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Improve Results By Maximizing Cross-Sell Opportunities

To optimize the display of transaction-related information and maximize cross-sell opportunities presented by transactional messages, the recent customer action should be the main focus of a transactional email. Any images or content related to the transaction, as well as customer service links, should take priority in the email design. After taking an in-depth look at several of these key content features, Experian® has identified those that create the most positive impact on campaign performance:

Cross-sell Items

Buyers are eager to view their order and shipping confirmations. Optimize this high level of engagement by including information and images pertaining to relevant and related products and services in the body of the email. Transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20 percent higher transaction rates than those without.

Product Personalization

Compared with emails that display static cross-sell items, emails including cross-sell items that relate to the current or past purchases have significantly higher transaction rates. Keep in mind that cross-selling initiatives do not have to focus only on tangible products, but also can pertain to the sale of additional services applicable to the customer.

Order Status Tracking

It is a best practice to make customer service links such as order status/order tracking a priority over standard Website links. Order and shipping confirmations that included a link to order tracking had two times the click rate and 23 percent higher transaction rates than confirmations without status links.

Website Navigation

Although customer service links — such as order status, shipping tracking and “My Account” — should take priority, design the email template to also include some Website navigation. Confirmation emails including limited Website navigation produce more than double the click rate of confirmations with no site navigation.

Email Acquisition

If you are mailing to customers who are not yet on your subscriber email file, include a link to allow them to sign up. Ensure that the messaging speaks to the benefits of the email program.

Offer Inclusion

Experian Simmons’ consumer data indicates that 78 percent of online adults1 say that they are likely to open emails that include promotions or coupons.2 Interestingly, in spite of high open rates, order and shipping confirmations without offers had 7 percent and 11 percent better transaction rates, respectively, than those with offers. However, it is important to remember that, per the CAN-SPAM Act, the offer cannot be included in the subject line, nor can the offer take priority placement within the message.

According to Experian Simmons’ Fall 2009 New Media Study, 68 percent of adults who visit social networking sites say they have become a “fan” or a “friend” of a product or brand. Include links to your social media pages to enable your customers to promote your brand. In Experian analysis, transactional emails that included links to social media sites had 55 percent higher click rates than emails with no links.

1Online adults: adults who spent one hour online in the past seven days doing something other than email

2Experian Simmons Fall 2009 New Media Study. To learn more, please visit

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.