A transactional email is an automated email sent to a particular user based on some activity or interaction with your website, app, or service. It’s not sent to multiple people and isn’t scheduled beforehand.
For example, when you add something to your cart, don’t complete the transaction and you receive an email reminding you about it, that’s a transactional email. It’s sent after you have abandoned the cart (activity), it’s sent only to you (particular user) and not to a segment or whole list & it didn’t require any scheduling from a human (automated).
Types of Transactional Emails (with examples)
Double opt-in confirmation -- When someone signs up for your newsletter or creates an account, it’s a good idea to let them know that they have successfully signed up & if they can confirm their subscription. This will avoid any mistyped or invalid email addresses in your account. This email should have:
Password reset -- You will need to send this email if you provide an individual account to subscribers. People expect this to reach them immediately & securely. If delayed, they will not come back to access their account and take action. This email should have:
Clear instructions on how to reset the password
A support email or chat for any issues that may come up
What to do in case the subscriber didn’t request the password reset
Abandoned cart -- This is an optional email but very powerful to increase your revenue as it reminds people of what they were shopping for and gives them a nudge to come back. You will use this if you are selling a service or a product. This email is also considered part of your marketing emails. This email should have:
Items or services left by the customer without completing the checkout
Any offer (discount, extended trial or free delivery) to nudge them to take action
Order confirmation -- This is one email that any customer impatiently waits for. So it should be sent instantly and reliably to their inbox. This email should have:
A receipt of how much they paid, quantities bought & payment method
Image of the purchase (especially if it’s a physical product)
Call to action to view order status or give feedback on the buying experience
Payment confirmation -- Usually this is part of the order confirmation but if you have a subscription product with a trial period, then you should send this once the payment is deducted. This will keep people informed and build trust. This email should contain:
What premium or new services can they access now, if any
What’s the future payment schedule
Order cancellation -- This email assures the customers that cancellation of the product or service is done. This email should contain:
Name of the product or service canceled
If a refund is to be given, how much is that amount
What to expect after cancellation e.g. how will their account be affected
In contrast, it’s a marketing email when a single email might be relevant to a group of subscribers and it’s sent to them according to a predefined schedule. For example, a sale in your store in Seattle will be relevant to all the subscribers from that geography. Or an email about the launch of a new podcast is relevant to everyone on your list.
Now, I know you are here to know about the delivery of transactional emails. The point I want to highlight by clarifying the above difference is that transactional emails require almost instant, reliable, and secure delivery to the recipient. It shouldn’t get delayed, or in the worst case, lost in transit.
Your subscriber or customers won’t get mad if a sales email reached them after 3hrs it was sent by you. But their payment confirmation or password reset email is a different story. If they don’t receive it instantly, they will immediately think your services are not trustworthy and will end up choking your customer support inbox.
So, the delivery of your transactional emails is super important. And simply put, email delivery is said to be done when an email is successfully delivered to the receiving server.
Why Delivery Might Be Blocked
An email that’s not delivered is said to be bounced. There are two types of bounces: a hard bounce, and a soft bounce.
A hard bounce occurs when an email address is invalid, a domain doesn’t exist, or your internet protocol (IP) is being blocked. This indicates a permanent reason to bounce. A good way to avoid your reputation being hurt because of this is to permanently suppress these or remove from the list.
A soft bounce occurs when the email address is valid and your IP is not blocked, but the recipient’s inbox is full or the server is down. This indicates a temporary problem. A soft bounced email may be delivered at a later time.
Benefits of Transactional Emails
Transactional emails get the most engagement because everyone checks for order confirmation or waits for a password reset email, and then engages by opening the email or clicking the CTA.
This also gives you an opportunity to plug products they may like or ask them to engage with you on social media. Thus increasing your revenue, reach, and brand value.
To reap all these benefits, you need to make sure these transactional emails are delivered without a doubt.
First step you can take is to sign up for an ESP that has delivery as one of its core competencies. Introducing - SendX.
How can SendX can help you achieve 99% Delivery Rate
SendX has in-built SMTP servers & we don’t use third-party services for delivery. This ensures we have full control over delivery. We are able to make sure that protocols are configured perfectly to ensure the highest levels of delivery.
At SendX, we add hard bounced email addresses to a suppression list. This means that even if you send an email to that address, delivery won’t be even tried. Continuing to try to send to a bad address will hurt your reputation with the receiver, so we avoid that actively.
SendX can ensure almost a 90% delivery rate and that’s one of the reasons that 3000+ global companies trust us with their transactional and marketing emails. You can check out for yourself here. You get a free 14-day trial. No credit card required.