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What’s the difference between a marketing email and transactional email?

Transactional emails vs marketing emails

What’s the difference between a marketing email and transactional email?

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.

Both email services come with their own functions, objectives, and strategies. And if you’re an eCommerce website, there’s a good chance that you will be using both for your business. While marketing emails definitely require your focus and attention, you should also pay attention to the transactional emails. But what’s what and why does it matter?

What is a Marketing email?

Marketing emails come with many objectives, including brand awareness, conversion, engagement, and list building. Their strategy can change from month to month and it often needs to be adapted to the needs and the behavior of the customers.

Types of marketing emails include anything from newsletters, event invites, product updates, announcements, or dedicated send (sent to only a specific group of people that would benefit from such event/product).

The strategy for marketing emails includes testing out subject lines and conducting A/B tests to find out what your customers react to best. Marketing email platforms also come with specific automation functions like the date trigger, abandoned cart, welcome messages, and more.

Marketing emails come with plenty of cons, but they all depend on the company’s knowledge of email marketing. An email marketer has to be proactive and must know how to develop strategies that will quickly benefit the company and improve the ROI.

What is a Transactional email?

Companies often think transactional emails are completely unnecessary and far too many fail to personalize those emails. Transactional emails are order confirmations, follow-ups, information about shipping, opt-in emails, password reset emails, thank you emails, and more. Transactional email service is mainly automated by a system trigger, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected.

In fact, paying more attention to those emails can easily increase your conversion rates in no time. Check out an example of awesome companies that have totally nailed their transactional messages and brought bigger brand awareness to their business just by personalizing the service.

Subscription confirmation email:

Order and shipping confirmation:

So what’s the point of transactional emails?

Transactional service comes with plenty of pros and cons, especially if you use a platform like LeaderSend powered by Mailigen that was specifically designed to handle transactional functions of your email. But the number one reason many people are using platforms for transactional emails is deliverability.

No one wants to get their emails sent in a spam folder or the ‘promotions’ section where they never get read. Transactional services usually guarantee deliverability of 99% of the emails you sent to your clients. This can lead to an increase in engagement, conversion, and, ultimately, brand awareness.

But many state that transactional emails can fall short in areas such as brand loyalty, cross-selling, and the lack of being proactive. While that’s definitely true, platforms like LeaderSend have developed tools such as real-time reports, API integration, and personalization that allow you to make the best out of your emails. You can sign up for a free trial of LeaderSend transactional email service here.

Do transactional emails need an unsubscribe button?

Transactional emails are not sequenced or repetitive. Instead, they are triggered by a certain action of an individual. Therefore, there is no need to unsubscribe from these emails.

Many businesses make the conscious decision to still add buttons to their transactional emails so users can potentially change their email preferences, which adds as a great customer oriented way of thinking, without turning the email into promotional content.

Examples Of Transactional Email vs Marketing Email.

When it comes to marketing emails, there are no templates set in stone. Your creativity will be doing all the work and the goal of the campaign will determine what the body of text will include.

Here is an example of a well-written marketing email:

  1. Start the email by asking the reader “yes questions”. These questions make the reader answer positively, leading him to read further in the email. You have his attention.

    Continue by providing information that hits emotional triggers, to identify with your readers’ problems and show that you care. This is the key to turn your offer into true value.

After talking about the problem, offer the solution by marketing a product. In this case, the sender of the email has an info-product that she sells to young women who want to become personal trainers. As you can see, the email does contain a lot of value, since it is mentioned that early sign-ups can save up to $388.

Essentially, marketing emails have two purposes:

  • To increase or stimulate engagement from subscribers
  • To provide valuable information while promoting products and/or services

There are many types of transactional emails you come across in your inbox. Now that you know what is a transactional email, it would be a good idea to see some of the most popular examples:

  • Cart abandonment
  • Order confirmation
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Customer feedback
  • Password reset
  • Notification emails

What do you think? What were some of the unexpected benefits you’ve received from marketing and transactional emails? Let us know and let’s discuss!

What’s the difference between a marketing email and transactional email?
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