11 Types of Transactional Emails You Need to Be Sending

 In About Email

Do you know that the average open rate for transactional emails is a whopping 48 percent making them 3X more effective than marketing emails? Every e-commerce retailer uses transactional email these days to accomplish a variety of goals, ranging from thanking new subscribers to join their email list to inform them that the product they want is back-in-stock to confirming that their order has been placed.

So, even if you haven’t chalked out your complete transactional email strategy yet, chances are, you’re at least sending few transactional emails like welcome, order confirmation and password reset email. But, if you are sending just these emails you are not leveraging transactional emails properly.

You need to add more transactional emails to your email strategy. Now you must be thinking what types of transactional emails should I be sending?

Well, given below are 13 types of transactional emails you can send your subscribers.

But, What are Transactional Emails?

Before we look at the transactional emails examples which you should be sending, let’s define what transactional emails are.

Transactional emails are sometimes referred to as triggered emails because they’re usually triggered by a user action on your site or app. They contain information that’s unique to each recipient. But, different industry experts define them differently. Here’s a definition according to CAN-SPAM Act:

An email that facilitates or confirms a transaction that the recipient already has agreed upon is known as transactional email.

1. The Welcome Email

Every business sends a welcome email these days as it is the first step towards building a long-term customer relationship. And if you’re not sending one you should. Because according to the stats, subscribers who receive a welcome email show, on average, 33% more long-term engagement with that brand. Given below is an example from BlueNile who does this well:

Subject line: Welcome to Blue Nile

When someone first subscribes, they don’t know what they will be getting by being on your email list. So like BlueNile - clearly tell them the benefit of being on your list.

Few good things about this welcome email:

  • The email is short and elegant.
  • The subject line is welcoming and simple. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.
  • The have included a navigation bar in this email to make subscribers aware about their entire product proposition.
  • The copy is very well-written - it clearly highlights the benefits of joining their list.
  • The call to action is nice and clear, they have used a contrasted button to make it captivating.
  • They've effectively utilized the footer of the email to promote their social accounts.

2. The Browse Abandonment Email

When a shopper browses a product on your site but left your site without completing the conversion goal you have set for them, you can send an email to remind them about the product. Now, why should you send these emails?

There are three important reasons: firstly, it offers you a touchpoint to connect with your shopper.  Secondly, reaching out to these shoppers is a good idea as it increases your chances of conversions as these people have already shown some interest in your product by browsing it. Thirdly, this gives you an opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell related products and that shouldn’t be missed.

BlueNile, an online jewelry retailer, sends browse abandonment emails whenever someone browses products’ on their site and left the site without completing the purchase.

Given below is the browse abandonment email that I got from them. It’s simple and to the point which is a good way to get the job done.

Subject line: Your Recent Jewelry Search and More?

Few good things about this Browse abandonment email:

  • The email is super clean and visually appealing.
  • The subject line is to the point and it clearly conveys what’s in it for the recipient. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.
  • The copy is very well written, it encourages people to visit back the site without looking salesy at all.
  • The CTA of this email is clear and focused.

3. The Cart Recovery Email

Cart abandonment is the biggest enemy of every online retailer. According to a ReadyCloud study, 75.52% of carts are abandoned every year. The easiest way to recover this lost revenue is to send cart recovery emails. Now you must be thinking that most online retailers knew this fact and they are using cart abandonment emails already. But according to a study by Litmus, just under 30% of retailers send cart abandonment emails. If you don’t fall in this bracket you’re leaving money on the table.

Want to send a good cart recovery email? Take inspiration from Modcloth, an American online retailer:

Subject line: Warning: Unattended items in your bag may be eaten by gnomes.

Few good things about this Cart recovery email:

  • This email is sweet, simple and clean - it includes just a sentence of copy before showing me the item which I left in their shopping cart.
  • The subject line of the email is very quirky they’ve used pun to their advantage. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.
  • The USP of this email is its product image and CTA; they are highlighted in a manner that make them look more impactful and encourage readers to click through.

4. The Back-in-Stock Email

These emails are sent to intimate people that the items’ they wanted to buy earlier but could not buy as it was out of stock at that time, is back in stock know. If you’re not sending these emails – you should! There are three main reasons to do that: Firstly, these emails give you an opportunity to entice lost consumers back to your site again and buy. Secondly, they give you a chance to show them that you are interested in serving them. Thirdly, they gave you a chance to reconnect with your lost shoppers. Given below is an example to show you how:

Subject line: Hurry! Items from your Wishlist are back in stock

Few good things about this Back-in-stock email:

  • The email is clean and minimalist in design.
  • The subject line is good and has everything in it, from relevancy to urgency. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.
  • They’ve included the image of the product along with all the relevant details to jog my memory.
  • The CTAs are clear and focused to encourage me to take an action.

5. The Thank-you Email

Email marketing works but, if you want to get the maximum ROI from this channel, then you need to focus more on engaging recipients and building relationships with them - that’s where thank you emails can help. Given below is an example to show you how:

Subject line: Thanks for your recent visit

As discussed above in point 3rd email is an effective tool to recover abandoned carts. MyWardrobe.com creatively uses thank you email to build a relationship as well as recover lost carts. The subject line along with the copy of the email is crafted in a manner that it looks more like a customer service email rather than an abandoned cart recovery email. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.

Few good things about this Thank you email:

  • The tone of the email is friendly and conversational.
  • The design of the email is clean.

You can send thank you emails for pretty much anything: If someone browse a product on your site, add something in wish list, post-purchase to thanks them for shopping etc.

6. The Reminder Email

The ultimate goal of every email campaign is to encourage people to take action. If you have been doing email marketing for some time you must be aware that it’s tough to capture people’s attention, but it’s even tougher to induce them to take action. That’s where reminder email can help and that’s what makes these emails super important for every business, as they can induce your recipients’ to take the desired action.

