Your Complete Guide to Transactional Emails for Marketing

Transactional emails are becoming more and more important for companies running their business online. But what exactly are transactional emails? And why are they able to grow your online business?

In this article we’ll touch on these points. And give you a complete overview about transactional emails (and their value for your business).

Here’s your complete guide to transactional emails:


What are transactional emails?

Transactional emails are emails that brands or other online companies send based on a client’s activity. These emails are sent by a brand’s website when the consumer triggers the system. They are often used by companies to aid transactions, deliver products, or provide services that the client has requested.

They are different from other emails in that they do not require the permission of the recipient. It is because they are usually used in transmitting essential and time-sensitive data. So, they can be regarded as critical in providing an outstanding client experience.

These emails can provide brands with crucial data, and these can be used to satisfy clients better. Related data can also be used to make improvements in products and services.

The difference between transactional emails and other business emails is that the consumer initiates them. In other words, it is the consumer or client that starts the process that causes transactional emails to be sent. And this is why they are also commonly referred to as triggered emails.

Popular examples of transactional emails include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Membership renewal notices
  • Password reset emails
  • Order confirmation emails
  • Order receipt emails
  • Delivery notification emails

How do transactional emails work?

Brands typically hire web developing experts to help them set up their transactional email systems. These web developers deploy their skills by configuring website functions such as transactional email systems. Experts use SMTP and other email API integration to install these email systems on brand websites. Then, these systems send different types of transactional emails to clients, depending on what action they took.

What are the types of transactional emails?

Transactional emails are of four distinct types, which are described below. 

Confirmation emails

Confirmation emails are automatically sent to clients when they submit forms on a brand website. These forms may include registration forms for newsletters, brand events, and so on. These emails provide the foundation of an excellent client relationship. They are also used to provide great client experience. 

This type of transactional emails also doubles as a significant data distribution channel. Brands use these channels to provide clients with the data they may require at a later date. This data includes the brand’s social media handles, contact email, phone number, and so on.

Password reset emails

Not everyone has a perfect memory, so it is normal for clients to forget their login data. When a client requests a password reset on a brand’s website, they are automatically sent a password reset email.

These password reset emails contain plain and simple instructions that will help clients retrieve their old passwords or create new ones. They are always delivered in a matter of seconds. They also often provide channels through which clients can report suspicious password requests. 

Order confirmation emails

This type of transactional emails are sent to clients when they make purchases or place orders on a brand’s website. They often contain the details of the client’s order, such as payment receipts, a list of items purchased, tracking data, etc. 

Brands use order confirmation emails to assure their clients that their order has been received and their items will be shipped.

(Learn more about e-commerce marketing best practices)

Feedback request emails

Brands and other online companies rely on this type of transactional emails to acquire client assessments of their performance. Brands use feedback request emails to gather data. Such data is used to improve their quality of service delivery.

However, these emails should not be sent at an unsuitable time. A perfect time to send feedback request email is when a client has just received his or her purchased items.

What is the purpose of transactional emails?

Transactional emails serve a myriad of functions in online companies today. Some of these purposes are highlighted below:

To improve customer trust

Companies use them to provide clients with helpful information. These emails should be sent at every critical junction of a client’s journey. They often put clients at ease and inspire confidence in the brand.

To stimulate customer engagement

Transactional emails often adopt a personal approach in data delivery. A client is more likely to interact with a brand as a result of this personal tone of communication. This personal approach stimulates client participation and further interaction. It is evident in the case of feedback request emails.

(Get our free guide: “Simplifying your customer engagement“)

To increase sales

Transactional emails are an excellent channel through which brands can subtly promote the products and services they offer. Companies should include a list of products that a client might like below the contents of all confirmation emails. It can influence a client to consider buying those products. Confirmation emails are only one of the many instances through which a brand can use transactional emails to increase sales.

Brand promotion

Transactional emails are also an effective way to imprint a brand’s image in the mind of their clients. They are an avenue to expose clients to brand logos and other brand-specific info-graphics. Companies are advised to include them in all emails that they send to their clients. These items make clients more likely to remember a brand and refer it to friends and family.

Re-activating inactive customers

Companies can leverage transaction emails to reactivate clients who haven’t patronized them in a while. These emails can be used to explain how much they have missed such clients. They can also include hot deals and discounts that match the client’s purchase history. This tactic is very effective at reactivating inactive clients.

Recovering abandoned carts

Specially designed cart abandonment emails can help companies boost sales. According to experts, these emails can increase sales by up to 40%. Brands should always send cart reminder emails to clients who fail to complete their purchase. Clients are more likely to revisit their carts and complete their orders when they receive these email reminders.

(Learn more about abandoned cart email best practices)

How are transactional emails used?

Transactional emails have a variety of uses in today’s online business realm; these uses include: 

Order confirmation

The most common use of transactional emails is for order confirmation. Brands and other online companies use transactional emails every day to confirm orders. These emails are used to assure clients that their orders have been received and processed successfully.

These order confirmation usually contain the items that the client purchased and delivery information. Other client activities that trigger these confirmation emails are new account registration and event registration. 

Payment receipts

This is another widespread use of transactional emails in online business today. Payment receipts are automatically sent to clients whenever they make payments for goods or services. They help assure clients that their payment has been received. 

To respond to explicit requests

Brands leverage transaction emails to respond to an array of client requests immediately. The most common type of client requests is the password reset request. When a client requests a password request, they expect a prompt response from a brand.

And there’s no better way to respond to such requests than an automated transaction email system. These systems can respond to large volumes of applications in a matter of seconds. Another example of these explicit requests is a verification code request.   

To deliver account-related accounts

Transactional emails are used by brands to notify clients with data relating to their accounts. The type of transaction emails used to provide account-related notifications is usually system triggered. Examples of these system-related activities are payment issues or unsuccessful billing attempts, unpaid charges, and so on. 

To deliver invites and referrals

Transaction emails are arguably the most effective channel through which brands dispense invites or referral links. Clients can now generate their unique referral codes on brand websites. It is achieved by submitting completed forms on the brand website.

The individual links are sent to a client’s emails in a matter of seconds. They can also invite friends and families by providing their email addresses on brand websites.

What is the current state of transactional emails?

Studies reveal that email is the most effective and pocket-friendly means of connecting to clients and potential clients. Nowadays, clients are more likely to open emails. They place more importance on emails that social media posts and YouTube videos. 

Transactional emails are a rather particular class of emails. It is because the consumer is most likely already refreshing his or her inbox waiting for the email. As a result, transactional emails have an incredibly high open-rate. 

Brands must learn how to leverage transaction emails. It is because they are an invaluable asset in online business. Brands and their marketers must channel more energy into maximizing the immense potentials of this category of emails. 

It is heartbreaking to discover that transactional emails are now a function of IT professionals who have no marketing orientation. IT professionals severely limit the design, content, and purpose of transactional emails. As a result, clients receive unexciting versions of emails that would have been engaging. 

Transactional emails today are often a departure from all other business marketing strategies. It significantly undermines their potentials. Brands must understand the benefits of maximizing the possibilities of these emails. These emails can enhance client satisfaction, increase product sales, and boost client interaction. 

Need to chat about transactional emails?

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