Transactional emails are a big buzzword in the world of eCommerce. They’re emails you hardly notice or pay attention to, but if they don’t exist, we immediately suspect something is wrong. But they’re not your regular marketing emails. There’s a huge difference between a marketing email platform like Mailigen and a transactional email platform like LeaderSend and in this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both services.
By the end of this article, you should be able to tell the difference between the two services and identify the benefits and functions of both, marketing emails and transactional emails.
Transactional Email vs Marketing Email.
Before we look at some examples, let’s quickly define the two types of email.
Transactional emails contain information that’s unique to each recipient. They’re usually triggered by a user action on a website or an app, and prompt individuals to complete a transaction or process; e.g. password resets. But they can also be purely informational; e.g. monthly statements. They aim to extend an existing customer relationship.
Marketing emails are sometimes referred to as commercial emails because they contain marketing and promotional content. They aim to get you to take action; e.g. make a purchase, download information. They’re delivered strategically at a pre-configured time to a list of prospects or customers that have opted-in to receive more information.
The key difference is that transactional emails are sent on a one-to-one basis and, as a result, they tend to have higher open-rates than marketing emails, which are sent on a one-to-many basis.
Both transactional and marketing email use automation to deliver emails based on a predefined trigger or event.
What is a Marketing email
Marketing email (also known as commercial or promotional email) as defined by the CAN-SPAM Act is any message in which the primary purpose “advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose.” Examples of marketing emails include newsletters, email promotions, coupons, and special offers. Essentially, marketing email attempts to encourage the recipient to take an action such as making a purchase, downloading content, registering for a service, attending an event, or visiting a store. Since the intent of marketing email is to promote a commercial product or service, it must adhere to certain legal requirements defined in the CAN-SPAM Act that were specifically developed to protect consumers and help senders provide the best possible email experience.
Following email best practices in your marketing emails can yield great rewards and doesn’t have to be difficult. The 2012 DMA Client Benchmark Report reveals that email marketing ROI yields. Those numbers are hard to ignore! So how do you create effective and ROI positive marketing emails? Great content along with quality sending and data collection practices present prime opportunities for marketing email to yield high response rates that drive your customer acquisition strategy.
Transactional emails are system-triggered emails sent to a user by a company’s app or website based on that specific user’s activity. As consumers, we interact with these emails almost on a daily basis: password resets, order confirmations, log in details, shipping notifications, flight confirmations, cart abandonment alerts, and more.
Due to the critical content inside these emails, transactional emails are the most highly engaging emails that businesses send. Research shows transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue. This makes sense when you think about the last time you received a flight confirmation, for example, You probably bookmarked the email, re-opened it several times before the flight, and may have even printed it or forwarded it to your family and friends.
Furthermore, the elements marketers are accustomed to leveraging in their marketing email efforts—real-time reporting, cross-sell/upsell, mobile optimization, and more—are simply unavailable with transactional email. Where traditional email marketing has become an exercise in precision, transactional email has seen little innovation.