How? Let’s take an example - if you’ve sent a welcome email to your new subscribers, offering them a discount coupon to get them to make their first purchase, but they didn’t use the coupon, what’s next? Well, you can send them a reminder email as sometimes people are busy and all it takes is a simple reminder to gently nudge them to take an action.

Here’s an example:

Subject line: Your 10% OFF welcome offer is waiting...

Few good things about this email:

  • To the point subject line which clearly conveys what’s in it for the recipient. You can subject line optimiser to draft more such simple yet powerful subject lines.
  • The copy is very simple and direct - they’ve kept the focus on the offer to induce the recipient (me) to take an action.

7. Added to Waitlist Confirmation Email

Most e-commerce websites have wishlist feature these days. It is a useful feature to increase sales of your online store. If you aren’t sure how it works let me explain: this feature works in two different ways: Firstly, it allows shoppers to save items’ they like but don’t want to buy at that particular point of time in their wishlist. So that they can easily buy them later by returning to the site. Secondly, it allows them to add items’ to their waitlist. The one they want to buy, but could not buy due to the non-availability.

Though most sites have this feature but there are very few who are utilizing it effectively. Given below is an example to show you how to get the most out of your waitlist feature:

Subject line: Back-in-Stock Notification Request

As you can get an idea from the subject line I received this email the moment I added a product on Charles&Keith waitlist.

Few good things about this confirmation email:

  • Clean, simple, and on-brand.
  • Short and to the point subject line.
  • In addition to acknowledging the request, they’re also encouraging recipients’ to stay connected and re-visit the site in the footer as well as the copy of the email.

8. Wishlist about to go out-of-stock email

Normally shoppers’ place items’ in their wish list when they are interested in purchasing them at a later date. But people are super busy these days and your shoppers are no exception. They sometimes add a product in their wish list and forget about it.

By sending them email when these products are about to go out-of-stock - you can give them a chance to buy a product they were once interested in, and can simultaneously boost your conversions.

Given below is an example from Net-a-porter, an online fashion retailer to show you how to do that:

Subject line: Reshu, have you checked your wish list?

Few good things about this notification email:

  • The design of the email is sweet, simple and clean.
  • It reminds the recipient to check their wishlist.
  • The whole image is clickable and takes the subscriber to their wishlist which is a great way to encourage subscriber to take action instantly.

9. Wishlist on sale email

No matter how good your products are discount can always sweeten the deal. That’s why from Black Friday to Cyber Monday to Christmas marketers rely on discounts to boost their sales. But no matter how much discount you offer to your subscribers it doesn’t necessarily lead to sales.


Because your subscribers are not always interested in what you are offering. Still, marketers send emails to promote discount and they should. But when they product people already liked goes on discount they don’t intimate them. But you should as the discount is a great motivator and it can induce people to act instantly especially in the case of products’ they are already interested in. Take a look at this email from Polyvore, a community-powered social commerce website to learn how to use sale notification email to boost your e-commerce sales:

Subject line: Sale Alert: 50% off River Island Beige large satchel bag

Few good things about this wishlist on sale email:

  • To the point subject line.
  • Clear and focused call to action.
  • They have included both the discounted and non-discounted price to make it easy for the recipient to see how much they are saving.

It’s tough to bring people on your e-commerce website but it’s even tougher to convert them. Data suggests, 98% of your visitors won't buy on their first visit. But, that doesn’t mean you should forget these shoppers and leave them for your competitors just because you don’t have the product at that particular moment or they are not interested in buying your product at its full price. Target these shoppers by smartly implementing the above-suggested wishlist series to bring them back to your site and take the desired action.

10. Order confirmation email

It is one of the most important transactional email from the recipients’ point of view. These emails have a very high open rate as shoppers await them. Because they convey the important information regarding the order placed by shoppers’ on your site along with providing them details about when they’ll receive the order.

Though the primary purpose of these emails is to send purchase details, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use an order confirmation email to encourage repeat sales. In fact, these emails offer you an excellent opportunity to upsell, cross-sell and provide customer service. Take a look at this one from Amazon.com, they’ve rocked their order confirmation email by doing everything right.

Subject line: Your Amazon.in order of Borosil Klip N Store...

Few good things about this order confirmation email:

  • The email is simple but informative. They have personalized the copy with my first name.
  • The email copy is very well-written - it thanks the buyer (me) for purchasing from them and includes the details of the order along with the image, price and description. Also, they let the buyer know they’ll send an email with shipping details once they dispatch the order.
  • The bottom of the email has been used to push the recommended items buyer may like.

11. Win-Back Email

According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.

In the world where customer loyalty is declining and retaining them is becoming even tougher than acquiring them win-back email can help in preventing customer churn and increasing customer retention.

These emails can be used to rekindle relationships with the valuable subscribers that haven’t opened your emails for a sustained period of time.

If you’re not sure how to craft a good win-back email – take inspiration from SaksFifthAvenue:

Subject line: LONG TIME, NO SEE. See what we’ve been up to!

Figure 11Win_back_email

Few good things about this re-engagement email:

  • The email is short and friendly.
  • The call to action of this email is clear and focused.
  • The copy is very well crafted it reminds the inactive subscriber about the benefits of being on SaksFifthAvenue email list.

Wrapping up:

Transactional emails work they have the highest open rates across all categories of emails. But most marketers don’t pay much attention when crafting these emails copy – don’t be one of them. As when done right these emails can boost your engagement as well as sales. So, don’t use these emails only to tell but use them to sell as well.

Are you currently sending all these 11 transactional emails? Would you like to add few more to the list? Feel free to chime in the comment section below.

If you are looking for a reliable email service provider for your transactional email service – you can Try us For Free.


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