Businesses of every size rely on email as a basic process; therefore, setting up an email system is generally one of the first items on the list of to-dos. As the business grows, it soon comes to light that the existing email setup is not the most effective tool for the many types of emails that are useful to internal staff and those that affect your customers.
Bulk email solutions for notifications, reminders and other tasks, in general, are the worst tool for a job: your email (that you spent time and money crafting) will likely be marked as spam. Your account may be blocked if you try and send too may emails per hour and you soon realize that support for dynamic data driven HTML emails are seriously lacking.
What to do? This is where an email service such as Mandrill or Amazon Web Services, just two examples among many platforms, can fill the gap and add important functionality. Built for sending “transactional” emails, these solutions can easily integrate into your existing business solution.
Transactional email is targeted to an individual based on a prescribed action, or inaction, of the recipient. Think about order confirmations, notifications, reminders and a multitude of other services that you would not want to send out on an individual basis. This is where an email service comes to the rescue – check out these links for some great information on the importance of transactional email:
When defining your business strategy it is important to know whether your emails are being opened, and if the embedded links are being clicked on – this is your first measure to see if the marketing campaign is successful. It is just as important to know how internal users are using email services. Over time, literally hundreds of reports may be created and sent out – who knows how useful the reports still are? Is that marketing report you set up in 1998 still being used?
Many of these transactional email services provide an easy way of sending HTML emails. These are great, not only for sending better-looking email with interesting photos and graphics, but they also allow the recipient to perform many actions beyond just replying to the email. For instance, recipients can open a website, initiate a phone call on their cell, or join a FaceTime conference on their Mac.
HTML emails even allow interaction directly with business systems. You can bring up a list of projects requiring your attention for that day with the click of a link in an email. You can drill down into further details of a product by bringing up its record and then view all related photos and documentation. Another benefit is allowing users to get rich, tailored, customized data from a business system, even if they are not allowed direct access; essentially you supply information while controlling by role. You can also allow tightly controlled input into your system with links to HTML forms online from customers and employees without giving them direct access to your system.
Email services, by their very nature, are built for easy integration. If you have ever had to deal with your IT department or large service provider to make changes to your email, you know the headache that comes with the change. Imagine the headache on an ongoing basis. By utilizing an email service you gain the ability to keep your primary email service nice and tidy and your IT folks happy, while allowing rich interaction with other applications and services.
Revolution11 has worked with several clients on transactional email integration within their FileMaker solution – please contact us for insight into the experience or assistance with setting up your own system.