Transactional email vs. email marketing: when to use each one?
Pablo Díaz · 15 Dec, 2022 · Email Marketing · 3 min
You are likely to have received different types of emails from an online store with different looks and for different reasons. This is probably because that business is making use of transactional emails and email marketing, two strategies that any digital business should be aware of and use.
In this article, we will look at the differences between these types of emails, what they consist of and how you can use them in your strategy with a view to boosting sales.
Two types of email with one objective: to boost sales
Let’s start with the first.
What is a transactional email?
A transactional email is an email that is sent to a user because they are expecting it. In other words, a specific action has been taken on the website or application that triggers the email being sent.
They are also known as trigger emails because they are sent when an event or action occurs.
That email is usually of an informative nature or requests a very specific action to be taken.
Let’s take a look at some examples. A transactional email could be sent to:
- Activate an account
- Notify a new registration
- Confirm an order
- Request a change of password
- Attach a purchase invoice
A few that you have received recently will surely come to mind.
One of the characteristics of transactional emails is the open rate. As it is an email that the user expects to receive, it usually has an open rate of over 95% compared to the average of 30% for email marketing campaigns.
So, are transactional emails a type of email marketing? No, not at all. Let’s look at what a email marketing is so that you can understand it.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a bulk email campaign that targets a group of contacts, usually a subscriber list or a database.
These recipients are generally potential customers or the customers themselves, and each campaign is sent with the objective of achieving an action that usually results in a conversion.
Some examples of these emails are newsletters that are sent to:
- Read a new piece of content
- Discover new products
- Offer exclusive promotions
- Share testimonials from other customers
In this blog we have discussed email marketing, I encourage you to learn more about it in this guide we have drawn up.
Differences between a transactional email and email marketing
Now that we have looked at what each type of email consists of and some examples, I leave you with this comparison table that will surely help you to get a better insight into the differences between transactional emails and email marketing.
SMTP server: the best way to send transactional emails
It’s time to get into the nitty gritty so you know how you can send each type of email.
Email marketing campaigns can be carried out with any email marketing service provider such as Acumbamail.
On a technical level, there is not much to configure to start launching your email marketing campaigns.
However, sending transactional emails does require some technical configuration.
To start with, you need an SMTP server which is responsible for receiving, transferring and sending messages with the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
I know. You may be getting bored at this point so I recommend reading more about SMTP servers in this article, which looks at it in greater detail.
The main advantages of using an SMTP server to send your transactional emails are:
- Good deliverability
- High delivery speed
- Customised configuration to put in place whatever conditions you want
- Statistics and dispatch details
Your own or an external SMTP server?
If your company has its own technical team, you should look into setting up your own server. However, if you want to avoid problems and outsource this infrastructure, the best thing would be to hire an external SMTP server through an email marketing service provider.
At Acumbamail, we also offer this transactional email service to streamline maintenance and automate these important email campaigns for your business.
To sum up
I hope you have gained a better insight into what sets the two types of emails apart.
You will likely need to use both in your online store or digital business. Nevertheless, bear in mind that, regardless of your project, having a list of users to get in contact with is key to boosting sales. At the end of the day, anyone who sets up a business is looking for just that.