analyze the results of their marketing strategies so improvements can be made in future marketing endeavors. An email marketing service can provide analytics and feedback to show you what works and what doesn’t.

When to Use a Transactional Email Service

Transactional email comes into play if your business sends enough one-to-one messages to necessitate a dedicated service. In addition to the earlier examples of account creation, purchase receipts, and social media interaction, this service works well for user password reminders or resets, invoices, newsletter signup verification, initial acknowledgement of a customer service request, and any other kind of customized automated response. Thanks to the service, these messages are sent seconds after the initial trigger action, which is crucial to maintaining client satisfaction.

Choosing What Works for You

Email marketing can do wonders for both creating and maintaining brand loyalty, so experienced and new businesses alike can stand to benefit from a marketing service. According to VerticalResponse,  the top five industries to employ both email marketing and social media strategies are non-profits, real estate, marketing and advertising, Internet, and health and wellness. If your business falls into any of these categories, you’ll definitely want to consider a service—especially if you’re looking to grow your client base.

As for transactional email service, there’s a little more room to choose. Do your clients have accounts on your website? They may need account and password confirmation emails. Are you starting to get more customer service requests than you can immediately handle? An automated response might do the trick until you can get to the overflow. If your business’ volume of automated emails is growing, a preemptive move into transactional email service can save you time in the long run.

If you’re interested in changing the way you send email, make sure to do your research first. Check an online comparison list to see how your potential service stacks up against its competitors. Once you’ve selected a suitable service, gauge how many emails you send in a month. From there, you should be able to choose a plan that fits your business—be it transactional, marketing, or both.

By Leo Welder

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