Introduction to Notification Emails and When to Use Them

When it comes to email marketing, notification emails are the key to keeping users engaged. While email newsletters are released on a rigid schedule and include a wide variety of information, notification emails are succinct and sent based on a user's actions or current state. Good notification emails focus the majority of their energy on a singular goal. When working with notifications, keep Robert Browning's iconic phrase "less is more" in mind.

Important Aspects of Notification Emails

How notification email helps

Subject lines are essential no matter what type of email you are sending. However, when it comes to notification emails, the user should be able to get the point from the subject line alone whenever possible. While engagement is an important metric, notification alerts are unique. They truly serve the customer first.

Despite notification emails being straightforward, you shouldn't overlook them. Notification emails should be designed just as carefully as your other digital products. Pay attention to the user experience and make sure that the visual identity and voice align with your brand. Read the messages aloud and make sure they don't feel robotic. You want your users to feel like they are interacting with another human being, not a machine.

Lastly is email personalisation. Since notification emails are sent based on a user's state or action, the content should be extremely personalised. Ensure that all the material included addresses their individual needs, actions, status or history with your company. This creates value for the user, the key to keeping them engaged with your business.

General Notification Email Types

Now that you understand the essentials of notification emails, we've listed some of the most common types below.

Re-engagement Notifications

All businesses should have a model that dictates how long is too long when it comes to user inactivity. Once that time has passed, you send a re-engagement notification. Sometimes users forget your business exists—this is how you remind them. If you provide a product or service, some of the best ways to capture their attention include discounts, product promotion based on their spending habits and repurchase reminders.

Subscription Notification

Not all users want to make an account with your website. Some may just be interested in receiving newsletters or other email content. This notification confirms their subscription and doubles as a welcome email. You can include a discount or special offer if you offer a product or service as a thank you for them taking the time to subscribe to your email list.

Unsubscribe Notification

User unsubscribed from an email list

If a user wants to unsubscribe, this is your chance to win them back, but be tactful about it. First and foremost, thank them for their support. Since you don't know precisely why they are unsubscribing provide potential solutions to their problem. Inform them that they can change not only the frequency of the notifications but the specific ones they receive and include a link to their preference centre. As a final token of appreciation (and the last effort) add a special discount or offer that targets a product or service that recently piqued their interest.

Account Activation Notification

When a consumer makes an account with your website this is the first email they receive. Outside of the account activation instructions, this email should include a brief welcome message.

The Welcome Notification

Once the account activation process is complete, a welcome email is sent out. Be kind, be human, and drive home your brand identity and purpose. Don't forget to thank them for joining your website. If you offer a product or service, a discount to spur their first purchase is an excellent addition.

Account Assistance Notification

Sometimes users forget their login information or need to reset their password. This notification provides them with clear and easy to follow instructions to obtain the information they need. Do not include any unnecessary information.

Support Notification

Email response to technical support inquiry

If a customer requests assistance, this email lets them know that their inquiry successfully went through. While this is an opportunity to push sales, it's not a necessity. Remember less is more. If you do go that route keep it subtle and include it as something they can do the pass the time while they wait for your response.

E-Commerce Notification Emails

If you offer a product or service, there are several notifications that your company will use on a consistent basis.

Order Confirmation

After a customer places an order they receive a transactional email confirmation. This message includes all the information they need to know such as their order number, the products they ordered and the total they spent. While this shouldn't be used as a marketing email you can include a discount code to thank them for the purchase or links to associated products near the bottom of the email.

Shipping/Fulfillment Notifications

Once the product is on its way, the customer will receive a shipping confirmation. Give them a summary of their order alongside a tracking number if applicable. During the shipping process, you can also send updates. The three most basic fulfillment emails are sent when a product has left your facility, when the product arrives at the dispatch facility in their area and when the product has arrived at their home.

Order Cancellations

If your customer cancels their order this notification lets them know the cancellation went through. This is your opportunity to "win" them over with a product that might work as an alternative but make sure you include any recommendations as an afterthought, not a primary goal.

Refund Confirmation

Sometimes your product or service doesn't meet the needs or standards of a consumer. Thank them for their purchase and show you care about why they asked for a refund. Inquire and invite them to email you with their problem. You can also offer a discount, or suggest similar products that might make an adequate replacement to show you are trying to solve the problem they had initially.

Abandoned Cart Notification

Recover an abandoned cart

When it comes to boosting revenue the abandoned cart notification is essential. By this point, a customer has already shown interest in your product or service and has added it to their cart, but for some reason has left it sitting. You can't read their mind, but you can remind them that they were once ready to make the purchase. Abandoned cart notifications aren't singular, and should be gentle nudges reminding the customer of their potential purchase without being pushy. The process is delicate, and while the first follow up should be sent within 24 hours the others need to be spaced out in a way that doesn't annoy the customer. To help buffer against the possible annoyance caused by a repeat email ensure that each abandoned cart notification is unique. You can even add a discount to help land the sale.

While this list is long, it doesn't encompass all of the possible emails you can send out. For example, if you have a social media site, your notifications could include increased follower, message, and friend update notifications. Enginemailer will help you with selecting the notifications that are most important for your business growth. We are dedicated to increasing your user engagement and building your email list one well-thought-out message at a time.

If you have any questions about how we can help, contact one of our email marketing experts now! We'd love to hear from you.