Transactional Email: Types & Best Practices

Transaction emails have become an integral part of the interaction between businesses and consumers. Billions of such messages are sent every day.

Another name for transaction emails is trigger emails. Let’s look a little deeper into what they are, how they work, and what you can do to improve their efficiency.

What is Transactional Email?

A transactional email is an automated message. Such emails are triggered by events, interactions, and clients’ choices. The most common examples are password resets, registration confirmations, and receipts.

These emails help nurture the relationship between a company and a client while helping the marketing team focus on more complex tasks.

Transaction emails are personalized. They are tailored to suit individual recipients based on their actions.

Types of Transactional Emails

Transactional emails can automate your marketing efforts and improve relationships with your clients. Let’s go over the most common types of transactional emails.

1. Confirmation Emails and Receipts

The most widely used transactional emails are receipts and confirmations. These are sent after a transaction occurs. Usually, the company sends an email confirming an order made by a client or providing a receipt for the purchase.

These transactional emails can also feature the actual product purchased during the transaction. It could be files or links to downloadable content.

Sign-ups, password updates, and new account registrations are also transactional email triggers.

2. Urgent Requests

Urgent requests often warrant a transactional email. They may contain the information requested by a certain user of the program or service. The most common example of an urgent request is a password reset. Since users can’t access their accounts without this information, it must be produced immediately.

Another common urgent request is a verification code needed for authorization to access the account. The code must be sent without a delay. This category also includes retrieving other account-related information as well as product keys.

3. Account Notifications

Automated emails triggered by changes in the user’s account are also transactional. It could be reminders about invoices, declined credit card alerts, delays with delivery, and so forth.

Without logging into the account, the user wouldn’t know about the changes unless they received a transactional email. Other examples include login notifications, membership renewal requests, password changes, etc.

4. Behavioral Responses

These transactional emails are used for marketing efforts. They are sent in response to certain behavior exhibited by the client. For example, it could be a thank you/welcome email or a “check-in” message to find out if the client is happy with the services.

Abandoned cart emails are the most common example of behavioral triggers. These transactional messages are highly effective in boosting sales.

5. Event-driven Notifications

These transactional emails are sent to notify the user of certain events. It could be a reply to their comments on the forum or a reminder about an upcoming webinar. Such emails also include payment and shipping updates.

Usually, such emails are a reaction to something other people (e.g. on social networks) or companies (shipping updates) do, which may be of interest to the recipient.

How to Choose the Best Transactional Email Service?

Taking advantage of transactional emails is a necessity for the majority of companies. Using an external platform for sending such emails is important for the speed and quality of your messages.

Hosting providers usually have strict limitations for the number of emails you can send daily to prevent spammy mailouts. While you can often send up to 200 emails per hour, it may not be sufficient for a mass campaign mailout.  

Whether you are just starting to work with email services for your application or want to change the provider, you need to ask yourself several questions before choosing the best transactional email service.

  •         Do you need the provider to send out transactional emails only? Or will you need its services for newsletters, product updates, etc.? It may be easier to have a single tool for both, instead of jumping from one to another.
  •         How many emails are you planning to send? How many addresses do you plan to work with? Can you settle for the free basic plan offered by some providers or would you need premium plans?
  •         What if you decide to add additional emails? How much would the provider charge for such additions? Are their payment plans suitable for your volume of work?
  •         Can you customize the automation extensively? Or are you limited by certain changes? Does the platform offer appropriate analytical features or email validation tools?
  •         Is it possible to integrate the platform with your website or app? Can you do it on your own or would you need professional assistance?


Transactional Emails: Best Practices

When setting up your transaction emails, you can take advantage of the following tips.

1. Add personalization

Always make transactional emails personal by mentioning the recipient’s name. The email should also contain related details, such as order number, order date, billing summary, etc.  

2. Adjust Sender’s Information

When you are sending such emails, make sure they appear trustworthy by adding the company’s name to the sender’s description. Use something like “Kelly from Ann’s Flowers” rather than Ann’s Flowers Inc.

3. Keep Promotional Efforts Low

Transactional emails aren’t about marketing. Try not to be too insistent with your promotional efforts. It’s ok to add some offers every once in a while, but they should be subtle.

4. Include Contact Details

Since the email is automated, the recipient often lacks the opportunity to reply to it. Make sure you add all the necessary contact information to use if questions arise. Consider avoiding no-reply emails altogether if possible.

5. Boost Brand Awareness

Your transactional emails should promote your brand. Make sure the client easily recognizes whom the sender is. Add logos, mottos, and other unique information to make your company easy to identify.

6. Follow CAN-SPAM Act

Make sure your transactional emails are in line with the CAN-SPAM act. They should be as carefully checked as your promotional emails.

Final Thoughts

Transactional emails are an integral part of nurturing your relationship with your clients. Make sure they are polished properly. Using a high-quality service to send such messages can help you avoid mistakes, delays, and unexpected limitations.



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