Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales
Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales

Transactional emails in marketing: the better newsletter?

The open rates for transactional emails are higher than those for newsletters. But despite this, transactional emails have played just a secondary role in marketing to date. The advertising potential of automated messages and what’s important when creating them is something you can find out about here.

worker checking her mails

What are transactional emails?

Transactional emails and newsletters have one thing in common: they are digital messages which can help marketing enormously. But while newsletters are actively sent by companies to a number of recipients – for instance to announce new products, inventions or company goings-on – transactional emails are reactive. They are directly linked to the action of a customer and sent separately automatically. These include, for instance, registration confirmations, invoices or order and shipment status messages. As the customer expects these confirmations and the open rates are therefore relatively high, it’s a matter of course that transactional emails include additional advertising information regarding the product or service. 


Survey: transactional emails perform better than newsletters

How well transactional emails truly perform in marketing has been investigated in detail by the Inxmail survey Transactional Emails Benchmark 2020 (German). For this survey, transactional emails were divided into three categories: transactional emails in conjunction with a registration, those with a purchasing incentive and those after an order. The basic results speak a clear language:

  • Transactional emails were opened nearly twice as often (49.7 per cent) as newsletters (27.4 per cent).
  • The click rate with transactional emails is, at 10.3 per cent, three times higher than that with newsletters (3.4 per cent).
  • The click rate in the category “purchasing incentive” (emails with vouchers, shopping basket reminders, and emails stating a product is now in stock) was an amazing 43.9 per cent, and thus about 13 times higher than with a conventional newsletter.


Transactional emails versus newsletters

This presumed potential of transactional emails in conjunction with a purchasing incentive is, however, exhausted. As the survey found, they only amount to 3 per cent of all emails sent. Transactional emails as the result of a registration (47.7 per cent) or after an order (49.3 per cent) are, in contrast, much more popular.

The survey’s authors came to the conclusion that transactional emails are relevant for all companies that offer online services or operate an online portal. The prerequisite for this is, above all, a reliable and fast sending process as well as an aesthetically pleasing presentation of the email.

5 tips for creating transactional emails for B2B

1. Have the technical basis

A tried-and-tested marketing automation solution is the basic requirement for using transactional emails for advertising purposes. Manual replies to each individual request would hardly be possible to manage. On the one hand, a customer expects an order confirmation or similar within seconds – on the other hand, the emails should be designed in such a way that they do not end up in the spam folder. Professional sending solutions ensure this using simple workflows with limited efforts.

2. Adhere to legal requirements

Even if some legal text can vary from company to company: you are on the safe side when you set up advertising transactional emails with a consent from the recipient (opt-in) as well as the chance within the email to unsubscribe.

3. Personalise transactional emails

Just like newsletters, transactional emails can be personalised. Thanks to the integration of marketing automation software and CRM, personal data such as the name or address can be used. Purchasing tips and product recommendations can also be integrated in an individual way.

4. Layout transactional emails

An aesthetically attractive layout of the transactional email is more likely to grab the customer’s attention. This includes, for instance, an optimal display on all end devices. What’s more, branding should be integrated and the entire email should be in line with the corporate design.

5. Link to services or add-on products

Transactional emails should retain their true character and not mutate into purely advertising emails. In addition to links to logical additional products, especially in B2B it makes sense to showcase services via links to tutorials or redirections to satisfaction surveys, amongst others.

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