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What are Transactional Emails & How to Create Them?

Imagine placing an order online for something expensive, like a new phone or a laptop, but then you don’t receive an email confirming your order.

Uh-oh! That’s not good, right?

Where is the order? Did it get placed? Did you just lose money? What the heck is happening?!

These questions start running through your mind as you panic and try to refresh the page over and over again for some sign of confirmation.

Nobody ever wants to be in this situation. It causes confusion, panic, and loss of trust. And that’s all you need to lose a customer immediately.

This situation right here shows us exactly how important a transactional email is to every single customer out there.

Now that you have an idea of how crucial transactional emails are, let’s take a closer look at them and how to create them for your e-commerce business!

Ready to get started? Then jump right in!

What is a Transactional Email?

A man entering his details in an online ecommerce site

A transactional email is a type of automated email that is sent to an individual right after they engage in a commercial transaction or perform a specific action.

These actions or commercial transactions could be anything from purchases to account creation to password resets, and many more.

So those emails that you receive right after you change your password or confirm your order online or simply subscribe to a newsletter, are all transactional emails. Simple, right?

Since these emails are often triggered by actions, events, or interactions by an individual or a customer, they are also called ‘triggered emails’.

The main purpose of these transactional emails is to immediately provide you with all the necessary information about your customer experience with a company or a brand.

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Now that you know what transactional emails are, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of sending transactional emails to your customers.

Benefits of Sending Transactional Emails

A good customer experience begins with good communication. And the main objective or purpose of sending transactional emails is to establish this good communication by providing important information.

But there are more benefits to sending transactional emails.

1. Increases Customer Engagement

Studies show that transactional emails have higher open rates and click-through rates that are three times higher than non-transactional emails. This is because transactional emails contain crucial information about the customer’s interaction with a company or brand, as a result of which, most customers tend to engage with it more to stay informed.

Read more: 7 Types of Emails You Must Send to Your Customers!

2. Builds Customer Trust

Customer service employees

Since transactional emails instantaneously provide all the necessary information at every stage of a business transaction, the customers feel safe and informed about all their concerns and queries. This fosters a sense of trust and helps establish a positive relationship between the customer and the company.

3. Improves Sales

Sending transactional emails that include photos and descriptions of recent purchases and ads for similar products or services helps nudge the customers to purchase more goods. Seeing these newer products and offers might also result in the customer browsing your company website once again and creating wishlists for future transactions, which will ultimately help improve your future sales.

4. Fosters Brand Recognition

Each time you send a transaction email to your customers, you are subconsciously helping them familiarize themselves with your brand elements like your brand logo, brand colors, etc. Soon, the customer will become fully conscious of your brand and might even mention it while talking to a friend.

Now that you know the various benefits of sending a transactional email to your customers, let’s dive straight into the steps involved in creating one!

How to Create a Transactional Email?

Here are some of the best transactional email practices to optimize your transactional emails for the best results:

1. Use a Captivating Subject Line

A man writing an email

There’s no denying that the subject line is one of the most important aspects of an email. It is, after all, what captures the attention of your reader and prompts them to open your email. Therefore, it is extremely crucial that your transactional email subject line is eye-catching as well.

Chances are, your customer’s inbox is jam-packed with emails, which means you have a single shot at capturing them. So make sure that your subject line is clear and concise.

Personalize your subject line, not merely by using the recipients’ first names, but also by addressing them directly using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’.

The subject line is also the perfect place to be creative as well, so you can ask a question, use a single word, employ command words like ‘get’, ‘grab’, ‘find’, use data, etc., and more.

2. Optimize Preview Text

The preview text is a short summary text that comes right after the subject line while viewing an email from the inbox. This text is just as important as your subject line because it is literally the first sentence that your reader sees while skimming through their mails and is also a deciding factor in whether your email gets opened or not.

You can use your preview text space or preheader space to enhance or complement your subject line. If you want to optimize it further, you can get creative, give it some personality, or even add emojis.

Another way to make preview text effective is to use A/B testing to choose it because no single style or trend stays for too long.

Just make sure that the focus of your email is clear enough for the reader to get an idea of what information they will be getting from it.

3. Personalize Email Content

The reason customers click on a transactional email is that it contains all the important information about their transactions. It reassures them that their order is confirmed or payment is done. Hence, the content of your transactional email matters.

However, it should be direct and straight to the point, because no customer wants an unnecessarily long email that is full of irrelevant content. So try not to overdo your content and keep it as simple as possible. Stick with only the necessary action or information, such as order confirmation, cost, shipping information, ETA, and so on.

Since personalized emails have a higher click-through rate, it is highly recommended that you personalize your email content based on your customer’s purchase history. You can also help offer discounts and special offers in your transactional emails to encourage customers to stick around with your brand.

4. Add Marketing Content and CTA

A boy trying to ncrease his subscribers by using ctas

Now that the main information is conveyed, you can spice up your transactional email with information that might be useful or valuable to your customer.

You can add marketing content that nudges the customer towards taking an action. For example, “If you purchased these, then you might like these items too” OR “Follow us on these social media accounts” OR “Looking for a subscription? Try this!”.

Make your CTAs more compelling and attractive. You can do this by adding image CTAs or contextual CTA buttons and optimizing your CTAs for mobile devices as well.

Just ensure that your CTAs are clear enough for your customers to take immediate action.


The competition is tough and we are so busy trying to find new ways to attract customers and improve sales that we tend to forget to look at what’s right under our noses.

And transactional emails are the best example of it – something so frequent, yet often ignored.

That’s why we hope that this handy blog has helped you understand everything you need to know about transactional emails, their importance, and how to create them!

Now go out there and optimize your transactional emails for the best results! Good luck!

Further reads:

Top 11 Gmail Extensions for Email Marketing!

RSS to Email: Create Automated Email Newsletters Using RSS!

Reduce Your Email Bounce Rates using these 11 Tried & Tested Ways!

Drip Marketing: What is it & How to Do it?

How to Send a Responsive Email Newsletter via Intercom?

How To Write A Gentle Reminder Email? (Steps & Examples)

How To Keep Your Email Lists Squeaky Clean?

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