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What is the difference between marketing and transactional email
What is the difference between marketing and transactional email

Depending on the type of mail you send, your approach to designing and deploying your email campaigns may change.

Support Team avatar
Written by Support Team
Updated over a week ago

Here are some tips to help you understand what type of mail you send and  how you may best optimize your campaign management to produce the best results possible.

Marketing email

Marketing emails are varied and come in many forms. They generally include any email that is sent for commercial purposes. For example, this might include an email that is designed to encourage a subscriber to make a purchase, inquire about more information, download content, or learn about a promotion or temporary deal.

Here are some types of emails that generally fall into the marketing category:

  • email newsletters,

  • promotions, deals, offers,

  • sales emails, inquiries.

Transactional email

Transactional emails differ in that they are email generated as a response to a particular action done by the subscriber. They may have made a purchase, added a friend, asked for more information, updated information on their account, requested reminders or made other types of direct action that then triggers a follow-up email that is connected to that action.

Here are some emails that tend to fall into the transactional category:

  • account changes or updates,

  • purchase receipts or invoices,

  • tracking notifications,

  • confirmations,

  • reminders to make a payment or take some other action,

  • changes to rules, regulations or policies regarding a service the subscriber uses,

  • cart abandonment,

  • support requests,

  • thank you (for an action of some kind).

Another way to understand transactional mail is to think of it as "triggered", "personalized", "real-time" or "automatic" or "direct response" - you can use any term that you are comfortable with that may seem more defined than just "transactional". Keep in mind that transactional email does not necessarily mean it's financial in nature, it might be, but as you can see from the examples, it can include many other types of "transactions".

Now that the difference between these two types of mail is clear, find out more about why this is important in how you use your Elastic Email account.

Email Delivery

Regardless of the type of mail you're sending you'll need to take steps to help ensure it's successful delivery.  You may find however, in some cases, that marketing emails have a bit tougher time getting through to recipients depending on the levels of engagement, subject matter and email design.

For general tips on getting your marketing mail delivered successfully you can check out more posts from the Elastic Email blog.

For transactional mail, and specifically for those recipients who have opted out of any marketing mail (but still want to get your transactional mail), you must:

A) HTTP API - Pass the parameter "isTransactional = true",

B) SMTP Relay - Add a header "IsTransactional" with the value of "True".

Our system will automatically suppress marketing mail to any contacts that have opted into transactional email only. You do not have to worry about sending a marketing email to a contact that only wants your critical transactional mail.

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