4 Easy Yet Effective Ways to Create Transactional Emails

Transactional emails

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Laura Narusyte
Laura Narusyte
SEO Specialist
Reading Time: 7 minutes

It’s hard to over-hype the power of transactional emails. They can be one of the most powerful tools in an online retailer’s arsenal.

According to statistics:

Transactional emails can generate 5x times more revenue than non-transactional messages, rendering it one of the most effective marketing channels at your disposal.

In addition, automated order confirmation emails on average are opened by 50% of all recipients.

If you are not getting a similar ROI from your transactional messages then the chances are high that you are not optimizing each and every element of these emails to get the best results. And once you start doing that, you shouldn’t find it all that complicated to create profitable transactional email campaigns.

What Is A Transactional Email?

Transactional emails are email notifications based on customers’ or leads’ behavior and sent to the person automatically. It can be an order confirmation or a shipping update notification. It’s always personal and sent specifically to one recipient.

Use your shipping confirmation emails to delight your customers

The main benefits of this kind of messages are better deliverability and better engagement rates. Transactional emails have exceptionally high open and click-through rates.

The most exciting part is that you don’t need to actually send transactional emails. Once set up, they are delivered automatically. Only you have to make sure that your email tool provides a transactional email service.


However, most email marketers don’t know how to optimize each and every element of their transactional emails to get the best results. The tips and transactional email examples mentioned in this article will offer some guidance on how to do that right.

1. Subject Line Strategy

We all know that “Subject line” is one of the most crucial elements of an email marketing campaign. But, when it comes to transactional emails most marketers don’t pay them the attention they deserve. Don’t make this mistake. Here’re a few ways to optimize your subject lines:

Add clarity:  Inboxes are jam-packed these days and people will only take a glance at your email before deciding whether to open it or ignore it. So the more clear and succinct your subject line is, the better your open rates will be. 

Given below is an example after the purchase was made. It’s very clear looking to the subject line that order is confirmed:


Another example is a small gift or reward after the purchase was made. This example of the transactional email will catch your customer’s attention without any doubts.


The next example is a reminder of an abandoned cart. Most probably you were searching for something, even added the product to your “Cart”, but didn’t complete the purchase. This could be a friendly or funny reminder for your potential customer to open the email and check it out.


Personalize your subject line: I know you must have heard it several times that using personalization is a super effective way to make your subject lines stand out. But by personalization, we don’t mean using the recipient’s first name in the subject line – though that would be a nice touch. But you can go a step further by using words like “you,” and “your” in the subject line – to give your recipient a feeling that the message is explicitly written for him.

If you want to find more ideas and examples of email subject lines, check out our collection of the 515 best subject lines.

Use data: We all know that adding personalization is the best way to capture our recipient’s attention and data gives us the power to do that. But it is often overlooked when creating subject lines. If you’re not using data, start using it today.

Take a look at this template for email subject line personalization.

2. Preheader Space Utilization

Preview text matters – it is as important as your subject line. But most marketers’ neglect this space. If you are not optimizing your preview text then you’re wasting valuable real estate. Below are a few tips to optimize your preview text:

Use it to enhance your subject line: You can use this space to complement or supplement your subject line.

In the following example, WilliamsSonoma does a great job with its preheader space by utilizing it to supplement its win back email subject line:


A/B test your preview text: Just like your subject lines keep A/B testing your preheader. The results will never be constant. The things that might have worked for you three months ago may not work anymore. Use A/B testing, not your guesswork to pick your transactional email preview text.

3. Email copy

Copy matters – keep it short and crisp. No matter how creative your subject line is or how well written your preheader is – if your email copy is devoid of well-written content, you’ll not get good ROI from your transactional emails. Here are a few tips to help you in crafting the best transactional email copy:

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Personalize your email copy:  You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: that personalizing your email copy can result in better click rates.  Now you don’t have to take my word for that – have stats to prove: “Personalized emails improve click through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%”.


