If you have been looking for some of the best transactional email services then you have come to the right blog post.
For every business, email marketing plays a vital role in its success. While marketing or promotional email campaigns are responsible for the growth of your business, transactional emails take care of customer experience and foster brand loyalty.
Additionally, transactional emails also ensure that the right message is delivered to the customer and that too at the right time.
Hence, it is of utmost importance to have transactional email software to handle such needs.
But it’s easier said than done. So to help you find the best solution, I have explored as many as 13-15 transactional email service providers and narrowed them down to the top 5.
In this blog post, I am going to talk about them and help you figure out if it is something that suits your business needs.
Just to give you an idea of what’s in store, here’s an…
Overview & Comparison Of Best Transactional Email Services
|Software||SMTP Relay||Email API||Free Trial/Plan||Pricing|
|MailerSend||Yes||Yes||Forever free – 12,000 emails/month||Starts at $25/month for 50,000 emails|
|Sendinblue||Yes||Yes||Forever free – 9,000 emails/month||Starts at $15/month for 20,000 emails|
|SendGrid||Yes||Yes||Forever free – 3,000 emails/month||Starts at $19.95/month for 50,000 emails|
|Mailgun||Yes||Yes||Forever free – 5,000 emails/month||Starts at $35/month for 50,000 emails|
|ZeptoMail||Yes||Yes||Free 10,000 emails||$2.50 for 10,000 emails|
Before we start the detailed breakdown, allow me to talk about some basic concepts like –
What Is A Transactional Email?
A transactional email is an automated email that is sent instantly to the recipient upon completion of a certain action.
For instance, on an eCommerce website, when a customer purchases a product, an automated purchase confirmation email is sent to him/her along with the necessary detail.
Similarly, for websites, you can request a password reset. The website will send you an email with the password reset link.
All these are examples of transactional emails. And, this begs the question…
What Is Transactional Email Service?
A software or a service provider that will automate the process of sending transactional emails is called a transactional email service.
Usually, these service offers solutions via two modes. Firstly, through SMTP relays or servers, and secondly, through email APIs.
You can use any of them to connect with your domains through DNS settings and automatically start sending transactional emails.
Furthermore, these services also offer dynamic personalization, email template customization, insightful reports, etc. We’ll talk about these features in detail further in the blog post…
Different Types Of Transactional Emails
Here are some of the most common and most used types of transactional emails –
- Registration or Sign-Up Emails – If a user signs up on a website, app, or platform, the user will receive a registration email for the same. At the same time, a double opt-in email can also be sent to confirm the sign-up.
- Password Reset Emails – Whenever a user/customer requests a password reset of his account, he gets an automated email containing the password reset link.
- Purchase Confirmation Emails – When buyer purchases products from your website, he expects an automated product confirmation email about the same that also contains the tax invoice.
- Shipping Notification Emails – If your business ships products, the customer is sent an automated email that contains the information about the shipping.
- Feedback Emails – After the successful purchase of products or use of a SaaS application, you, as a business owner have the opportunity to know more about their experience.
- Re-Engagement Emails – This email is sent specifically to those set of customers who have not performed any activities on your website like account log-in, product purchase, etc. It is basically used to draw out actions from your inactive customers.
- Security & Notification Emails – Whenever a customer or a user signs in from a different device than his/her regular device, a notification email is sent to them, alerting them about the new log-in.
Best Practices For Sending Transactional Emails
There is no “one size fits all” guideline that can be termed as the absolute best. The reason behind this is that the triggering of transactional emails is a result of user behavior.
The email has to be dynamically personalized and should be sent instantly.
That being said, here are some of the key points that you can take care of while setting up your transnational emails –
- You should connect the transactional email service with your domain and authenticate it via DNS records. Then you should use a legitimate “From name & email address” for sending transactional emails.
- The subject in your transactional email should be clear to help your recipients understand the purpose of that email.
- The email should contain a clickable logo for brand recognition. Similarly, the color palette of your email template should also match your brand’s color theme.
- The content in your transactional email should be purely transactional in nature. You should avoid plugging in any of your products or services.
- You must ensure that the transactional email is sent as soon as the customer/user performs a certain action.
Apart from this, your email must be friendly and informative at the same time.
One tip that I would like to offer you from my email marketing experience is that if possible, try to get a dedicated IP for sending transactional emails. Several transactional email providers offer this feature and you should definitely opt for it.
Transactional Emails vs Marketing Emails – Key Differences
If you are new to email marketing, chances are that you are still unclear about the differences between transactional emails and marketing/promotional emails.
