How to Email Your Users at Critical Moments

Brad Van Vugt and Matt Harris of SendWithUs

Brad Van Vugt and Matt Harris talk about transactional emails – how to send your users emails they'll act on at critical moments in your application's lifecycle.

  • Here's what to listen for:
  • 00:49 What is a transactional email and how is this different from a regular email?
  • 01:25 Can you give me some examples of transactions?
  • 01:56 How does a transactional email work?
  • 02:50 Do you have some examples of when transactional emails get sent?
  • 03:53 Are transactional emails more personal than marketing emails?
  • 04:43 In a lot of web apps emails are tucked away in code; what’s wrong with this?
  • 05:47 What’s the difference between emails being owned by developers and the rest of the code?
  • 08:36 What’s the difference between plain text and HTML emails?
  • 09:55 How can you tell what emails perform better or worse?
  • 11:00 How are you able to declare the winner of an A/B test?
  • 15:26 If you were to open an email and you don’t have images turned on but they do click a link, do you go back and retroactively tag that email?
  • 16:27 What separates great transactional emails?
  • 19:18 What should you be using as the from address for your emails?
  • 20:33 What’s the experience if I have a noreply transactional email in my inbox and I reply?
  • 23:33 How do we maintain the ability to have emails get personal data from the application into email?
  • 28:42 What is the nontechnical person able to customize?
  • 29:51 Is your templating language pretty accessible to someone who’s nontechnical?

"If I message Matt on Facebook, Facebook is sending a realtime notification in email."

"Transactional emails are hyper-personalized based on the actions you took."

"Your customers are 4-5x more likely to interact with transactional emails."

"You have emails owned by developers and they really don’t care about them."

"If you write a new blog post, you’re not going to get your developer to code up a new blog post."

"Imagine I want to change the subject line. I go to a PM and convince them to get it in the roadmap."

"By having the content of emails in a separate platform your product team can just go make the change."

"If you’re a consumer web company, your users probably would appreciate a really HTML formatted email."

"We used to be developer consultants and one of our biggest pain points was email was an afterthought."

"We’d get stuck in the weeds trying to iterate on email content."

"Building a CMS that a CEO or marketer can use is non-trivial."