You know the exciting “Order placed” email you receive when you bought that cute dress you liked online? The ticket you received in your mail when you booked your trip to Bali or the account notification email when you swiped your card at the grocery store? All of these are transactional emails, sometimes referred to as “triggered emails” or “automated emails.”
So, what exactly are transactional emails? Transactional emails are unique, automated emails that acknowledge a transaction between the sender and recipient. They are often triggered in real-time by the actions your customers perform on your application or website.
Transactional emails are often overlooked but play a crucial role in customer engagement and building trust for your business. Imagine walking into a coffee shop and, after placing your order, the employee says nothing and walks away. Did they hear you? Will you get your latte? You’re left waiting for an acknowledgment. Even if you do get your drink, you’ll probably prefer a different cafe the next time you need coffee. Similarly, even a small error or delay in your transactional emails can result in a loss of trust among your users.
Transactional emails vs Marketing emails
One question we often get from our customers is, “What’s the difference between transactional emails and marketing emails?”.
You can differentiate between these two types of emails by answering four simple questions:
Transactional emails carry crucial information that is unique to the recipient of the email, whereas marketing emails relay the same promotional content to multiple recipients at once.
Example: Onboarding emails with unique account credentials are transactional emails, while a product update email is a marketing email.
The foremost purpose of transactional emails is to relay crucial information to your user or to acknowledge an agreed-upon transaction. On the other hand, marketing emails are sent with the aim to promote and sell a particular service.
Example: An order confirmation email for an online purchase is a transactional email, whereas a year-end offer email is a marketing email.
More often than not, transactional emails are triggered by user action or interaction with an application or service. Marketing emails, on the other hand, do not have an automated trigger and can be sent whenever necessary.
Example: Account notification emails sent by banks upon withdrawal of funds is a transactional email, and a monthly newsletter is a marketing email.
Transactional emails are one-to-one messages that are sent to one individual at a time. In the case of marketing emails, messages are often sent in bulk, broadcast to multiple recipients simultaneously.
Example: A password reset email is a transactional email, and event invite emails sent to a group of people are marketing emails.
Types of transactional emails
Whatever the size of your company, if your business has an online presence, you will probably send out tons of transactional emails every day. These emails relay important information to your users throughout the customer lifecycle. There are a variety of transactional emails sent at different times in a user’s journey.
In the next blog post, we’ll be back to dive deeper into all these different types of transactional emails and to shed some light on other important aspects of transactional emails and how they can help your business.
In the meanwhile, you can leave your feedback in the comments section. We would also love to hear your questions about transactional emails so we can have them answered in our next blog.
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Until next time, stay safe and stay happy!