Traditional/Marketing Emails Vs. Transactional Emails

January 15, 2021Read time:19 min read

Our inbox is always filled with various types of emails. Most of the businesses utilize two types of emails: Standard/traditional emails or transactional emails. From the point of view of the users, customers; these two types of emails are differentiated on the basis of their content. However, the fact is that marketing or traditional emails and transactional emails differ in the way in which they are sent. Traditional emails and transactional emails serve certain specific use cases.

The reason why you need to know about the differences between the traditional emails and transactional emails is because this will help you to be more efficient with your email marketing and you will have better opportunities of having your emails land in the inbox of your prospects where they are supposed to be. Transactional email is a very crucial type of email that you might not be optimizing and it’s really important for you to know what this email format can do for you.

What Are Transactional Emails?

Transactional emails are also known as ‘triggered’ emails as these emails are generated through a user’s interaction with a web app. These emails are automatically crated when you fill out a form on the internet, complete an online shopping transaction or apply for a password reset and so on. Such emails are machine generated and they differ on the basis of rules set on the basis of the customer’s action. Transactional emails are basically one-to-one emails related to a particular transaction or process that triggered the email. Generally transaction emails are sent through SMTP relay or through API.

Common Types Of Transactional Emails:

  • Password reset
  • Email receipts
  • Order confirmations
  • Information about shipping
  • Any other non-promotional notifications (like paycheck notifications)
  • Invoice emails
  • Reminder emails

Transactional Email Example:

Image Courtesy: Really Good Emails

Why Is Sending Transactional Emails Better Than Sending Traditional Or Marketing Emails?
Advantages Of Transactional Emails

Builds Customer Trust

Customers are always satisfied with a company that provides important information at every stage of the business transaction. Transactional emails empower the customers and address the crucial questions and concerns. As a result of this, respect, trust and confidence is created for the company.

Increased Customer Engagement

Transactional emails consists of personal one to one customer approach that invites interaction. This interaction my lead to a higher participation and social engagement.

Boost In Sales

When customers see the pictures and details of their recent purchase, along with mentions of similar products or related products, they might want to buy more products and they might want to buy something that they wanted to but didn’t. Customers might also want to browse the website again to look for more options to buy.

Brand Recognition

The new customers might not remember the brand elements of the company while making the purchase. However, when they receive an order confirmation along with the brand logo, and then the shipping notice arrives later, the customers become aware of the brand and notice the important elements like the brand logo and the brand tagline. As a result of this, the customers are more likely to consider the same company while making a purchase next time.

Email Delivery

One of the most important things about a transactional email is that it never ends up in the spam folder of the recipient’s mailbox. An SMTP or a general marketing email might get bounced or go to the spam folder, but this will never happen with a transactional email. Therefore, if you personalize the transactional emails, people will notice them and you will be able to create a great impact. Besides, for a standard email, there is no tracking available, once you send the email, you never know where it landed in the inbox or if it was read or not. However, in case of a transactional email, you can track the email till it is delivered and read. You will be able to keep a track about when the email was delivered and when it was read by the recipient. 


The most crucial advantage of transactional emails is the personal touch. Even though it’s an automated message, it is individually sent to all your subscribers instead of a mass delivery that generally happens with email marketing.

Increased Convenience

Misplacing a password can be really frustrating. Carrying a physical receipt is complicated and dealing with unexpected changes is complicated as well. Therefore, the use of transactional emails is preferred as they are delivered on time and help in adding convenience and simplicity to your customer’s lives.


In order to be effective and to get the best results, you need to take behavioral data into consideration. From this point, you will be able to create value by sending a real invite to individual users for taking part in a conversation with a business brand. Your customers will be grateful to you and they will appreciate your efforts for delivering complete value.

What Are Marketing/Traditional (SMTP) Emails?

Marketing or a traditional email is any email that comprises of a commercial message or any content that is intended for a commercial purpose (i.e. for nurturing the leads). Marketing emails are generally sent to a group of contacts that are prospects or customers. Marketing emails are not in accordance with the inputs given by the customers, but they are pre-decided by the sender. While you can send these emails through SMTP relay or Web API, but basically, the purpose and content of these emails is different as compared to the transactional emails.

Common Types Of Marketing Emails:

  • Welcome emails
  • Promotional and sales emails
  • Newsletters
  • Promoting an upcoming event
  • Lead nurturing emails
  • Sponsorship emails
  • Double opt-in email

Generally, the aim of marketing or traditional emails is to get the users to perform some action like making a purchase or downloading some information. The delivery of the marketing emails is planned at a pre-configured time and they are sent to the prospects or customers who have opted to receive the emails.

Marketing Email

Image Courtesy: Really Good Emails

The Top 10 Transactional Email Service Providers Include:

Benefits Of Marketing / SMTP Emails

Delivering Targeted Emails

Email marketers go one step further by sending marketing emails to the subscribers who meet a specific criteria. Marketing or the standard SMTP emails can be sent to targeted audience who are already interested in your products or services. One of the greatest benefits of marketing or targeted emails is audience segmentation that works amazingly for the brands.


The marketing list generally comprises of people who have actively accepted to receive email notifications from you. You are sending emails to the customers who are interested in your offerings and therefore they are likely to give a more positive response for it.


You can make use of the SMTP email marketing platform for reaching out to a larger audience or for reaching out to the smaller targeted email lists.


When you send targeted marketing emails with relevant content it’s easy for people to share and forward your email content. This provides an opportunity to build your reputation through viral marketing. This helps in influencing the new customers for becoming your brand followers.


It is clear that the transactional emails provide better opportunities and have higher chances of getting read. Sending transactional emails creates strong customer relationships and a positive perception of your brand. Transactional emails are catalysts to email marketing automation.

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