Automating transactional emails and best practices

As a business owner, you will understand the importance of marketing. The more people that you’re able to connect to the better, as you will generate new leads and customers and increase the chances of success for your business. 

One way to market your business is through email. You may have read our article on email marketing trends already but in this article, we are going to focus on transactional emails and the steps you can take to get the most out of them.

What are transactional emails?

Transactional emails are automated emails that are sent in response to a particular action from a specific user. 

So, rather than an email that goes out to every person on your marketing mailing list, they go to those individuals that have interacted with your business in some way. 

A customer may have placed an order with your business, for example, and then received an email confirmation. Or they may have requested a password reset and received an email with instructions on the steps they need to take to login back into their account. 

How do you know if an email is transactional?

The goal of a transactional email is to keep customers informed about an order or another type of request they have made. You will have received such an email if you have ever bought something online, as you will have received one or more transactional emails concerning your order and it’s shipping status. 

They are different to marketing emails as they aren’t always promotional. Instead, they provide updates related to account activity or commercial transactions that are specific to individual users. 

Your customers will expect transactional emails from your business after they have made a request or an orde and they might get agitated if they don’t receive a response in a timely manner.

 We list some examples of transactional emails below.

What are the types of a transactional email?

As mentioned, transactional emails are in response to customer activity. The specifics of these emails can vary from one business to the next but the following are the most common.

Order confirmations

After making a purchase, the customer should then receive a confirmation of their order. The email should contain information about the product they have ordered as well as the shipping address, order number, delivery date, and other relevant details. 

Shipped orders

Customers need to know the product they have ordered is on the way, so one or more emails detailing the delivery process can ease any worries they may be having about the product being a no-show!

Account creation

When a customer creates an account with your business, you can send them a welcome notification as confirmation that their details have been accepted. 

Other emails can be sent out when your customers manage their accounts online, such as password resets if they forget their sign-in credentials. 


Payment confirmation is usually included with an order confirmation but you may wish to send your customer a separate email with a receipt as this might prove useful to them. 

A payment email can also be sent out when there is an issue with a customer’s payment method, as this can remind them to update their bank card details or check for any mistakes within their payment information.

Review request

It’s a good idea to ask your customers for feedback about the purchase they have made. You can use their review on your website or social media page, or you could encourage your customer to write a review on such websites as Trustpilot or Yelp. 

This type of interaction can be beneficial to your business if their positive review encourages more customers to buy from you. 

What is the difference between transactional emails and marketing emails?

One major difference between transactional and marketing emails is the number of recipients that each type of email is sent to. 

Transactional emails are sent out to single recipients following their interaction with the business, such as a cancellation request for an order. 

Marketing emails are sent out to multiple recipients. These emails contain promotional information, such as news of special offers or new product lines. Marketing emails encourage a customer to act – such as ‘buy now while sale prices are low’ – whereas transactional emails are the direct result of a customer’s action. 

Both types of emails are important but you are limited to who you send marketing emails to. If customers have unsubscribed from your marketing list, you shouldn’t get in touch with a promotion. Transactional emails, on the other hand, don’t require customer consent. As such, they can be sent to all of your customers when they have made a transaction with your business.  

The importance of transactional emails

With transactional emails, there are benefits to both customers and business owners, so their importance shouldn’t be underestimated. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should use them.

They build trust with your customers

Timely acknowledgements of the transactions they have made can give your customers peace of mind about their orders. Such emails ensure a positive customer experience as they receive the information they need before they start to worry. 

As such, they will have a better experience with your brand when you regularly communicate with them and this will build up trust between them and your business. 

Higher delivery and open rates

You can maximise email deliverability with transactional emails as the catchy words in their subject lines and content are less likely to be rejected as spam by ISPs and email delivery servers. 

Customers are also less likely to relegate these emails to the spam box as they know they contain useful information within. Consequently, future transactional emails are more likely to be delivered straight to the inbox and not the spam box by the ISP because of the previous positive behaviour of the recipient. 

Return visits to your website

With such links as ‘track your order,’ ‘change your password,’ or ‘login to check your account information” within your transactional emails, you can encourage your customers to make return visits. This can improve your site’s SEO, especially if your customers stick around on your site after making the action required of them. 

Best practices for transactional emails

To ensure a top-notch experience for both your business and your customers, the following ‘best practice’ tips are advised. 


Sure, you could send an email with a bland and basic design but what does that say about your business? 

Transactional emails don’t have to be boring, even if they do little more than give your customers simple pieces of information about their orders and accounts. Therefore, delight your customers with an attractive email that is pleasant to the eye, perhaps with the aid of our powerful and easy-to-use email designer, as you will convey a better image of your business. 

Mobile optimisation

According to online statistics, 60.9% of website traffic comes from mobile devices and 92.1% of internet users access the internet using their mobile phones. With these statistics in mind, don’t underestimate the number of people accessing your emails using their phones and tablets. 

Create a responsive design for your email template using Instiller so your emails look as good on a tablet or phone as they do on a desktop or laptop. 

CTA (Call-to-Action)

Encourage your customer to interact with your business with a call-to-action. 

You could list product recommendations on your order confirmation emails which is something Amazon does when emailing its customers. You could then encourage your customers to ‘click here’ underneath each of the products displayed. 

You could also ask your customers to visit your social media pages to write a review with a feedback email. Or you could provide links to pages on your website where they can receive more information about their recent order. By keeping the customer engaged, you are more likely to retain them for future business.


A transactional email that has been put together with little thought can ruin your brand image so use the design tools we offer to create attractive templates that share the colours and stylings that are already associated with your brand. 


Timing is everything when it comes to transactional emails. Customers get anxious when they don’t receive confirmation emails, and businesses experience hold-ups when they aren’t able to process orders because they are waiting for updated payment information. 

These are two of the reasons why your emails shouldn’t be delayed so ensure they are sent out quickly for the benefit of everybody involved in the communication. 

How to automate and set up transactional emails

It’s easy to automate and set up transactional emails with a high-quality email marketing platform.

 For more information, check out the features on our website and get in touch with our team if you would like to use our automated marketing services for your business. 

Wrapping up 

Transactional emails are a vital part of your marketing campaign. They aren’t always promotional but as they can engender feelings of trust within your customers about your business, you can expect a higher retention rate when you actively use these emails to relay important information. 

So, don’t overlook the importance of transactional emails and remember to focus on their design so you can best reflect your brand image. Talk to us if you would like to learn more and benefit from the services that we can offer you.

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