A transactional email is an automated message sent to a subscriber based on their actions on a particular application or website. Order updates, booking, subscription confirmation, and notifications are examples of transactional emails.

In this video produced by Mailjet, the lecturer highlights the difference between transactional and marketing emails.

These emails inform customers about the start or completion of a specific process. It is, therefore, important to automate these messages to ensure that the right emails are sent to the right recipients at the appropriate time. Apart from that, personalizing messages is also vital. Why? It ensures that the marketer always sends relevant information to the recipient.

From a customer’s perspective, transactional emails go a long way in reassuring them of a brand’s reliability. Moreover, they help companies offer better customer service. For example, an order confirmation email confirms that a business has received a customer’s order. In turn, it keeps the buyer from being uncertain regarding the status of their transaction.

Email marketing services allow reaping the maximum benefits from these emails. They offer a trustful SMTP service, which ensures a high email deliverability rate. Besides, they provide additional means of authentication for better performance.

Why are Transactional Emails Important?

Transactional emails are essential to businesses because of their many benefits. Let’s highlight some of the areas these emails can bring value to:

  • Developing customer trust. Customers undoubtedly feel safer when they interact with a business that offers useful information during every phase of cooperation. With transactional emails, companies can eliminate customer concerns.
  • Boosting customer engagement. Transactional emails employ a coordinated approach that makes customers feel appreciated, thus inviting interaction. This cooperation, in turn, leads to better social media engagement or even higher customer participation in surveys.
  • Stimulating additional sales. With transactional emails, marketers can send product ads that are related to what their customers have purchased. These subtle advertisements can go a long way in cultivating a desire to buy additional or complementary products from a business.
  • Fostering brand recognition. Transactional emails are a great way to present the brand’s elements (logos, typography, colors, etc.) to the attention of the client. In turn, this ensures that shoppers remember a particular business in the future.

What is the difference between a marketing email and transactional email?

To most people, the line between marketing emails and transactional emails is often blurry. A marketing email is any commercial content or message that is sent to a subscriber list. This type of email usually prompts the recipient to convert, and it is generally sent at strategic periods. All marketing emails must follow the local laws and should only be sent to people who have opted in.

A transactional email, on the other hand, is triggered by a recipient’s unique behavior. When a customer performs a specific action, they receive the corresponding email. An order confirmation email sent to a customer who has made a purchase is an example of a transactional email. Unlike a marketing email that can be sent in bulk, a transactional email is intended for particular and narrow mailing list segments.

Transactional Email Types

Transactional emails can bring marketers better results in terms of ROI and customer engagement. It is also possible to create transactional emails with SendPulse. However, one must first understand the different types of transactional emails to leverage their power:

Order confirmation

When a customer makes a purchase, it is an excellent practice to follow up with an order confirmation showing the shipping details and order tracking process, if possible. If a payment has been made, also include a receipt. These emails reassure the customer that the purchase was successful and gives the business a chance to cross-sell or up-sell the products.

Shipment status email

This email is sent to keep a client in the know regarding the order made. Companies tell customers about the date of the product arrival. Moreover, they give a chance to track the shipment right from the email.

Password resetting email

These emails are sent to website visitors who ask for password changes and usually contain clear instructions on how users can change their login password. They may include a link for the reset, and another to report unauthorized password change requests.

Pricing plan upgrade email

This email motivates users to upgrade their pricing plans. Marketers usually tempt with unique features that will boost productivity. Another common practice is giving a time-limited discount. Especially when an annual policy is considered.

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How to Send Transactional Emails with SendPulse

Send transactional emails with the help of Automation 360. This feature allows you to automate email sending according to subscribers’ actions. You only need to set up the flow once, and we will take care of all the technical issues.

Step 1: Go to Automations

Go to “Automations” in your SendPulse account and click “Create new automation.”

Go to Automations

Step 2: Set up the automation flow

Choose the event to start the stream or set up your one in the Events manager — follow this step-by-step guide.

Set up the flow

Add email, SMS, or web push for better outreach. Target specific groups with the help of filter and condition. Use action to manage subscribers and the goal to stop the flow. Here you will find more details on how to send automated emails.

Now, when you are ready, save, and launch!

Transactional Email Examples

A transactional email from Apple. It confirms a subscriber’s change of their Apple ID password.

Transactional email

An upgrade pricing plan email from Grammarly. The brand gives a generous discount to leave no chance for reflection.

Transactional email

An order confirmation email. This email provides users with all the necessary details regarding the order to make a client trust.

Order confirmation email

An example of a shipment status email. The sender gives a chance to track the shipment status in real-time.

Transactional email

Transactional Email Best Practices

Transactional emails should be focused on giving customers information and assistance whenever needed. Here some best practices for this type of email:

  • don’t confuse transactional emails with marketing emails. Mixing the two can land a brand into trouble with the law as well as the recipients;
  • be specific. State the reason for writing this or that email clearly — avoid being too wordy;
  • authenticate emails with SPF and DKIM records. This way, there are more chances for your emails to land into the inbox.
    consider sending from a dedicated IP address to be fully responsible for your sender reputation;
  • use a “reply-to” email address to increase engagement. “No-reply” email address looks robotic and leaves no chance for interaction with your brand;
  • monitor email statistics to update the strategy on the go.

To get more valuable insights, read this article on X-Cart and get inspired by 13 actionable tips and ideas for creating transactional emails.


  1. The article "What Is a Transactional Email? [FAQs]" on HubSpot blog defines a transactional email and explains why one should send them.
  2. The article "Everything You Need To Know About Transactional Email But Didn’t Know To Ask" on Smashing Magazine unveils the challenges of transactional emails, compares them with promotional ones, and considers email authentication for better deliverability.

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