Why Thank-You Emails Are the Untapped Gold Mine of Email Marketing

Magdalena Georgieva
Magdalena Georgieva



In our Introduction to Email Marketing ebook, we discussed that there are several different types of marketing emails you can send to your contacts. Depending on what your business goals and needs are, you could be sending newsletters, digests, dedicated sends, behavior-driven emails, lead nurturing emails , and more. All of these different options have their purposes, yet many marketers overlook a particular type of email that tends to get a lot of traction -- the transactional email . That's right: Transactional emails are one of the most effective types of communication to engage your prospects with.

thank you

Transactional emails are the messages you receive from ecommerce sites like Amazon.com that confirm your order and provide shipment information and other details. These messages get triggered by a specific action your contacts have taken and can also be used to inform contacts how to complete that particular action. For instance, if you were to sign up for a webinar, you'd complete a form and then receive a transactional email, which would provide you with the relevant login information in order to join.

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transactional email


So what's the marketer's equivalent to transactional emails? Thank-you emails, or the automated messages triggered when visitors convert on your landing pages !

The Benefits of Thank-You Emails

Recipients anticipate transactional/thank-you emails because they help them complete an action. It's the main reason why recipients open and click on them. And as a marketer, you can easily take advantage of this dynamic by including highly customized calls-to-action in your thank-you emails to leverage the fact that the lead is fresh and already actively engaged with your brand.

Thank-you emails are effective for two main reasons:

  1. They place your content directly in the contact's inbox. So even if he or she clicks away from the thank-you page they're redirected to after completing your conversion form, they can still search their inbox and find the information they need to redeem the offer, such as the ebook's download link, webinar login information, etc.   
  2. People will often share your content by forwarding it via email, so thank-you emails give you yet another opportunity to extend the reach of your content to a brand new audience.

An example of a simple thank-you email:


simple thank you email


As you can see, the thank-you email above includes two links: The first one links to the thank-you page for the offer advertised on the landing page , where the user can access the ebook; and the second one links to a secondary conversion opportunity of higher commitment and value, enabling us to move the lead further along in the sales cycle.

Thank-You Emails Twice as Engaging as General Marketing Emails

While we can easily theorize that thank-you emails would be beneficial to a company's marketing mix, we at HubSpot wanted to analyze just how engaging they are in practice . To understand how effective thank-you emails are compared to other email sends, we decided to compare them to another type of email we commonly send: dedicated marketing emails, sent on an one-off basis.

Using HubSpot's Email tool we dug into the open and clickthrough rates (CTR) of our thank-you emails. We took a look at 21 of our existing thank-you emails and found that, on average, they generated a 42% open rate and a 14% CTR.

For comparison, we then looked at the generic marketing emails we've sent to one group of our buyer personas. The sample used here was larger -- 131 emails -- which, on average, generated a 12% open rate and a 6% CTR. In other words, the simple, automated kickback thank-you emails generated twice the engagement of one-off, dedicated marketing emails. What's even better -- they tend to take half the time to create!

TY emails VS one off sends

Marketing Takeaways

Now that we've covered some of the fundamentals of thank-you emails and their effectiveness, here are some marketing tips you should start applying to your marketing today.

1) Use Simple Thank-You Emails

Starting with the obvious, if you aren't yet using kickback thank-you emails that get triggered after prospects convert on your landing pages, start implementing them sooner rather than later. To take this a step further, you can even make these emails the first part of a more complex lead nurturing workflow so you can control what other communication that contact receives, continuing to nurture them over time and move them through your sales and marketing funnel. (Note: For HubSpot customers, these can both easily be set up using HubSpot's Landing Pages and Workflows tools.)


workflows MQL 800

2) Optimize Your Thank-You Emails

This part is key. Make sure you're also optimizing your kickback emails to encourage secondary conversions. In other words, include calls-to-action (CTAs) for high-value marketing offers that will move your leads further along in the sales cycle, such as a consultation with your sales team or a free trial of your product.

If you're already adding secondary calls-to-action to your thank-you emails (well done!), take your skills to the next level by implementing Smart CTAs that adapt to your individual email recipients. Smart CTAs are dynamic CTAs that automatically change based on the person viewing them, creating much more targeted, segmented, and effective email marketing. To learn more about how to implement Smart CTAs, check out our ultimate guide to using dynamic, personalized CTAs .

3) Make Your Thank-You Emails Social Media-Friendly

As we already mentioned, one of the key benefits of emails is that they get forwarded and shared, helping your content reach a brand new audience. Encourage this sharing of your emails by making it extremely easy for recipients to share your email content with their networks. Include social media sharing buttons/links and language that invites your contacts to forward the message to others.

Have you been using thank-you emails in your marketing? What has your experience been with this type of communication?

Image Credit: Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)

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