RAAK_Blog-Header_ Inbound Marketing

Transactional emails for offline retailers? Here's how it's done

Transactional emails are a powerful tool to engage your customer in one of the crucial stages in the customer lifecycle: the moment of purchase. These emails help you jumpstart the relationship, enhance customer engagement and reinforce your brand image. And here's an extra incentive: transactional emails triggered by an offline purchase will have an even higher engagement rate.

So, taken all these advantages into account, why are transactional emails broadly used in webshop environments, but not in brick and mortar shops? 
We know that the challenge is to link the right person to the right entry in the database. But that shouldn't be a problem at all. In a fast-paced environment, brands are increasingly grasping back to small town rules. In a situation where you know your customer, asking them for an email address isn't a big thing. As long as you tell them exactly what your intentions are, and don't take advantage of the situation.

For that matter, we're always amazed by SuitSupply's approach. Not in the least by the highly personal treatment store. Simply class. At the counter they'll ask you for your email address. Very politely, adding immediately that you'll receive a digital version of your receipt. Within a couple of seconds your smartphone buzzes and it's there: your crystal-clear receipt, coupled with a one-question service poll. And a button that says ‘click here to be informed about new looks'. Quick, relevant and sharp communication. Just the way it should be.

Has this got you thinking about setting up an offline POS transactional email program? Check out these 5 essential tactics to keep in mind.

1. Offer a short service poll

Right after the purchase, ask your customers for their email address and ask for their permission to send them a quick survey poll. Make sure it's super simple and takes next to no effort. You'll find it to be a simple and highly effective way to measure service levels and client happiness.

2. Send a digital receipt

Which one is easier to save: a physical receipt or a digital one? We reckon it's the latter, taken that you respect two basic rules. One, you have to be 100% certain that your email reaches the inbox and two: think functionally, not commercially.

3. Stimulate sharing purchases

Shareability is hot. After the purchase, send an email to ask if your customers want to share their purchase with their friends. This has proven to work well with automotive and fashion items,… but a lot less with hardware utility supplies.

4. Welcome first-time customers

Someone shopped at your store for the very first time? Start your relationship in a positive mood by welcoming them into your store and thanking them for their first purchase. Chances are they'll come again.

5. Use subtle remarketing

Beware, this can be a tricky one. If you go all the way on cross and upselling, you'll probably lose your client with a too aggressive approach. Try to keep it subtle. To follow on the example of SuitSupply, send customers a short tip email to ‘complete their look'. Offer them a few suggestions that would perfectly match their new suit, shirt or pair of trousers. Inspiration is key!


Transactional email is a powerful weapon. And as opposed to what many marketers think, it can be used effectively in brick and mortar shops.

Posted on
Apr 24, 2013