So here are some of the key differences between the two –
|Transactional Emails||Marketing Emails|
|Definition||Transactional emails are automated, non-promotional, and informative emails that are triggered by the actions of your customers/users on your website, software, or app.||Marketing emails are promotional in nature that aims to promote a business’s products and services.|
|Purpose||Usually, to provide information and updates on a commercial transactional action.||To promote the products and services of a business.|
|Sending Process||It is purely automated. Once the user performs an action, a transactional email is automatically triggered.||These emails are manually sent to users either by sending them instantly or by scheduling them for a specific time.|
|Recipients||Transactional emails are commonly sent to a single recipient as a response to their action.||Usually, there are multiple recipients in the marketing email campaign.|
|Engagement Rates||Transactional emails have an average of 70% or more engagement rate.||Marketing emails have an average of 10-20% engagement rate.|
|Email Delivery Speed||These emails are delivered instantly, in a matter of a few seconds.||Speed is not of concern when sending marketing emails to customers or subscribers (unless there’s a time-bound promotion period).|
|Actionable Laws||You don’t have to worry about adhering to the CAN-SPAM law or GDPR in transactional emails. Furthermore, an unsubscribe link is not required in transactional emails.||You’d have to strictly adhere to CAN-SPAM law, GDPR, and other laws while sending marketing emails. It is also mandatory to include an unsubscribe link in your promotional email campaigns.|
Benefits Of Transactional Emails
When you employ and set up transactional emails for your business, here are some of the most notable ways in which you’ll reap benefits –
- Builds Customer Trust – The instant delivery of the transactional email with informative content helps in building unbreakable trust in the eyes of your customers.
- Improves Brand Recognition – Transactional emails are known to improve the brand recognition of all businesses. With the help of cohesive branding displayed in your emails, you will be able to create an ever-lasting impression on your customers.
- Creates Sales Opportunity – The post-purchase transactional emails such as feedback emails can include the “People Also Bought” section and in turn increase your chances of getting more sales.
- Customer Reactivation – Other transactional emails such as “Trial Expiry Notification” can prompt your user to actually purchase a premium subscription plan.
- Boosts Sender Reputation – On a technical side, as a business, you can boost your sender reputation through transactional emails. Since these emails ensure better inboxing and high engagement rates, your sender’s reputation is bound to improve over time.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Ideal Transactional Email Service
Now that you know that employing the transactional email software is only going to benefit your business, the best course forward is to find the best one that caters to your needs.
Here are certain value points that you should look for in your ideal service provider –
- High Deliverability – It is of utmost importance that your transactional emails reach the inbox of your customers or subscribers. For this, the software must offer high email deliverability.
- Easy To Set Up – When you opt for the software, you must be able to easily set up and integrate with your SaaS, website, or any application. The service provider should also provide detailed documentation and tutorials for the same.
- Insightful Analytics – After setting up your transaction email service, it would be great if it offers an analytics dashboard. This will help you keep track of your open, click, unsubscribe, and spam rates. At the same time, it will also help you improve your emailing efforts.
- Prompt Customer Support – Good, knowledgeable customer support goes a long way when choosing the best service. You never know when issues arise with your transactional emailing. So to offer you resolution quickly, customer support must always be there.
- Overall Value For Money – You should also look for the software that offers good value for money. For instance, it would be extremely helpful if the service has an email template editor with personalization tags. The availability of a free trial would be best to determine the value and overall efficiency of the software.
Exploring All 5 Best Transactional Email Services
Based on the points mentioned above and my 6 years of experience in email marketing, I am going to explore the top 5 transactional email providers.
So without any further ado, let’s start with…
MailerSend is one of the best transactional email services that I could recommend to you right now. The software is a creation of the team that is behind MailerLite – an email marketing software.
Since MailerLite has been in the business and dominating the email marketing niche in terms of quality, efficiency, and deliverability, you can only estimate the level of proficiency MailerSend is going to offer your business.
Speaking of which, MailerSend offers you the choice to send transactional emails either through SMTP relay or after integrating it with your application through API. If you have a website on WordPress, you are going to love it when you find out that it offers a WordPress SMTP plugin to send transactional emails.
Besides this, MailerSend is also proud of its award-winning customer support team. They are always ready to help you in the best way possible.
Key Features That Make MailerSend The Best Transactional Email Service
- It is one of the only services that offers dynamic email templates along with an editor. Using this, you can personalize your email templates for better engagement.
