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How to Make Transactional Email work for your Ecommerce Business

6th of August 2020 ~ tagged ecommerce, drupal, marketing

Transactional email – we all know exactly what it is, right? Of course: everyone knows it's email which is sent to a client in response to them performing a certain action, such as resetting a password, signing up to a newsletter, creating an account or placing an order. It's a totally different beast from bulk emails like adverts, newsletters or offers, which are sent out to contact lists en masse. 

Because transactional email has been requested by the client, it has a very high open rate and is often the first direct contact a new client has with your business. So it's a brilliant opportunity to convey, along with the actual requested information, your company's personality, any upcoming innovations and the next steps you’d like your client to take. 

It really is worth putting a lot of thought into your transactional email. Keep the layout clean and attractive, use microanimations to reward behaviours, and make any calls to action, such as leaving feedback or following on social media, clear and compelling.

The only downside is that, to an inbox, a transactional email can look a lot like spam - an automated email, often containing a link, from an address which is not on the recipient’s safe list. This causes needless holdups for your client, especially if they are awaiting a password reset or wondering if an order has been confirmed. So how to stop your eye-catching, user-friendly, kickass email from ending up in a spam folder?

Luckily there are two things you can do to make it less like that your carefully-crafted missive will be rejected:

1. Use different domains for sending out transactional and bulk emails:
Set up a specific domain for transactional emails, and then set up a subdomain for bulk emails. If you want to be super efficient, you can take it a step further by dividing into categories (eg: individual campaigns, weekly newsletters, special offers, etc) and setting up a unique IP address for each one.

As a bonus, if you want to analyse your email activity (and you probably do), this allows you to separate your transactional emails (sent to an individual, resulting in a high open rate) from your bulk emails (sent to multiple recipients, lower open rate). This will keep your analysis more accurate and allow you to hone the content of each type individually.

2. Use email authentication:

This is, essentially, using a ‘stamp’ on your emails which reassures the spam filter that this is a genuine email. The most commonly used systems are SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC, (Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance). DMARC utilises both SPF and DKIM and guarantees that the contents of the email haven’t been tampered with in transit and that the email comes from the domain it claims to.


A content platform such as Drupal can integrate with any API-based email service to send transactional email. Your designer will be able to set up simple, streamlined and compelling transactional emails for each of your client’s activities, and make sure that authentication marks are in place. This will also give you complete control over the design and content of your templates in response to each action. 


Transactional email is a great opportunity to connect with your clients and let them get to know your company better. Make sure it is working for you.