Some awesome examples of companies who have nailed their transactional emails.

Transactional emails are one of the highest converting you can send, but they can be challenging for marketers - however, this doesn’t mean you can’t create awesome transactional emails for your customers.

What is transactional email?

Have you purchased something online recently? Then it’s pretty likely you'll have received a transactional email within seconds of your purchase. Transactional emails most likely contain information the recipient wants to receive and are usually sent after an action has been triggered on a website or app. For example, a confirmation receipt after a purchase. By definition transactional emails are sent to people who are very engaged and can be amongst the highest performing a brand can send.

Types of transactional email:

Here are a few examples of transactional emails you might send or might have received from a brand:

  • ✅ Confirmation emails (e.g. flights, order confirmations)
  • 👋 Registration emails (opt-in confirmation emails, terms of service updates and receipt email)
  • 🛍️ Abandoned cart emails (e.g. you left something in your basket)
  • 🔐 Reset password confirmation
  • 🗣️ Feedback emails

Transactional emails often generate a lot of value for brands (Merkle reported that 64% of customers consider transactional emails to be the most valuable messages in their inbox 😱). It’s a great way to bring people to your site or return them to make a purchase - especially as these emails are sent when the user is most engaged. Therefore, it’s really important to not be intimidated by creating them.

Why creating transactional email is often a challenge for brands

Most transactional emails are triggered by customer activity, and they often need to pull in personalised data and dynamic content, for example purchase information, a newly generated confirmation code, or similar. That's why getting them set up is often more complex than creating your average promotional email. On top of that, there's additional challenges that tend to complicate the process of setting up and maintaining your transactional emails:

  • They are managed outside of the email teams, usually sitting within the development or IT teams. Being managed by other teams often makes them harder to update, which leads to them being outdated, having HTML issues, or off-brand.
  • As transactional emails are triggered by behaviour on the website or app, they are often focused on data — and the brand experience and customer journey from a marketing perspective is often just a second thought, if it’s considered at all.
  • The data that transactional email relies on isn’t made available to the sending tool — at least in a timely manner.
  • These emails are sent by a different sending tool — often transactional emails are not even sent with an Email Service Provider (ESP), but directly from the brand’s website infrastructure.
  • Amends can take longer than in the normal email process due to them sitting in a separate team and marketing only having limited control over them..

Why it’s important to keep your transactional emails updated

It's super important to keep your transactional emails up to date. Firstly, email clients often make changes to how they render email code. This needs to be QA’d regularly to ensure that the email your customers are receiving are being shown correctly.

Another important consideration is that links can often change as your website is updated, so making sure the links in your email still work is critical if you want your transactional emails to do their job.

Plus, with transactional emails being a crucial part of your subscribers' experience with your brand, it is crucial to ensure that those comply with your brand standards. Only when you review them regularly you can ensure that copy, design, and content is still on-brand.

Examples of great transactional emails

There are so many great examples of transactional emails on Really Good Emails you can take inspiration from. Here are a few we love:

Your order has been shipped (MeUndies)

MeUndies do a great job of providing all the information a customer who has recently purchased a product wants to receive. A few good things to note are:

  • Consistent branding and messaging: Clearly notifying the customer their order is on its way (which we all want to know) plus, using an on-brand illustration of a delivery van is a nice touch but also makes the email immediately recognisable to the reader.
  • Clearly labelled information: tracking number, order number and a clear CTA provided for the customer to navigate to if they want to track their parcel.
  • Relevant personalised information: personalisation fields added for their name, address and purchase history pulled in from the database
  • Chance to repurchase: Use the opportunity for customers to refer a friend and get a discount on their next purchase.


Login confirmation code (Whereby)

Forgetting your password is an easy mistake to make, but often it’s when you want to make a quick purchase or sign in. Ensuring you get a password reset or login confirmation quickly is important. Whereby (via Really Good Emails) do this really nicely, with a clear, easy-to-paste login code added to the email. The email is really simple but serves its purpose - they also have provided an easy next step in case this code doesn’t work. This means the user won’t need to search for a support email elsewhere if they need help. And to top it off, it's all signed off by the Whereby team in their branded font, keeping it all consistent with their branding and reassuring the reader that it isn’t a phishing attempt.


Confirmation receipt (Airbnb)

Shoutout to Airbnb (via Really Good Emails) for always creating on-brand, mobile responsive emails. Plus, they are one of our awesome customers so we are slightly biased! But here’s a few things Airbnb do really well in this confirmation email:

  • Imagery of the product purchased: this makes the email itself engaging and easy to navigate through - especially if viewing on a mobile device. It’s nice they also added an image of the host, making it a more personable experience.
  • Clear CTAs: Want to check out your itinerary on the website/app or make changes? Airbnb makes this easy for you to do, without having to click on multiple links as the options have already been given to you.
  • All the information you need in one place: You could actually screenshot or bookmark this email as it has everything you need from the address of the property, to the hosts contact details and check out times. This is really valuable information which customers don’t want to go on multiple links to find.
  • Referral options: This is a great opportunity for Airbnb to bring in new customers, by offering a discount to refer a friend and get money off your next purchase.
  • Activities to do whilst there: Everyone loves a recommendation, especially in a city they might not have been to which is what makes this super helpful to the reader.


Getting started with your transactional emails

Manage your Email Design System in Taxi and ensure that all your emails — whether it's promotional campaigns or transactional emails — are on brand. Plus, our intuitive email editor and personalisation features help everyone on your team to create and maintain error-free, great-looking emails, no HTML skills required. Get started using Taxi today!

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