- MailerSend comes with a robust set of APIs in 6 different languages. When integrated with your eCommerce business, it can potentially send transaction emails containing invoices, purchase information, and so on.
- Apart from sending emails, MailerSend allows you receive emails as well through inbound email routing. Replying to and fro will also allow you to create email threads.
- MailerSend is also the service provider with one of the highest email deliverability. Once you configure your account and set it up through SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, your transactional emails are going to reach the inbox.
- The software also works well with other applications as well. You can integrate MailerSend with WordPress. At the same time, you can use Zapier and other modes of integration as well to connect with any third-party application.
Pricing Of MailerSend
- Starter – A forever free trial with the ability to send 12,000 emails/month.
- Premium – This plan starts at $25/month for 50,000 emails and goes up to 2.5 million emails at $1,250/month.
- Enterprise – An enterprise-level plan with custom pricing.
Sendinblue is yet another software that is available for you as one of the best transactional email services. Having started as just a basic email marketing software, Sendinblue has grown into a full-fledged solution for your digital marketing needs.
It’s true that Sendinblue offers transactional emails but in addition to this, it also offers email marketing, CRM, live chat, SMS marketing, Facebook ads, and much more. The software is in the business for more than 10 years, so you should be assured to know that Sendinblue is highly efficient.
Speaking of which, Sendinblue offers up to 97% email deliverability of transactional emails. When coupled with SMS transactional and promotional marketing, you will have exponential growth in your engagement rates.
At last, since it offers multiple digital marketing solutions, you can rely on Sendinblue to send promotional email campaigns as well. Furthermore, you can integrate CRM with your website and keep track of your site visitors and leads at all times. Not to forget, prompt customer support will also help you get started quickly.
Key Features That Make Sendinblue The Best Transactional Email Provider
- Sendinblue will provide you with multiple options to use the transactional emailing service. For this, it offers SMTP relay, email API, webhook, or a plugin to send emails.
- The software also comes with an integrable inbound parser. With the help of this, you can easily receive replies to your transactional emails.
- You will have the complete liberty to personalize your email templates as Sendinblue comes with several personalization tags.
- For deliverability, it encourages you to add its SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records to your DNS. By doing this, you would be ensuring you get maximum email deliverability.
- Sendinblue, apart from transactional emails also offer promotional emails, marketing automation, CRM, live chat widget, Facebook ads, and much more. It’s safe to assume that Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform for all of your digital marketing needs.
Pricing Of Sendinblue
Sendinblue is one of the free transactional email services as it offers a forever-free plan that allows you to send 300 emails/day.
To be able to send more emails, you’d have to subscribe to a premium bundle that starts at $15/month for 20,000 emails and goes up to $550/month for 1 million emails.
If you know even the slightest about email marketing, you may have definitely heard about SendGrid. Such is the level of expertise and popularity of this software. Unlike other best transactional email software, it started as an SMTP and email API service and later introduced email marketing features.
After quite a few successful years, SendGrid operated as a standalone company. This caught the eyes of the folks at Twilio. Hence, a few years back, Twilio acquired SendGrid and since then, the software has only improved further.
Now, SendGrid offers all the tools and features, including transactional emails to grow your business and website subscribers. And, the best part about this is that SendGrid offers up to 99% email deliverability.
Due to this, some top companies and organizations like Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, etc. rely on SendGrid for sending their emails.
Key Features That Make SendGrid The Best Transactional Email Software
- SendGrid works on a globally distributed architecture that leverages its cloud-based, proprietary MTA to send billions of emails every day.
- For sending transactional emails, SendGrid will provide you with a couple of options i.e. SMTP relay or email API. The integration of these two options is simple and you can always get in touch with its support team for better guidance.
- Just like other transactional email services, SendGrid now comes with dynamic email templates with personalization tags. Furthermore, you can also edit these templates and their content to match your brand style.
- SendGrid also offers a newly launched email validation tool. You can employ this tool at the point of capture i.e. sign-up forms, etc., or clean your email list before sending emails to them.
- It is one of the only service providers that have active working partnerships with mailbox providers like Gmail, Microsoft, and Verizon Media. The availability of dedicated IP addresses and using them with SPF records, custom DKIM, and feedback loops will result in 99% deliverability.
Pricing Of SendGrid
- Free – You can send 100 emails/day for free, forever.
- Essential – This plan starts at $19.95/month for 50,000 emails and goes up to $34.95/month for 90,000 emails.
- Pro – This plan offers a dedicated IP address and starts at $89.95/month for 200,000 emails. It goes up to $749/month for 1.4 million emails.
