(Updated 2019) Transactional Emails vs Marketing Emails – Pepipost
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(Updated 2019) Transactional Emails vs Marketing Emails – Pepipost

Published : June 4, 2018
Transactional Emails vs Marketing Emails - Pepipost

Marketing emails are sent strategically to subscribers (one-to-many) who have opted-in for your brand’s content. For example Newsletters, Ads. Transactional emails are triggered due to user action and sent exclusively (one-to-one). For example Invoice, bank statements.   

With this brief definition, let’s get into the details.

What are Transactional Emails?

A user’s action triggers a transactional email. These emails are usually automatically generated. They occur when you fill out a form, do a payment, check-out online, ask for a password reset, sign up on a website, etc. These emails are generated and are rule-based. Transactional emails are sent through SMTP relay or Email API.

Read our blog: If you are an enterprise and you send transaction emails, follow the best practices in sending transactional emails.

Examples of Transactional Emails

Here are a few examples of Transactional Emails:

Updates about online shopping – this includes emails informing you that your order has been shipped, out for delivery and delivered.

Transactional Email
Transactional Email

Social media updates – Updates on your social account which include new messages received. Other examples include;  pending notifications on Facebook, answer questions and see followers in Quora, notifications on LinkedIn, etc.

Changes in the basic information of your account – like password changes or resetting.

Reminder emails for loans or repayment 

Remember that transactional emails are the ones that you are expecting.  You should swiftly deliver them, without any delay. You can build a better email reputation by following the best practices for transactional emails.

Also, as an enterprise, you should be careful with some common but deadly mistakes while sending transactional emails.

What are Marketing Emails?

Marketing emails differ from transactional emails due to their content and their method of sending. The sender decides what to send. You can use SMTP Relay or Web API based platforms to send these emails. But most marketers will want added functionality from campaign management programs, including email list upload, template builder, segmentation, etc. The main purpose of these emails is to market to customers and/or spread awareness regarding the latest activities or trends in the business.

Effective marketing email campaigns following best practices:

  • You have explicit consent from the recipient
  • You don’t bombard them with too many emails, maintaining a healthy email sending frequency
  • Send only to your subscribers and do not purchase email lists (learn about the hazards of buying email lists)

With the advent of regulations and laws like CAN-SPAM and the recent GDPR legislation, it’s important that you follow the best practices and are compliant with the laws and regulations for email. Also, ensure that your sending domain isn’t part of any of the 100+ email blocklist databases so you reach your customer inboxes.

Examples of Marketing Emails

Here is a weekly newsletter from Cole Haan:


Luciana sends promotional emails before their sales.


Required Practices When Sending Transactional Emails and Marketing Emails

No matter what type of email you are sending, your email needs to meet the following requirements. It will give you the assurance that your emails are effective. This allows you to derive maximum benefits out of them:

  • Your customers want personalized emails. You can base personalization on their past browsing and shopping habits of your customers. Use their name and location when you can.
  • Monitor the performance of the emails. Take effective measures to optimize your emails.
  • Do not spam their inbox by sending repetitive emails. Send relevant emails; sending the same thing over again is insanity by definition! You need to send relevant fresh emails that will keep customers from opting out. Then, your emails will not be marked as spam.

For a business to grow well, you need to send both marketing emails as well as transactional emails. Be sure to check out our consulting services if you need some help with your email strategy.

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