Make your Transactional Emails more Effective

An ongoing challenge for marketers is to craft a transactional message after a user purchases something. What should be included? How much promotional material can it contain? How many emails could be sent?

While the main motive of a transactional email should always be to establish the actual purchase and costs, post-purchase emails can be much more appealing (and productive) if you include some extra elements. Here are a few examples of great post-purchase emails that involve more than just transactional details.

Relevant Upsell

Websites like Airbnb send a purchase receipt via email to their customers as soon as they confirm a booking. This confirmation message includes 50% of the necessary information like address, rules, check-in times, check out items, etc. The rest of the data can only be viewed on the websites, and users are then required to visit the website to see them. This helps drive traffic to the site and offers to upsell opportunities.

Another example of a promotional campaign is witnessed through Best Buy’s website. Their approach is that after a buyer purchases anything from Best Buy, they receive a follow-up email with other relevant and related items that may be of interest to the buyer. The subject line is also customized regarding the purchase with a personalized focus, including their name and original product bought.


Some restaurants manage to mention reward programs (post-purchase emails) very subtly. The intent of some of these post-order confirmation emails is to display exact details like pick-up time for purchase, the cost, and credit card used, etc. so that users are kept in the loop. Some companies also add in a graph design which clearly shows the amount of money spent on that reward program. The visuals help users to see how close they are to receiving the reward, without making them read any content.


Most websites send a purchase confirmation with the order number, billing information, costs, and guarantees. At the end of the email checker, most marketers offer a promo code to the users to take advantage of a special offer. Another great thing to add in the emails is links to their social media channels.


Some website like UberEats sends only one email to confirm a purchase. The usual receipt elements are included with a call-to-action button requesting customers to rate the order they just received.

Tips to Improve Your Transactional Emails

Mentioned below are a few things to keep in mind while you work towards improving your transactional emails:

  1. Confirmation upon Purchase is necessary: The motive of transactional messages should be to highlight the essential details of that particular purchase. Upsell and promotional content should not be the focus of this content. Although these factors can make the email more constructive.
  2. Reduce the number of campaigns: Be cautious about the number of messages you’re sending. Campaigns can quickly add up, bearing in mind the different elements that need to be incorporated: receipts, order confirmations, shipping notifications, survey requests, reward programs, etc. Make sure you’re keeping a record for all campaigns that a subscriber encounters across all sending platforms.
  3. Avoid repeating campaigns: There’s no benefit in repeating a campaign. Sometimes senders repeat subject lines and content in subsequent emails. If this happens, chances are your campaign will get entirely ignored and drive away from the results you may be seeking.
  4. Maintain consistent branding: It is essential to incorporate consistent branding in all campaigns, be it promotional or transactional. Marketers sometimes send out transactional messages from a separate platform without realizing that they have a distinct “From” name or even color scheme. This might confuse the users.
  5. Experiment and monitor: Whatever worked well for others, might not work well for you, and what worked well for you once, might not always work well for you again. Thus, evaluate your metrics and test as much as possible. Relevant metrics include clicks, spam complaints, opens, and “deleted without opening” rate.