Transactional Email: A new way to reach customers

Transactional Email: A new way to reach customers

Jake Smith
Jake Smith
December 27, 2022
8 min read

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Transactional email is a necessary tool for businesses that use email to communicate with customers. It’s an important part of the customer experience and an effective way to drive engagement and customer loyalty.

Unlike regular marketing Emails, transactional Mails are delivered without any promotional content. Instead, these emails are driven by customer-initiated activities, such as placing an order, making a payment, or signing up for a service. For this reason, transactional Emails are considered highly relevant and valuable to customers.

Transactional emails are automated emails that are triggered by customer actions. These emails are sent to confirm a customer’s purchase or to remind them of an upcoming appointment or event. They can also be used to provide updates, support, and other notifications.

Transactional emails are an invaluable tool for businesses, as they provide a way to keep customers informed and engaged. They’re also great for building customer loyalty and trust, as customers are reassured and reminded of the value of the product or service they’ve purchased.

This new form of communication is becoming increasingly popular and is being used by many businesses to build relationships with their customers and keep them informed.

What is Transactional email? A definition of transactional emails.

A transactional email is an automated message sent to customers in response to a specific action they have taken. These messages can be triggered by a variety of activities, including signing up for an account, making a purchase, or subscribing to a newsletter. Transactional emails contains information/content specific to the user. They are designed to inform customers of the status of their orders or other relevant information and are often used as a way to increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Some examples of transactional emails are-

  • Password reset emails
  • Account creation emails
  • Welcome emails
  • Shipping confirmations
  • Payment invoices
  • Purchase receipts
  • Order confirmation emails
  • Payment failure notifications

How transactional emails are different from marketing emails? Transactional vs. marketing email

When it comes to email communication, there are two main types: transactional and marketing emails. Transactional emails are sent in response to a specific action taken by a customer or user. These emails typically include information about an account, order, or service. Marketing emails, on the other hand, are sent out to promote a product or service. They usually contain promotional content such as discounts and special offers.

So what's the difference between transactional and marketing emails? Well, the main difference is in their purpose.

Transactional emails are designed to provide customers with information they need to complete a transaction or take advantage of an offer. These emails often have a more formal tone and focus on providing useful information rather than selling something. Marketing emails, on the other hand, have a more casual tone and aim to engage customers with promotions or special offers.

To sum it up, transactional emails are used to provide customers with useful information while marketing emails aim to engage them with promotional content. Both types of email communication can be effective if used correctly but it's important to understand the differences between them in order to make sure your messages reach their intended audience.

What is transactional email used for? Core use cases of transactional emails

There are several types of emails that nearly every product should send. These key transactional email use cases include:

Explicit requests

These types of emails contain information explicitly requested by the user of an application or service. The requests are urgent, users expect these emails to arrive immediately. One of the most common examples of this is a password reset email. Users cannot access their accounts without a password so this request comes with an expectation of an immediate response. Another example of this category is a verification code used in two-factor authorization

Receipts and confirmations

These are the most well-known types of transactional emails that occur after a transaction has taken place.

Your transactional emails carry important information for the customers, and sharing this information is essential for customer satisfaction.

These emails can be an order confirmation or a receipt. Things like e-books, PDFs, or any other downloadable goods are sent as part of an email receipt. Product keys for software purchases or new account sign-ups and event RSVPs are also a few examples of such communication.

Having such communication open makes the customer feel valued, and builds trust in the brand.

Account-related alerts

Emails that aren’t explicitly requested by users but are triggered based on changes to their accounts

Some examples of these emails are notifications of changes to passwords or email addresses, log-in attempt notifications, trial expiration notices, or other account issues. A reminder of overdue invoices and failed payment attempts are also a few examples of such communication. Without them, customers may not be aware of such updates and problems.

Referrals and invitations

Many products provide a way for users to invite their friends or colleagues to create an account by sending referrals and invitation emails. Referrals are incentivize with benefit account credits and gift cards where invites are can be based on your product nature like sending an invite on social media, or on a gaming app, or building a team on a workspace.

Behavioral triggers

These types of emails are very important because they can be used to increase customer loyalty to the brand. When users interact with the system, based on their interaction, users will receive emails. This smooths out the user's journey. One example of behavioral emails is a welcome email and onboarding email. Abandoned cart emails and reactivation are also examples of behavioral emails. These emails can also trigger and encourage users to log in again and remind them of your product and service.

