Is your organization sending emails you don’t know about? Most likely it is and these phantom emails represent missed opportunity, especially as data show they have the highest interaction rates.
These phantom emails are transactional emails, emails that platforms and systems send automatically, based on certain interactions on your website. It could be the confirmation email your email service provider sends when someone signs up for your newsletter, or the receipt your donation platform sends when someone gives an online gift.
They look nothing like your other emails. They come from a different email address. They are impersonal. And — according to a study by Experian — people engage with them at a “much higher rate than they do with promotional and branding-focused campaigns.”
Here’s how to uncover those phantom emails and get them working for you
- Audit your constituent experience. Hunting down phantom emails is a lot of work. One of the best ways is to become a secret shopper of your organization. Sign up for the newsletter with one email address. Give a gift with a different one. Watch your account to see if you get any phantom emails.
- Design transactional emails to match your current emails. Transactional emails are often the first email people receive from you — make sure that they set the tone for what’s to come. As much as possible, it should mimic the look and voice of your promotional and brand emails. If you can get the “from” email to look the same, then even better, since that builds greater trust in your future sends.
- Make it personal. Automatically generated transactional emails can often come across like forms. Work to make them personal. Thank them specifically for the action they took. Use merge fields to address them by name.
- Provide a next action. Don’t miss this critical opportunity to suggest a next action to your constituent. Encourage them to follow you on social media. Read a blog post. Consider becoming a sustaining donor. Try to relate the next action to the previous action. All these smaller actions come together to grow a constituent that is highly engaged with your organization.
Don’t let phantom emails ruin your brand experience. Root them out and make them work for you.