About Transactional Email

If you have an online store, you may want to send your contacts transactional emails with information about their purchases and account activity. Transactional emails are sent to one person at a time, and are limited in the type of content they can include. Mailchimp offers a few different ways to send transactional email.

In this article, you'll learn about transactional email and how you can use it.


Bulk email
Email sent from one sender to multiple recipients, usually for marketing purposes.

Transactional email
Email sent from one sender to one recipient, usually related to account activity or a commercial transaction. Examples include password reminder emails, purchase confirmations, and personalized product notifications.

Non-subscribed contacts
These are contacts in your Mailchimp audience who have interacted with your store but haven't ever subscribed to your bulk email marketing. They are eligible to receive transactional emails like purchase confirmations and receipts, as well as ads and postcards.

A tool that allows you to create an email or series of emails that are triggered by a sending event.

Order notifications
Automated transactional emails that are triggered by purchase activity in your connected store.

Abandoned cart email
Automated transactional emails that are triggered when someone adds products to their online shopping cart, but doesn't complete their purchase.

A delivery API that can send transactional emails from websites and applications. Mandrill is available as an add-on for any Monthly Plan.

How Transactional Email Works

Transactional email allows you to provide information that is uniquely relevant to the recipient. These emails can provide requested information or remind an individual of needed action, like if they placed items in their shopping cart but didn't complete the purchase.

Transactional email generally uses an API or SMTP integration to send emails. This usually requires a developer to set up a system that will send coded templates to specific recipients based on a specific action. In Mailchimp, however, you can quickly create transactional emails like you would any email campaign. You can send these emails to most types of contacts in your audience.

Transactional Email in Mailchimp

Our automation feature helps you create several different kinds of transactional emails, like abandoned cart messages and order notifications. Use our drag-and-drop editor to customize these emails to fit the look and feel of your brand.

If you're a developer, you may want to add our powerful delivery API, Mandrill, to your Mailchimp account. Mandrill can be used for personalized, one-to-one e-commerce emails, as well as automated transactional emails like password resets, order confirmations, and welcome messages.

Add Order Notifications

Create an Abandoned Cart Email

Add or Remove Mandrill

Example Uses

For many companies and organizations, it makes sense to use both bulk and transactional email. This chart provides examples for when you might use one or the other.

Bulk EmailTransactional Email
Account creationyes
Abandoned cartyes
Educational seriesyes
Invitations and eventsyes
Monthly newslettersyes
Order notificationsyes
Password remindersyes
Product or service feedbackyes
Promotional emailsyes

Was this article helpful?

Anything else we can do to improve our site?