Event-driven notifications

These types of emails are similar to mobile phone push notifications, but they happen via email instead.

Event-driven notifications can be used to alert users of all kinds of activities, including comment notifications, login notifications, event reminders, and shipping updates. Some more examples like alerting users that a package has been shipped or delivered, or that they have a meeting to attend soon.

Summaries and digests

Instead of receiving individual emails for each and every notification, some users prefer the option to combine all the notifications into groups. Summary or digest emails typically include a log of all the events and activities of a specific time frame, such as account activity or comments, etc. These are sent to users at specified intervals, whether daily, weekly, or monthly.

Digest emails are not limited to activities and events that have occurred in the past. They can include summaries of events that are planned to happen in the future as well. An example of this is a weekly summary of appointments scheduled for the following week.

Support and feedback requests

Communication is essential and a must for positive customer experiences. If a customer submits a support request but does not get a confirmation that it was received, it can be frustrating for the user. Additionally, if a support team does not receive the request promptly, the response time can be delayed, which would not only frustrate the customer but the support team as well. Similar to how onboarding emails are triggered, feedback requests can also be set up to get reviews from customers after they’ve made a purchase or signed up for an account. If poor feedback is received, businesses can contact customers and attempt to turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Benefits of transactional email

Customer experience and retention

You can build trust and improve customer experience by just sending a timely acknowledgment of the customer's actions whether it's a shipping notification, password reset, or payment confirmation. This also improves the credibility of your service.

Good customer experience is the key and plays a major role in retaining customers. Remember, only happy customers are long-term customers.

Regular and consistent communication

Your transactional emails carry important information for the customers, and sharing this information is essential for customer satisfaction.

Keeping the lines of communication open helps especially what customers want, makes the customer feel valued, and builds trust in the brand.

Brand recognition

Since customers are expecting your transactional emails, transactional emails have higher engagement than marketing emails.

With higher open rates, they are an opportunity to build brand visibility, recognition, and provide you the opportunity to communicate on other aspects as well.


Transactional email is not only triggered by immediate actions taken by customers on websites or applications but also triggered from some behavioral aspects. Transactional emails like abandoned cart emails and trial expiry emails can help convert inactive customers into regular customers again and provide you an opportunity to grow.

Final thoughts

Whether you have a small team with a mobile application or a large e-commerce company with thousands of products, transactional emails can significantly boost your business—so long as they are delivered on time, reach their destination, and are understandable. If your emails are late, end up in the spam folder, or are poorly-crafted, your customers’ loyalty will likely diminish. Here are key points to getting started with Transactional emails.

  1. Understand the Basics of Transactional Emails: Before you can start sending transactional emails, it’s important to understand what they are and how they differ from marketing emails. Transactional emails are automated emails sent in response to an action taken by a customer, such as a purchase, account creation, password reset, or an order confirmation.
  2. Decide Which Types of Transactional Emails You Need: The types of transactional emails you need to send will depend on your business. Common types of transactional emails include order confirmations, password resets, and welcome emails.
  3. Design Your Emails: Once you know which types of transactional emails you need, you’ll need to design them. This means choosing a layout and writing content that is clear and informative.
  4. Implement Email Automation: To send transactional emails, you’ll need to use an email automation service. This will allow you to quickly and easily send emails in response to customer actions.
  5. Test Your Emails: Before sending transactional emails, you should test them to make sure they are working correctly. This is especially important if you’re using an email automation service, as it will help you ensure that your emails are delivering properly.
  6. Monitor Your Results: Once you start sending transactional emails, you should monitor your results. This will help you identify any issues or opportunities for improvement.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to set up transactional emails for your business and ensure that they are delivering properly. Best of luck!

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What is Mailazy?

Mailazy is a Transactional Email Platform specially built for developers which satisfies the requirement for use cases like Reset Password Emails, OTP Emails, Welcome Emails, and so on. The Mailazy platform helps you to send transactional emails seamlessly and track email deliverability. Mailazy enables your applications to send messages via a simple HTTP REST interface or via easy SMTP integration and abstracts away the complexities of sending transactional emails.

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Jake Smith

Jake Smith

Jake Smith is a Product Manager at Mailazy. He graduated in Information Technology

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