Welcome to our monthly Email Hall of Fame, highlighting some the best transactional and triggered emails. We’re continuously impressed by the extraordinary emails that hit our inboxes every month.
So much so that we’ve created a monthly Hall of Fame to highlight both the really good and the really bad. We hope you enjoy them — and learn from them — as much as we do.
Hall of Fame:
Capital One, the financial services/credit card company
Okay, granted, this email isn’t technically transactional. Generated by the customer’s use of their card to purchase airline tickets, it’s a triggered email reminding the customer of some of the great travel benefits associated with their card. Both the subject line and header make it clear what the email is about, and what triggered it is explained in the first sentence. The email is on-brand, the information provided is clear and concise, and the only call-to-action is a link to learn more about how to take advantage of those travel benefits.
We love this email. Some marketers out there might be thinking, “What’s the point? It’s not transactional and it’s not promoting anything.” But that is the point. This email provides value to the customer, reminding them of benefits they may have forgotten about or may have never been aware of in the first place. It’s an exceptional brand experience, one that inspires confidence and fosters loyalty, making it more likely that the customer will choose their Capital One card when booking future travel. And double bonus points for allowing the customer to rate the usefulness of the information from right inside the email itself.
Acorns, the micro-investing app
As an investment company that has to jump through all kinds of security and regulatory hoops, it understandably takes Acorns a bit of time to set up a new account. This email reassures the new sign-up that they’re working on it and sets the customer’s expectations around how long it should take. Its simple, minimalist design is completely on-brand, reflecting the Acorns website experience.
In a move that’s highly unusual for a financial services company, this email is from a real person, someone with a name and a face. Targeted to younger investors who have little interest in the stodgy investment firms of their parents, and no patience for faceless corporate entities, this fresh approach suits Acorns’ target audience. The inclusion of an explainer video is also a pretty bold move for an investment company but it works. Bonus points for including a referral offer.
Alibaba, the global ecommerce marketplace.
As an ecommerce marketplace, Alibaba doesn’t just facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers, they have to facilitate communication as well. This email is notification to the customer that a supplier has replied to their inquiry. It includes the full contents of the response, full details of who the response is from, as well as full details of the product the customer was interested in.
The email has a clear purpose, provides all the important information within the email itself, and even though Alibaba loses a point for including two CTAs, they make the most important one, ‘Reply Now’, obvious through the use of color.