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.” At WordFly, we look to this definition when we decide where a message might fall.
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We categorize welcome emails, performance reminders, and performance cancellation emails as transactional emails. These are all great emails that can be sent as 'Triggered' Campaigns in WordFly (only for CRM integrated accounts).
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 the CRM you are using.
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 here: 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).
We also believe that given the high open and engagement rate of transactional emails, they should 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 located at the top of the email. You can then utilize 20% of the remaining space to promote other performances or provide useful information.