The General Definition
Transactional emails as the word itself imply emails that are sent as a response to or prompted by actions taken by the recipients. Transactional Emails are popularly known as Triggered emails which are different from the normal marketing emails/ promotional emails or bulk emails. The primary difference lies in the very fact that it is sent to different individuals for different reasons and at different times. While the body of the email may still be the same, the personalization aspect and the trigger to which the email is sent determines the context.
A transactional email can be sent as a response to new sign-ups (welcome message), password change, cart abandonment, order confirmation, or on the confirmation of an order, for downloading resources in form of e-Books or PDFs. The messages for all typical actions are pre-programmed and sent through email automation using an email marketing tool.
The Key Differentiators
Marketing Emails contain content that is promotional or of commercial nature. It is usually sent to multiple clients or a large subscriber list and hence is also known as bulk emails. Such emails are often sent for promoting a product, service, newsletter, sale, or other events. While the customers in the email list have opted for the email, they have no control over when the marketing email is received, it is not prompted by any of their actions as in the case of Transactional emails.
Triggered emails on the other hand are sent one-on-one and are a result of action taken by the customer and hence are more user-driven. Due to this reason, triggered emails have a higher click and open rates than marketing emails.
Long list Short
The transactional emails are categorized on the basis of the purpose it serves, or the action to which it responds. Here are some of the most popular types.
The most common form of transactional emails is the confirmation emails and Invoices that are sent immediately after the customer completes a purchase. These are the ones actually triggered by a transaction, hence the name. Transactional emails are sent in cases where the final online purchase form has a section for email confirmation, and the invoices are sent in case of any online purchase. Confirmation emails also come into place when customers opt for downloadable resources like e-books, PDFs, infographics, or as product keys for the purchased software. Confirmation emails can also be welcome emails for a new sign in, RSVP for events, password resets, etc.
"Here's the Pin for your password change." The easiest example for immediate request off the bat. As the example suggests, explicit requests by the customers trigger such transactional emails and contain only the specific information requested. The send time in case of such emails is a high priority.
Verification codes for two-factor authorization, recovery of lost product keys, and action that involves personal data inputs are often an exclusive trigger and require immediate transactional emails.
Cart abandonment trigger is the most common one in e-commerce. Such emails focus more on improving customer relationships and driving sales. While this may not be entirely triggered by instant actions, it is triggered by certain preset criteria, say for instance 10 purchases or cart abandonment at the payment stage, welcoming new users or onboarding give them a run-through of the website or application.
Such emails need not be sent immediately, but usually are sent within a fixed time gap to keep the newness alive.
These are different from the immediate requests as the response is not due to an explicit urgent requirement but rather due to progressive changes or account-related changes. The examples for which are, Dunning letters, sent to customers, informing them about the payment overdue in an account. While these help in keeping the customers informed, it also helps in keeping them on track with the payments. Alerts for old password changes, log-in alerts, etc. fall under this category.
While not the most popular ones on the list. Event-triggered emails allow the users to keep a track of their activities like comments to the popular posts, reminders to the events interested in, etc. These emails aren't necessarily user-driven, but can be triggered by close connects on social media, event subscriptions, package shipment alerts, etc.
How do the customers know that their ticket request or query has been received? This is where Support and Feedback emails come in. This is a two-way communication allowing customers to be informed about the request and also connect with the respective support teams to take due action. Similarly, feedback requests are also sent to customers after a certain product or service has been delivered. The inputs received can be used to make improvements in the future.
For sending specific Transactional emails at the right time, automation is required. SpiceSend Email Marketing Tools allow you to automated emails, create custom triggers and messages, and send transactional emails that have high delivery rates. The email marketing solution also allows us to seamlessly track and analyze the email performance, to make continuous improvements.
The key benefits include:
""I want to do a business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction."
- Andrea Mignolo, Executive and Leadership Coach, method & matter.