We receive transactional emails all the time. Most brands treat them as the cost of doing business and don’t invest a lot of time or effort into them, which is a mistake.

Whether it’s a marketing one or a transactional one, every email should be looked at as an opportunity to provide useful information to your audience and customers. Here are five transactional emails that unlock the hidden potential of transactional emails.

Transactional Emails Defined

Before we dive in, here’s a quick reminder of what we’re talking about when we say “transactional email.”

A transactional email is typically a confirmation message sent to people after they’ve taken an action on your site. There are many kinds, but the most common transactional emails confirm a purchase or shipment, update you on the status of a support request, and help you reset a forgotten password.

Transactional emails have massive open rates, so they are the perfect opportunity to get an additional message seen by your audience. Yes, you need to include the information people were requesting or looking for, but it doesn’t mean you can’t include other useful information. When you do it right, you can provide tremendous value to customers without alienating or annoying them.

Here are five brands that are using their transactional emails to accomplish multiple goals.

5 Compelling Transactional Emails You Can Steal From

Most brands send different kinds of transactional emails, so here are a few that demonstrate how well they combine transactional emails with additional messages or calls-to-action.

1. Spotify

This email warns a user about unusual activity on their account, specifically, a login from an unfamiliar location to that account.

Spotify transactional email - suspicious login activity

The email identifies the issue, and if the user agrees that it was not them trying to access their account, gives detailed instructions on how to further protect their account. It’s crucial for ensuring user security and maintaining user trust in the platform.

Spotify marketers then took the opportunity to remind users they can install the app on various devices. They include the links to download the app for other operating systems and devices at the bottom of the email.


2. Hulu

Hulu uses their account deletion confirmation emails to ensure people meant to delete the account and also help them reactivate it if they did it by accident. We usually see this type of transactional email after unsubscribing from an email newsletter, however, Hulu makes good use of it here.

Hulu transactional email - Delete account

They acknowledge the account deletion and also remind customers of all their programming, in case that’s enough to sway them back. Also, they encourage reactivations with a simple green button right in the email and include links to their support page in case the user is deleting the account because they couldn’t find the answer to a question.

3. Macy’s

Many online retailers offer discounts as part of their shopping cart abandonment marketing. Macy’s also offers one after people create an account on their site or sign up for their email newsletter.

Macy's transactional email

It’s part of their double-optin process for confirming accounts and subscriptions. So when someone opts in to their newsletter, they’ll get a message like the one above. The discount is a small value proposition for completing the signup, a discount on their first order. This gets people shopping immediately and gets them looking at products they’ll love right away.

If the reader’s not interested in making a purchase right away, the email encourages them to finish signing up by asking to confirm their email address (“I’m In!”)

Macy's transactional email - Discount code

Another transactional email (a welcome email) confirms the subscription and discount code, encouraging people to shop right away. The copy at the top creates a sense of exclusivity for Macy’s shoppers,so they feel special about the discount. Plus, they’re given several opportunities to start shopping immediately, with the link at the top of the email and the big “Shop Now” button at the bottom.

4. All Birds

All Birds uses a simple transactional email to confirm orders.

All Birds Transactional email

The email confirms the order’s necessary details and provides a quick link to track the order. This makes it easy for customers to check in on it without logging into the site, saving people time and effort.

Not only is the email informational, but it also matches All Birds’ design and messaging, delivering a memorable experience that reinforces their brand personality and values. People who shop with All Birds do so because of their mission and values, so it’s good to include them in all transactional emails.

5. Squarespace

Feedback is essential from your audience, but it can be challenging to obtain, especially if you don’t have the chance to send many transactional emails. So it’s essential to take advantage of the ones you do have, such as after a customer support interaction.

Squarespace transactional email

Squarespace uses this transactional email to confirm that their customer care team has resolved the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. Then, they ask for feedback about the response right away by explaining why they’re asking for feedback. Typically, these requests ask “tell us how we did” and put the onus on customers to provide the feedback.

By explaining that they’re “constantly striving to provide excellent service,” it brings that responsibility back to Squarespace. Plus, they encourage customers to respond by saying it’s a “brief customer survey,” so people know that they won’t be required to spend a lot of time doing it. There’s nothing more frustrating than agreeing to a survey and finding out it’ll take 15 minutes to complete.

Transactional emails don’t have to be boring or only include one piece of information. Brands today are using them to provide more value to customers and people interested in them. They’re visually appealing and contain useful information people can use to continue the relationship with the brand.

Use these examples to create stunning transactional emails of your own and improve your engagement rates today.

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