Skip to content
  1. Home
  2. Inbound Marketing and Sales Blog

Differences between email marketing and transactional email

Index Content

In the era of digital marketing, emails are a very useful tool to carry out marketing strategies. They serve as a communication channel with the customer, as a method to generate leads, to send offers... The possibilities are wide. Specifically, two of these techniques that are used in marketing and that involve email are email marketing and transactional email.

The similarities:

What both techniques have in common is that they consist of sending an email from the company or company to the user, customer, prospect or buyer persona. At all times the consent of that person to receive the email, so we could include both strategies, especially email marketing, within what is known as permission marketing. The important thing about permission is that in no case can this email be considered as SPAM .

Another common element is remarketing. In both cases, the sending of these emails has taken place because it is not the first contact of the potential buyer or buyer with the company. In both cases there have been visits, sending data, a purchase... Actions that require more than one visit to the website or ecommerce.

Even so, the reasons why emails are sent and the content of these is radically different:

Transactional email:

A transactional email is the email that a company sends to a user after they have made an interaction with the company, e.g. a purchase, a subscription, a return, a password change.

It is called transactional because it presupposes a transaction, although this has the connotation of a purchase, transactional email goes beyond purchases. An invoice, a verification email or an email with a tracking number, order status... these are all examples of transactional email that do relate to a purchase. However, there are other cases such as a password change, a personality verification email, a login notice in a suspicious geographic location, a welcome email or a notice about the expiration of an account or subscription. In these cases, there has been some kind of transaction that exceeds the purchase action.

Although in some cases it may appear that the user has not carried out any transaction, this is not the case. For example, in the case of a welcome email, the user may not have requested it, but has carried out the actions of registering and accepting the terms and conditions of use. The same applies to the unsubscription or the end of a subscription, the customer signed up for an offer from the company, and the company is now notifying him of its imminent expiry. In any case, there is always a previous action by the customer relating to an interaction that justifies sending this email and, most importantly, the content of these emails is never advertising.

It can be deduced that these emails are unipersonal, addressed only to the user and usually contain sensitive and private information: account numbers, address, passwords... They are emails that are generated only in response to an action by the user and that, if this had not existed, they would never have been sent.

Email marketing:

Email marketing is an email that is sent from the company for advertising or propaganda purposes. As we said before, they are not considered SPAM because the user has given prior consent for these emails to arrive in their inbox.

We are talking, for example, about newsletters. In order for newsletters to be sent, the user must provide their email address and give their consent for these newsletters and offers to be sent periodically. This is also the case for some offers for which consent has been given. This occurs by accepting terms and conditions or by selecting the "I wish to receive offers" box. We are, therefore, in the clearest case of permission marketing .

Unlike transactional email, these emails are massive, sent to a large number of people who belong to a list and the only possible personalisation is the name of each one of them. The sending is periodic, that is to say that there does not have to be a specific prior action by the user to receive it, except for the initial consent.

Nueva llamada a la acción

You can be interested as well...

A guide to creating a high-performance email A guide to creating a high-performance email
Reasons why you should implement video in your email campaigns Reasons why you should implement video in your email campaigns
why is email marketing important in your digital strategy? why is email marketing important in your digital strategy?