Transactional emails


Tamara has an excellent collection of musts related to transactional email. I would add a few more, specific to traveling (hotel and plane reservations) that occurred to me recently as I was bombing through airports trying to read hotel and airline confirmations on my iPhone.

  1. If this is a hotel confirmation, link directly to your hotel website. My confirmation from Best Western listed the name of the hotel I was staying in, the date I was arriving and my confirmation number. It did not provide: a phone number for the hotel, a link to Best Western’s website, or a link to the specific hotel’s website. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the hotel’s phone number to confirm the airport shuttle, all with a tiny little iPhone screen.
  2. Do not add me to your marketing list without asking. Just because you have my email address for confirmations does not mean I want to continue receiving mail from you.
  3. If you are an airline, and you are providing me with flight details, please provide me with a link that will let me view my reservation without having to enter magic tokens or confirmation numbers. Trying to manage copying a 10 digit confirmation number from mail client to web browser on an iPhone requires a pen and paper. Again, not very handy when traveling.

For me, as a delivery and email consultant, it is always enlightening to interact with email as a consumer. I strongly recommend any sender do the same.

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  • Um… should you be saying “bombing” and “airports” in the same sentence? Homeland Security, who hates you for your freedom, might not be happy… 🙁
    Though, now as I reread your article and think about it… whoever decided that the iPhone didn’t need cut/paste should be hauled off to Gitmo as a destroyer of American productivity.

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