Transactional Emails | 9 Untapped methods to win audience every time

Many pro marketers know the power of Email marketing and are well-versed in email list building. They convert subscriber into customers like a pro and keep building the list side by side. However, this is vast space and needs time and patience to completely understand and master it. And those who are new to this space might not know about transactional emails. So, for those who don’t know, I have come up with this post to educate you and help you understand it. This post will answer the following questions:

  1. What are Transaction Emails?
  2. What is the difference between Marketing Emails and Transactional Emails?
  3. Tools for managing your subscribers and Email List(s)

So let us begin.

What are Transactional Emails?

Transactional Emails are an email sent to your subscribers when they do some action that is a part of your goal. Transactional Emails are mostly, but not limited to the following types of emails:

  1. Successful signup for newsletter/webinar/course/event
  2. Successful purchase
  3. Sign up for forums/platform/website
  4. subscribe email updates for their comments
  5. Periodic digest of their activity on your platform
  6. unsubscribe confirmation

Read Also: What is Email Marketing? 11 tips + 6 tools to crush your competitor

These are just the possible scenarios of transactional emails, it can be more and it depends on what niche you are in. There’s no boundary as to what kind of actions can trigger these transactional emails.

For example, a user signs up for your newsletter, you should welcome them with a lovely and warm thank you/greetings email. That’s how you catch their attention. They, signing up is a transaction, and your welcome email is the transactional email for them. That’s how it works. Basically, you should acknowledge each of their important activity(s) on your website/blog.

Bottom line is to set up real-time, personalized transactional emails triggering immediately after the interactions.

Furthermore, some transactional emails may need users to take some more action, like confirming the subscription, signing up for an event etc. While some transactional emails may simply be confirmation of their activity. This turns out to be a pretty amazing tactic to keep users engaged.

Transactional Emails can provide a great marketing opportunity

There is a big misconception that marketers should send transactional emails only when a customer makes a purchase. NO! You don’t have to be an e-commerce marketer in your transactional emails. That’s exactly where a huge opportunity for marketers arise. There’s a reason why transactional emails have highest open rates that any type of email. This is because the recipient is interested in the content of the email that you’ve just sent. It is your responsibility to make this count and gain one more inch of subscriber’s trust.

Check if your subscribers are opening the transactional emails you send regularly. If they do, then it is an excellent opportunity for you to gain more out of your list. You can come up with anything creative that will help you gain more information or actions out of your subscribers.

Difference between Marketing Emails & Transactional Emails

As said earlier, transactional emails have the highest percentage of open rates for a reason. There should some differences between a typical marketing email and a transactional email. Let me help you find it out.

Marketing Email: Any email sent to convey a message, an update, follow up, reminder or any commercial message with a commercial intent is a marketing email. These emails are primarily to keep your brand’s name in subscriber’s mind and keep them posted about the latest news in your business. They may or may not mean anything to the subscribers. Not all of them would be interested in it, just a handful of them.

Transactional Email: One-on-one email that you send, highly specific about each of the subscribers in your list about their activity(s) on your business website is called as transactional email. These emails are sent to a specific group of people and not the whole list. Furthermore, these emails are triggered based on a lot of factors. It depends on how you design it. For example, I send emails to my subscribers on the list on their birthday wishing them and offering some exclusive coupon code(coupon code being their own name or DOB) or simply wisher. In such case, I will have to design my list and set rules accordingly.

Tools for managing the email list and sending Transactional Emails

There are many email marketing software that are great but I have 6 best tools for email marketing.

Now that you are aware of the basics, let me tell more about the transactional email best practices.

10 Transactional Emails best practices you should know

If we go by stats, they’re staggering (depends on which way you take it)

Tip#9: Use Meta Information wisely

Meta information includes sender’s name, subject, body line etc. Since there is very limited space to acquire the user’s attention, It becomes really important to crush all the possibilities to score the goal. Furthermore, this space is to convince the user that your email is worth opening. Use all the elements wisely.

These things might seem little at the beginning, but as you keep sending emails regularly, these things begin to magnify the inconvenience to end user.

