Transactional emails can come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes—it’s no wonder marketers can easily become overwhelmed by all the options.

But before taking a look at different transactional email examples, it’s important to understand what a transactional email is.

Defining transactional emails

Transactional emails are messages that are automatically triggered by a predefined action, such as completing a purchase.

While not every brand includes transactional emails in their email marketing strategies, studies have shown that transactional emails are opened nearly eight times more than traditional marketing messages.

Types of transactional email examples to consider

Transactional emails come in quite a range of types. While the typical transactional email is a post-purchase email, there are several other examples worth considering for your email marketing strategy:

  • Registration/welcome emails
  • Notification emails
  • Feedback emails
  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Confirmation emails

11 transactional email examples worth reviewing

Since transactional emails can come in dozens of different formats, it’s easier to study real-world examples to get a better idea of what should and shouldn’t go into these specific types of email messages.

That said, here are 11 transactional email examples that you can review and draw inspiration from.

1. Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty does a wonderful job with their post-purchase transactional email by sending consumers a thank you email.

Even better, the actual receipt is attached to the email in PDF form, ensuring that all the information is there, but not as easily accessible as it would be if they’d included it in the body of the message.

Ulta Beauty transactional email

Source: Ulta Beauty

Instead of the transaction information in the body of this thank you transactional email, they include several different CTAs to help keep consumers in the loop. Some of their CTAs include:

  • Download now
  • Learn more
  • Sign up
  • Join now

Each of these allows the consumer to interact with the brand—a smart move on Ulta’s part.

2. Chewy

Chewy’s post-purchase transactional email not only includes the user’s purchase information, but is an email that’s intended to be interacted with.

Instead of including all the shipping updates in the email itself, users simply must click on the “track package” CTA for further information.

Chewy transactional email

Source: Chewy

3. VCA West Suburban Veterinary Association

Not all post-purchase transactional emails are created the same. In this example, from the VCA West Suburban Veterinary Association, the client is sent an invoice after their pet’s visit. This is excellent for those who chose not to take their printed receipts, but also shows that the office cares enough about the animal’s pet records that they’d rather you have a copy on file, whether printed or digital.

VCA West Suburban Veterinary Association

Source: VCA West Suburban Veterinary Hospital

What’s really enjoyable is that this invoice was sent as an attached PDF, much like the Ulta Beauty receipt from earlier. This helps to protect the customer’s information because it’s not as easily accessible without downloading the full PDF file.

4. Microsoft

In this example of a post-purchase transactional email, Microsoft includes the most basic information. While the purchase information is vital, Microsoft uses this email also to promote their blog.

Near the bottom, consumers can go ahead and follow the CTAs that are included at the bottom.

Microsoft transactional email

Source: Microsoft

This is a great way to keep readers engaged with your brand outside of making purchases. Depending on the nature of the information, it could encourage your customer to sign up for your brand’s subscriber’s list.

5. Amazon

In this post-purchase transactional email, amazon not only highlights the purchase information, but they include further action from the consumer by adding a few items to the bottom of the email that were on their wish list.

Amazon transactional email

Source: Amazon

If there were no items on the consumer’s wish list, then this would be an excellent spot to add targeted content to the message based on previous browsing behavior.

6. Waking Up

Now, the first few transactional emails thus far have been post-purchase transactional emails. In this sample from the brand Waking Up, their transactional email sample is that of a notification email.

Waking Up notification transactional email

Source: Really Good Emails

The purpose of this transactional email is to help the Waking Up user to login into their app. This message could’ve been sent for several different reasons.

For instance, if the user just set up their profile and downloaded the app for the first time, they may need to have a unique code sent to them to log in.

Alternatively, they may have simply forgotten their login password. The brand could’ve then sent them this transactional email as a way of confirming that the user requested to reset their password.

7. Stocksy United

Earlier, we mentioned that one type of transactional email example was a registration confirmation email. These transactional emails are especially important in current times, as more and more people are concerned about their online identity.

Confirmation emails, such as this example from Sotcksy United, require users to have access to the email account that they used on registration.

If they don’t, then they can’t confirm the account. If they do have access to the account, then the account confirmation is as simple as clicking on the verification CTA button and entering the provided code into the specified field.

Stocksy United account confirmation transactional email

Source: Really Good Emails

8. Rover

One common misconception is that a transactional email is used following a financial transaction. Based on the transactional email examples we’ve looked at so far, they can include post-purchase transactions. However, they can also include confirmations.

In this example, from the dog walking service, Rover, the transactional email comes in the form of a booking inquiry. The actual transaction hasn’t been completed yet. Instead, it’s a follow-up to a transaction inquiry.

Rover transactional email

Source: Really Good Emails

In this example, the consumer put in a request for a sitter, and the sitter is confirming that they’re available. Now the consumer can follow up by clicking on either of the two CTAs that’ve been included in the message.

Once this transaction is completed, then the consumer will get a copy of the entire interaction, just as they would with a traditional post-purchase transactional email.

9. Gold & Honey

Transactional emails can also come in the form of a welcome email campaign. These welcome campaigns are sent out after a new email subscriber has finalized their initial opt-in process.

You noticed earlier that many new subscriptions and new accounts required an account confirmation setup. Those are a type of transactional email as well.

Remember, the idea of a transactional email is to confirm that a transaction has happened. Once your new subscriber has finalized their account, the natural next step for all email marketers is to acknowledge the new subscriber through a special welcome email campaign.

Gold & Honey welcome transactional email

Source: Milled

In this example of a transactional welcome email, the brand Gold & Honey not only welcomes their new subscriber to the family, but they go a step further and include a special incentive to get this new subscriber to continue engaging with the brand. The incentive, in this case, is a special 10% off coupon code that can be applied to their first purchase.

10. Google

While welcome email campaigns make for excellent transactional email examples, so do thank you email campaigns. Again, these particular emails are designed to acknowledge that an action was taken. So, naturally, saying thank you for taking said action is the perfect example of a transactional email.

Google transactional email

Source: Really Good Emails

In this transactional email example from Google, they sent out a thank you message to this person after they took the time to leave a review on a location that they recently visited. While there’s nothing to encourage future interactions (such as the incentive that was included in the welcome message), the language that’s used in this message encourages users to continue leaving reviews and helping the public get a better idea of their surroundings. In fact, they include a unique CTA to help their reviewers get ideas for their next outing.

11. Dunkin’ Donuts

Finally, one last example of a transactional email is the reminder email. For brands that utilize automatic trackers, such as credit cards that track balances for their users, sending a reminder email that funds are low is an important transactional email that your customer will appreciate.

For example, Dunkin Donuts’ reward card program notifies consumers when their cards are running low on funds.

That way, the customer doesn’t unexpectedly run out of money next time they reach for their rewards card. In this example, the CTA encourages readers to “reload” their card right away, so they can continue enjoying their goodies with no additional hassle.

Dunkin’ Donuts transactional email

Source: Really Good Emails

Wrap up

Transactional emails are everywhere. Remember, these emails aren’t solely for post-purchase email campaigns. They can take on several different forms, including:

  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Confirmation emails
  • Feedback emails
  • Notification emails
  • Registration/welcome emails

Want to take a more in-depth look into transactional emails? Be sure to check out our guide today.

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