6 Benefits of Transactional Emails You Shouldn’t Ignore

Email marketing has been a powerful tool for businesses for many years.

Its incredibly high return on investment (ROI) makes email marketing the most cost-effective marketing technique for businesses of all sizes.

It also allows companies to reach out directly to their customers on their email list, share important information and promotions, and build a stronger relationship with their audience.

However, an aspect of any good email marketing strategy that is sometimes overlooked is transactional emails.

Transactional emails are an important tool in any email marketer’s toolbelt and have many benefits that most people won’t utilize, leaving potential revenue on the table.

Before I get into the benefits of said transactional emails, I want to clarify what a transactional email is (and isn’t ) in the first place. So…

What is a transactional email?

As per another article I’ve written about what a transactional email is, a transactional email is an email sent to a user in response to an action taken by that user, like creating an account or making a purchase.

Transactional emails contain information specific to each user and are sent to individuals one at a time. Here are a few examples:

  • Welcome emails
  • Account creation emails
  • Password reset emails
  • Subscription confirmation emails
  • Order confirmation emails
  • Payment receipt emails
  • Shipping emails

Transactional emails are emails that users should expect to receive when they complete an action, again such as creating an account on a website or making a purchase. They may contain important information, such as passwords or order confirmation & shipping details.

What transactional emails aren’t are marketing emails.

Marketing emails are sent by one person to many people as opposed to transactional emails which are sent by one person to another person.

Transactional emails can contain marketing content along with the information provided, but the main purpose of a transactional email isn’t the marketing itself.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are 6 benefits of transactional emails:

1. Delivering Timely and Relevant Information

The best example of this benefit is the transparency it creates for the customer after they’ve made a purchase.

The customer gets a payment confirmation with all of the important details like an itemized list, quantity, pricing, and payment details; after that, the customer can get shipping notifications and watch their purchase make its way to them.

Finally, they get an arrival email once their order has been fulfilled and has arrived at the correct location.

By delivering timely and relevant information like this with transactional emails, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to transparent and efficient communication.

This does well to increase customer trust, reduce customer inquiries or concerns, and enhance the overall customer experience.

2. Building Trust and Confidence

As I touched on in the previous benefit, transparency and relevant communication can make a company seem much more accessible to a customer, increasing the chance that they’ll go with that company when making a purchase.

This helps establish a positive perception of the brand and fosters trust with the recipient, potentially leading to another purchase down the line.

3. Driving Customer Engagement

Transactional emails create opportunities for customer engagement.

By including relevant content or personalized recommendations in these emails, businesses can encourage customers to take additional actions or explore other products or services.

This engagement can lead to increased customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and ultimately, higher revenue.

4. Upselling & Cross-Selling

As I mentioned earlier, a transactional email isn’t a marketing email because they aren’t sent with the intent to push someone toward making a purchase; they’re sent in response to an action a user takes.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little bit of marketing to those transactional emails.

For example, if someone has just made a purchase with your brand, you could include some related or complementary products in their purchase confirmation emails to recapture that already-engaged customer and get them to buy another product on top of their first purchase.

This is the most effective way to increase the average order value of a customer and can result in a significant increase in revenue without just getting more customers to buy from you.

Additionally, if a customer bites and you succeed in your upselling or cross-selling, that’s a simple way to increase brand loyalty if the customer is satisfied with their purchases and you’ve sold them on another related product. Thus, if they need another product you sell, they’ll be more likely to buy from you than another brand.

5. Improving Customer Experience

Because transactional emails are triggered by customer actions they are inherently personalized, which creates a more individualized experience with your brand for your customers.

Personalization is a key factor in creating effective email campaigns outside of transactional emails, so the fact that transactional emails are inherently personalized means that your brand has a personalized and direct route for communication whenever a customer completes an action like signing up for a newsletter or confirming an order.

Additionally, transactional emails like receipts or purchase confirmations are a great time to engage with customers with order review requests, feedback surveys, or exclusive offers to create a dialogue that encourages further engagement, which should aim to improve customer experience.

By delivering a smooth and positive experience through transactional emails, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

6. Generating Valuable Data & Insights

As with all your emails, transactional emails generate valuable data and insights about customer behavior and preferences.

Overall, transactional emails have higher open rates compared to marketing emails since they contain important information that customers anticipate. By tracking open rates, businesses can gauge the effectiveness of subject lines and the overall appeal of their transactional emails.

Plus, since transactional emails are more likely to be opened than marketing emails, they are valuable real estate for things like upselling or cross-selling, as mentioned earlier.

While tracking metrics like open rates, CTR, and bounce rates aren’t as important with transactional emails as it is with marketing emails, it’s still important to keep an eye on these metrics which can still create insightful data.

7. Ensuring Compliance & Legal Requirements

This isn’t exactly a benefit, but it is a necessity and will keep your business running if you follow the relevant guidelines.

Transactional emails such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, and receipts are not only valuable for customers but are also necessary to comply with consumer protection laws.

Emails like these provide proof of transaction details including purchase amounts, shipping addresses, and other crucial information.

Additionally, with the introduction of data privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses must ensure that personal data is handled and communicated securely.

Transactional emails that include privacy policy updates, consent confirmations, or account security notifications help businesses comply with such regulations while maintaining customer trust.


This is not an exhaustive list, and there are likely many more benefits that I haven’t mentioned here. However, something very important with transactional emails is the service you go with.

I’ve written an article about the best transactional email services; if you liked this article, I’d recommend you check out some of the best transactional email services as well.