- Premier – For emailing needs of more than 1.5 million/month, you’d have to request for custom pricing.
Mailgun is one of the leading transactional email services that a lot of businesses like Microsoft, Lyft, DHL, etc. use. In totality, the software claims to be catering to more than 100,000 users from across the globe.
The surge in clientele is due to its overall efficiency and deliverability. Simply speaking, in addition to sending transactional emails via SMTP relay and email API, Mailgun now offers a plethora of email deliverability tools along with email verification. When you use all of these tools in conjunction with each other, you can easily furnish your transactional email requirements.
You can start using Mailgun just by signing up for an account and connecting it with your domain by adding a couple of DNS records. This also ensures that your email is authenticated and hence, reaches your customers’ inboxes every time.
Although Mailgun says that it specifically caters to developers and people with technical knowledge, I feel that anyone can use it. The availability of comprehensive documentation and tutorials is certainly going to help you a lot. Similarly, customer support is also on point and is always ready to help you.
Key Features That Make Mailgun The Best Transactional Email Service
- For starters, Mailgun allows you to send transactional emails after configuring its SMTP relay or through email API. The API is built in such a way that it can automatically scale from sending just a single email to multiple to thousands in a second.
- The new and intelligent email routing in Mailgun will allow you to receive email replies from your customers. Moreover, an email thread can be made to continue the two-way communication.
- Mailgun is one of the only transactional email providers that come with the send time optimization feature. With the help of this, you can eliminate the guesswork and deliver the email when your customers are viewing their inboxes. This ensures better engagement rates.
- The software offers complete insights into your transactional emails. You can keep a track of open, click, and unsubscribe rates.
- Mailgun comes with several email deliverability tools such as email verification, inbox placement testing, email testing tools, and a lot more.
Pricing Of Mailgun
- Trial – A forever-free plan that allows you to send 5,000 emails in a month.
- Foundation – You can opt for this plan as it starts at $35/month for 50,000 emails.
- Growth – The plan includes a dedicated IP address and starts at the price of $80/month for 100,000 emails.
- Scale – This plan also starts at $90/month for 100,000 emails but it includes some advanced features and tools.
Over the past few years, we saw an astronomical rise in the popularity of Zoho and its set of apps. Among its set of tools, Zoho now offers one of the best transactional email services that is beginner-friendly and also is efficient.
Zoho offers its transactional email service by the name of ZeptoMail. The app allows you to send emails through its SMTP servers, email API, and also its WordPress plugin. So if you have an eCommerce website on WordPress or managing a SaaS business, ZeptoMail could be your ideal solution.
One of the greatest characteristics of ZeptoMail is that it works perfectly with other Zoho apps as well. So it’s safe to say that if you opt for ZeptoMail, the availability of other Zoho apps in a single suite will handle all your business operations.
And, even if you do not want to use its other apps, the integration of ZeptoMail is fairly simple. Not to forget, customer support is always there to help you. After all, there are tons of big-shot clients who are relying on Zoho for their business management.
Key Features That Make ZeptoMail The Best Transactional Email Provider
- Since ZeptoMail is available for use through SMTP configuration and email API, it makes it extremely easy for you to use with your business platform or apps.
- ZeptoMail offers a library of readymade email templates that can be customized to match your brand style. At the same time, you can also include attachments, images, etc. in your transactional emails.
- Like other transactional email software, ZeptoMail provides recipient’s activity tracking and email logs. With the help of these features, you can keep a track of open, click, and unsubscribe rates.
- It is one of the only services that comes with team management and access. Furthermore, you can also configure user role permissions which would help you manage which users have access to your mailing domains and addresses.
- If you have a business website on WordPress, you’d love to know that ZeptoMail offers a WordPress plugin to send transactional emails to your customers and users.
Pricing Of ZeptoMail
ZeptoMail offers 10,000 transactional emails for free. After this, you’d have to purchase credits (1 credit = 10,000 emails which are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase).
Just to give you an idea, 1 credit or 10,000 emails is available at the cost of $2.50.
The Verdict – Which Is The Best Transactional Email Service?
If you have a business that sells products, services, or even a SaaS app, you have to use a transactional emailing service.
With the best options being discussed above, I presume that you have found the best one for your business needs.
If you are still unsure about which service to opt for, I’d recommend you sign up for their free plan. Once you use the software, you’d be able to decide better.
Although, if you want my suggestion, I’d wholeheartedly ask you to go with either MailerSend or Sendinblue.
Lastly, here are a few relevant blog posts that you may want to read –