Tip# 8: Give a personal touch in “from” address

You’ve crossed the first hurdle of email marketing. The first thing, a user(including you and me) observes after opening an email is the “from” address. Believe it or not, a “no-reply” “” or “” is a disaster. However, it depends on what email you are sending. So figure out a way to give a personal touch to every email you send.

Tip# 7: Have a classy subject and pre-header

This is a part of meta information which is a tricky part. Meta information is not standard across all the email providers. Furthermore, the number of characters shown in the inbox is different. Keep the subject as short as possible and meaningful. Scratch the surface, just enough to create curiosity

Tip# 6: Email authentication and markup

You are a live wire of email marketing. You are active enough to frequently appear in your target audience’s inbox. But you cannot simply keep sending emails just like that. You have keep distance from security issues laid and adapted by email service providers. Standards like SPF, DKIM, DMARC comes into the picture.

The domains you use, are as important as the content you send through email. The email service providers are becoming more and more sophisticated towards the domain and not just the IP of the domain.

Tip# 5: Setup Gmail Inbox action buttons

I am not sure if you have noticed this or not. But Gmail has this cool feature reserved only for transactional emails of having action buttons with the email. This feature lets users reach the destination page without even opening the email. It looks something like this:

Find the help guide here

This feature is user-friendly and helps you establish trust among the customers/readers/subscribers. Furthermore, those who use GSuit, this feature will be nothing less than a blessing to their email marketing campaign.

Tip# 4: Personalize all the parameters

Starting from using the name, to whatever you can personalize to give a rich user-experience, you are bound to do it. A message starting with “Hi Sam” is way better than a message starting with a place and blunt “Hi”.

You have to understand one thing, the more you make your users feel “home”, the more like they are to stick to with you and your service. Email the best way to make them feel ‘‘Home’’.

Tip# 3: Easy to unsubscribe and/or manage notifications

I know it hurts but, you have to do this too. Keep the unsubscribe and manage notification settings handy and easily reachable. But make sure you make an impactful move in your successful unsubscribe email. A subject line like “What you’re leaving behind” or “We’re sorry to see you go” or “You will be missed” will do wonders. However, the idea is to touch the emotion of the unsubscriber wrt the niche you are in. Not easy, but it’s quite important.

Apart from this, you can mention the steps to join back just in case they change their mind later. Or you can offer them to join your social media community to stay updated about the activity. You can also offer some stats that convinces them to join back the list or anything creative to make them stay back.

Tip# 2: Customize emails based on the context of the email

Many times, there are some transactional emails that are not so important. If you are sending out an purchase receipt, make sure you have a detailed email that answers all the questions a user can have. If you are sending a digest of user’s activity on your platform, or forum on your website/blog, that has comments and other usual activities. In that case, you can lessen the number of links in the email and have information about the comment(or any activity) only.

Tip# 1: Surprise them

If you notice a user interacting often, send them a thank you email, with a voucher if possible. This will make them a loyal visitor of yours.

#Bonus Tip: Be Social

Since the transactional emails have highest open rates, wouldn’t be smart to include social icons in those emails? Yes, it would. Social icons help you cover your audience on social platforms too. It’s simple uet powerful way to keep in touch with your audience.


Transactional emails are complex at times, but as much as you know what you are doing, you’ll do good. Furthermore, you should consider laying more importance to these emails that you send and get the users/readers/subscribers glued to your network.

If you properly implement these transactional emails best practices, you are going to give a great user experience to your subscribers. Furthermore, this will make your subscribers more loyal towards you and help you build your brand further. Getting people on your list is super easy when compared to sustaining them in the list.

Over to you. What do you think about transactional emails? Do you find it useful? Which tip are you going to implement first? Let me know in the comment section below.

Do you know someone who’s looking for this information? Share this with them and also share this on your social network.

Hey! I have found the most comprehensive guide for transactional emails best practices. Check it out

Originally published at on April 9, 2018.

Writing about Blogging, Branding & Marketing | 1.7M views on Quora | | Hit Follow ⤵

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store