Because people are bombarded with emails these days and a good subject line and preheader will only help you in capturing their attention. But if you want to hold their attention the only way to do that is by personalizing your email copy and giving something limited and special. 

1. For The Repeat Purchase. Prompt repeat purchases by offering higher discounts that might reduce your markups but that could turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer.

2. Welcome emails with a discount based on an order amount will help to increase both the value of basket as well as the likelihood of conversion.


Provide value and create urgency: Every email you send to your subscribers should add value to their inbox and transactional emails shouldn’t be an exception. Not sure how to use transactional messages to add value? 

Almost 70% of your customers leave your site after adding a product to their cart. It’s a widely known metric, so this shouldn’t surprise you. 

But you can react quickly by sending abandoned cart emails and suggesting something valuable for them. Discounts and special offers as “free shipping” might be a suitable option to create urgency and complete the order.

Given below is an example of Cart Abandonment Email.

4. Call to Action (CTA)

No matter how good your transactional emails are if people don’t take action you won’t get an amazing ROI. So, make sure you nudge them to take action by optimizing your CTA. Here’s how to do that:

Make your CTA button contextual and optimize it for mobile: Inducing people to open your transactional emails is not that tough, but getting them to take action is really tough. So, don’t just tell them to act; make it absolutely clear what you want them to do.

Given below is an example to show you how you can offer a special discount to return your customer:

Ask for Feedback & Review: Building trust isn’t something you should ignore. According to Reevoo, reviews can produce on average an 18% uplift in sales. When reaching out to customers who bought a particular item, ask them for a review.

Ask for reviews in your shipping confirmation email and in customer follow-up emails.


Link them to your Social Networks: Include links to your social network accounts, like Facebook or Pinterest.

Adding followers to your social networks will further enhance your brand’s social status. Having many followers makes you look more appealing to your customers and their friends.


Final thoughts

If you’re new to the world of e-commerce, you might simply assume that transactional emails are just used to intimate your customers. And, you should not spend much time in crafting the

  • Subject line
  • Copy
  • CTA

Ready for some tough love? Here’s the truth: that’s a rookie mistake.

In this day and age, the benchmark is set WAY higher, every brand is sending decently designed and crafted transactional messages, and you’ve got to go above and beyond.

Other than providing your customers the information they have been looking for you need to personalize them and pay special attention to the copy. Also, you need to optimize these emails to boost your sales and conversions. And, yes – if you like to drive your conversions up from them, following the transactional email best practices given above will surely help.

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Laura Narusyte
Laura Narusyte

Laura is an SEO specialist at Omnisend. When not blogging, she likes to read about SEO, digital marketing and ecommerce trends, technology and personal productivity.

Further Reading:

5 Automated Text Messages Necessary for Every Ecommerce Site
marketing automation software
Best Marketing Automation Sofware: 6 Tested Tools for 2020
12 Email Marketing Automation Workflows (Complete Guide)

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  1. Excellent post, I especially like the email that you send to customers who haven’t bought in a while. They’re definitely more likely to make a purchase and for minimal effort you can probably get them to buy something again instead of spending a huge amount of effort to go after new customers.

    1. Thanks, Peter! You’re right. Others focus too much on the new customers acquisition and forget to reach out existing customers who are more likely to convert.

  2. Hi Tomas! Great post, I think that transactional email is one of the biggest marketing strategies! It’s ideal for customer loyalty, boost your brand image and improve user retention. I’d like to recommend you to try Dopple Relay, it helps you to send transactional emails with a seamless integration.. An important point is that this platform allows you to access to detailed analytics in real time. If you want to know more about it I invite you to visit our website here: http://ow.ly/Vz97309vWtP

  3. We really enjoyed this article, it really is nice. I might have a suggestion though, but don’t want to cause a debate 😀 Anyway, keep up the awesome work, and see you! Regards, TeeningaPalmen

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