The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines a transactional message as, “Email that facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship.”
Examples of transactional emails
Types of transactions emails include welcome emails, performance reminders, and performance cancellation emails to name a few. In WordFly, for CRM-integrated accounts, these types of emails can be sent as triggered email campaigns. Other examples include: password resets, legal notices, acceptable use policy updates, order confirmations, shipping notifications, etickets / print at home, and confirmation of profile updates. These types of emails will typically be sent by an email server connected to your CRM.
Best practices for transactional emails
The rules of email vary based on the country you are sending to. For example, US CAN-SPAM gives more flexibility in who you can email and what is required in the email body than Canada's CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Law). In both countries you can send transactional emails when the email is about a current transaction the subscriber has with your organization. Both countries require a unsubscribe and organization name+address in the body of the transactional email. Read more about CASL to understand what the requirements are; violators of CASL can be fined up to $10 million dollars.
The main point: Be sure your emails are following the requirements under the laws of the country you are sending to before deploying your transactional email.
In general, a transactional email can be sent to subscribers who have previously unsubscribed because the content of the email is in relation to a transaction made between your organization and the subscriber. Notifications are a great example of this since you are informing the subscriber of an existing transaction (for example, a performance cancellation email falls into this category).
How to balance transactional emails with marketing information
Given the high open and engagement rate of transactional emails, they can also be used to also support marketing efforts. The 80/20 rule is a good one to follow. This means 80% of the message should be about the transaction and the remaining 20% is used for marketing.