Transactional Emails and Marketing Emails. What’s the difference.


The number of received and sent emails in 2020 exceeded 300 billion. If they aren't plain spam, they have a specific purpose and are designed with the desired outcome in mind. There are many different types of emails, but transactional and marketing emails stand out.

What is the most common reason for this categorization to be discussed? What are the differences between each form of email, how can one learn to recognise them at a glance, and, most importantly, what are the distinguishing characteristics of each?

It is required to study each notion separately and define its key purposes in order to comprehend this. Then it will be evident what they have in common.

The Transactional Email

This email is sent in response to a specific action on the website. It provides the functions of verifying a purchase, registering, submitting an application, and any other action, and is virtually usually tailored depending on the obtained information about the user.

Some instances are as follows:

Such emails are not sent in bulk; instead, they are launched in response to a specific user action. Customers and the actions they have performed or that effect them are the key focus. Transactional emails are used to inform users that something has happened. The email always includes the support service's contact information in case subscribers have any issues, but it is not a means of communication in and of itself.

What qualities should a transactional letter contain so that the reader doesn't get a negative informational aftertaste or feel compelled to use the services of another firm next time?

You won't have any problems with transactional emails if you include all of these conditions in your email system. Unfortunately, there are numerous email marketing platforms available, but each one is incomplete. The editor isn't flexible enough; there are gaps in automation, and the service's costs are exorbitant.

Email automation is worth a mention because it is critical to the timely delivery of transactional emails. There are two types of automation: time-based and behavior-based. The first allows you to send the required emails at a certain time, such as alerting members that a training course's low-cost session ends in two days. The second allows for the automated sending of emails in response to client actions. These are, for example, the well-known reminders that you added a product to your cart but did not complete your purchase.

The Marketing Email

This email contains promotional content that pushes recipients to act.

Typically, such mailings are sent in bulk, with the expectation that at least some of the recipients will do the desired action: click on the link, download the material, register, and so on. Unlike the previous type, when a letter is delivered after an action, this type is sent in the hopes that a person would take action soon

Here are a couple of examples:

Marketing emails are sent on a regular basis, such as once a week or once a month, to make an offer or provide readers with useful information that answers queries and elegantly directs them to the relevance of your product or service.

Marketing emails, unlike transactional emails, allow you to unsubscribe and reply. If the option to send a response isn't very appealing, the "unsubscribe" button is a must-have for this type of correspondence. This is the most critical guideline of email marketing hygiene and the newsletter axiom, which the CAN-SPAM Act considers a must-have.

People often do not anticipate receiving a marketing letter; unlike a transactional letter, it is not a pressing requirement for them. As a result, it is critical to write such a letter in order to captivate readers and hook them with something potentially valuable to them.

The structure of a successful marketing email varies based on the goal: encourage people to buy, direct them to a blog, provide a link to a file, and so on. Some of the requirements are the same as for transactional emails, such as device flexibility and minimalist design.

Among other things, the following should be noted:

Remember that just because a marketing email isn't as customised as a transactional email doesn't imply it should be treated as such. Both types of emails are necessary since one helps you retain existing clients while the other helps you gain new ones' trust.

Blurring The Lines

Although transactional emails are not subject to known anti-spam laws such as CASL, GDPR or the CAN-SPAM Act, due to them being notification emails, this can change when you start adding marketing tactics inside. This could include a discount coupon for your next purchase. This is considered a marketing step and makes the email vulnerable to anti-spam laws.

When writing transactional emails with a small marketing aftertaste, you must follow a few rules to avoid being penalised and getting into legal trouble:

In any event, you should get familiar with your local anti-spam legislation and ensure that there are no additional requirements or limits. If these limits make adding marketing information to a transactional email too difficult, it's preferable to abandon up and let each type of email execute its own role without blurring the lines.


Both forms of letters are encountered in everyday life. Modern tools enable you to set up email campaigns so that important emails come at the proper time and don't make the recipient want to delete them. All you have to do is put yourself in the shoes of the client and figure out what information and when they anticipate it. Mailings that are timely and relevant will help you gain new consumers and keep existing ones loyal.

Posted on

Similar Articles

Rated 4.9/5 by 560 happy customers

Subscribe to our weekly
email newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit..