5 Examples for Transactional Emails Your Business Needs

If you use email automation software within your business, you will almost definitely be sending out transactional emails regularly, whether or not you are familiar with the term. If you consider all emails you send out to be part of your overall marketing strategy, you’re not alone – and you are right, to a certain extent – but to make sure you’re getting the most from both marketing email and transactional email – it’s important to know the difference. Consider the common types of email you and your business may send:

  • Newsletters keeping your mailing list up-to-date on your latest achievements, launches, and offers
  • Birthday or anniversary emails, where you reach out on a certain date and usually include a personalized discount
  • Standalone emails increasing awareness of a particular event, perhaps a webinar or VIP preview
  • Transactional emails sent as a one-to-one response to a purchase, subscription, password reset, or other action by the customer

The first three can be considered email marketing, a term which comprises those emails which are sent with the objective of drawing attention to your business, or a particular offer perhaps. These will normally be bulk emails, whereas a transactional email is a one-to-one communication, which contains critical information which is relevant only to that specific recipient. Generally, a transactional email will be triggered automatically by your email API or SMTP server. This article is about transactional messages, and how to make them work for your business.

Why You Need a Transactional Email Service

As you will already know, using email as a marketing tool is far more complex than simply building a mailing list and sending out regular emails. You need to build rapport with your customers and prospective customers. People are used to bulk emails now, so demand a higher level of personalization, and expect to be valued. Each type of transactional email has a role to play in fostering this relationship and, therefore, generating more business. Did you know that transactional emails have the highest open rates?

  • Garnering trust through illustrating how transparent and clear your processes are. Your customers will appreciate if emails are triggered when a password reset is requested, seeking confirmation that this is a genuine request
  • Informative transactional emails including order confirmations and invoices, alongside some personalized content, can help customers feel valued as individuals
  • Notification emails, send automatically when an order is processed and then again on dispatch, creates a sense that you recognize the importance of your customers’ time and need to be updated on when to expect the delivery
  • Social media information can be included on these transactional emails, encouraging customers to connect with you and perhaps leave a review or engage with a feedback survey
  • Future sales can be generated through transactional emails. You may decide to offer a discount for a referral, or a coupon to be redeemed against a follow-on purchase
  • Using a standard email template and color scheme means that any email you send will be instantly recognizable as yours, increasing the chances of your business coming to mind in future

Common Types of Transactional Email

  • Order confirmation – triggered automatically when an order is placed
  • Shipment status update
  • Estimated delivery time on the day of, or the evening before, delivery of an order
  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Password reset confirmation email
  • Security checks
  • Account creation invitation or confirmation
  • Upgrade offer, where you operate a structured pricing plan
  • Feedback requests
  • Double opt-in
  • Welcome emails

Email automation software means that impactful transactional emails can be sent with minimal effort on your part. All you need to do is set up an automation, and let the software do the rest. Transactional email is no more difficult to set up and use effectively than general marketing emails, but the strength lies in recognizing the difference between the two.

Aside from getting a less than favorable response from customers who feel they are receiving inaccurate or irrelevant email content, using transactional emails incorrectly could land you on the wrong side of email marketing regulations – a shortcut to the dreaded blacklist.

Have a look at these examples of how to use this genre of automated email well.

1. Welcome Email with a Call to Action and a Personalized Offer

example transactional email

Not only does this email welcome a new customer on board, but it also invites the recipient to complete their profile and receive a free ticket on their birthday each year. Eye-catching, effective, and personalized – this email ticks all the boxes for a powerful transactional email.

2. Security Check after Password Reset Request

patreon email example

We are all more than aware of just how prolific scammers, spammers, and spoofers are nowadays, so your customers will really appreciate you taking care of their information. When you send confirmation emails to verify password resents, you’re identifying your business as one which can be trusted. A simple notification email of this type can go a long way.

3. Automated Email When Cart Is Abandoned

automated email exmples

This is another great example of how one transactional email can tick several boxes on the email marketing wish list. If you had added an item to an online cart, dithered a bit over whether or not you *really* needed it, and eventually navigated away from the store, would you be more likely to come back based on a generic abandoned cart email, or a personalized one like this?

4. Order Confirmation Emails and Shipment Updates

transactional email marketing

Your customers’ time is very precious to them, and recognizing this is a core part of making them feel valued. Order confirmation emails are, of course, essential. Order tracking gives your customer control in the sense of being able to manage their time around receiving the delivery. Following this up with confirmation of delivery closes the transaction off neatly, illustrating to the customer that they didn’t stop being important to you once their order was fulfilled.

cool transactional emails

5.  Account Creation Emails

This could be combined with the order confirmation email and brings benefits for both of you. The customer can easily track their order, and place future orders without having to reenter all of their details, and you have an opportunity to establish a relationship.

email marketing examples

As you’ll have realized by now, transactional emails are something you have been sending anyway, but perhaps were not aware of just how powerful they can be.  By engaging in one-to-one communication with your customers, you can build a strong relationship, paving the way for future business. Those order confirmations, welcome emails, and security checks are far more than just part of the online shopping process.

Transactional emails may not be as overtly advertising-related as marketing emails, but they form an integral part of your overall strategy. Make sure to use this wisely.


Read more: 

4 Steps to Creating an Effective Email Autoresponder

3 Strategies to Elevate Your Events Through Email Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing in 2020