Digital Marketing

A Guide To Mastering Transactional Emails In 2021

Most businesses often overlook transactional emails as mundane and routine, but it is transactional emails that your subscriber base expects to receive. Also, transactional emails give a one-on-one communication feel, and that’s what makes them a powerful way to engage with your subscribers. However, many brands do not place enough attention on planning and executing their transactional email strategy, resulting in frustrated subscribers. On the contrary, if transactional emails are planned and executed optimally, they can prove to be a catalyst in projecting your brand in a positive light and ultimately adding to your marketing efforts sustainably. In this article, you will learn the art and science of creating transactional emails.

Transactional Emails Vs. Marketing Emails

Transactional emails are also called automated or triggered emails because they are messages that businesses are required to send in response to the actions taken by a user on their website, app or in-bound request, for example, support request. Marketing emails are promotional in nature and intended to stimulate sales from your mailing list. Transactional emails do not require permission to send, while marketing emails need prior permission.

What Qualifies As Transactional Emails

All emails with the primary goal of the message to respond to some type of interaction carried out by the user can be termed as transactional emails. You can either use plain text or one of the free HTML email templates to send an order confirmation. An order confirmation email can be considered as one of its examples. Below is an order confirmation email from Roark where they rightly used an HTML email template:

What Qualifies As Transactional Emails

Are Abandoned Cart Emails Transactional?

Abandoned cart emails are technically transactional emails because adding a product to the cart is initiated by the user. But there is a catch: Some jurisdictions do not consider abandoned carts on an e-commerce site as a transaction. Therefore, if you are sending such an email, they will be considered promotional, and you will need to follow all the protocols used for promotional marketing campaigns. But again, abandoned cart emails have an open rate of 45%, so it is worth meeting all the requirements. Use HTML email templates to meet all requirements of promotional emails in a preemptive manner. ESPs like MailChimp also enable you to decide which type of contact should receive abandoned cart emails.

How Transactional Email Works

You need to set up automatic workflows based on your business model. These workflows should be triggered on a case-to-case basis. You will need to set up a response message and perform scheduling for each trigger. For smooth coordination, you will need to define all the possible user cases and automated responses to each of these user cases. By the way, triggers are interactions initiated by users that include your website, app or an email to your client support department. For example, if you receive a password reset request, then your workflow should immediately take action and respond.

Different Types Of Transactional Emails And Best Practices

  • Welcome emails are also called onboarding emails. Welcome emails are part of an automated workflow when a user joins a mailing list. You can also use this mail to reconfirm their action.

Different Types Of Transactional Emails And Best Practices

  • Order confirmation emails are sent once the order/payment has been received. These emails confirm the items selected, payment status, and shipping address.
  • Shipping notification emails are sent once orders have been dispatched and the tracking number has been received. They also convey tracking information to customers.

  • Delivery confirmation emails are triggered when the courier/shipper confirms that delivery has been made. The same information is sent to customers along with support information.


  • Customer Feedback emails are sent after one or two days of delivery. This automated email seeks customers’ feedback to improve the product, shipping, or packaging.


  • Support request emails are sent to acknowledge receipt of support requests and also to offer self-help solutions in the meantime.


  • Legal update emails are sent in the event of changes either in regulations or business policies. These details must be clarified from time to time for avoiding any pitfalls.



How To Leverage the Transactional Email in Your Marketing

Transactional emails, if used smartly, can supplement your marketing campaigns and gather data from your subscribers. When you send product suggestion emails based on a query or user activity, those emails fall under the transactional cum promotional category. Moreover, post-sale surveys give very relevant information that can be utilized in future marketing campaigns. Thus, these messages help you fetch data without appearing nosy.

How To Stay Compliant

We know that transactional emails do not require prior permission to send, and their primary goal stays providing information about recent transactions. But when they start leaning towards marketing, there is a very good chance they could violate the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s CAN-SPAM Act. Avoid using deceiving preheaders or subject lines. It is advisable to include your postal address clearly and prominently display a link to help manage preferences.

Summing Up

Many businesses find transactional emails unimportant and give them a miss. But they are essential for a good brand image and instrumental to client servicing as well as cross-selling or upselling. Not only do they provide a better user experience to your customers, but they have an 8x higher open rate and generate 6x more revenue. I hope to convince you to view transactional emails as a business opportunity through this mini-guide.

Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, which specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email Conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.

Follow Techwaver for more!


Editorial Staff at TechWaver is determined to inform their users regarding the latest tech news, tips & hacks, software & product reviews, and much useful information from all over the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button