How do I set up smart transactional emails?

You can quickly design your own smart transactional emails using our drag-and-drop email builder. When you’ve completed the steps below, your email will be ready to start sending.

We’ll generate the code you need to pass onto a developer (if you are not a developer yourself) to set up the integration between your application or website and our API.

Creating smart transactional emails

To create a smart transactional email:

1. Start with your sender details

Open Transactional and click Get started now. Or, if you've created a transactional email previously, click Create a new email in the right sidebar.

Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your email. Choose a name for your email, which will be used later for reporting. For the subject line and "From" fields you can optionally include email variables.

If you have one or more subscriber lists in your account, you'll also see an option to "Add recipients to a list" as shown here:

IMPORTANT: By adding people to a subscriber list, you are asserting that you have permission to send non-transactional emails to these recipients in the future.

If you don't want to add recipients of your transactional emails to a general mailing list, choose Don't add to a list.

Developer Directions

Transactional recipients won’t actually be added to the list unless the API call set up by your developer passes “true” for "AddRecipientsToList."
More info:

2. Create the email

Click Build your email to open the template library. You can create a smart transactional email in one of four ways:

  • Choose a design from the template library. Selecting one will open it in our email builder where you can customize the design and add your email content.
  • Select My templates in the left sidebar to use an existing template, if you have one.
  • Select Import HTML from the left sidebar to import your own email.
  • Select Plain text from the left sidebar to write a plain-text email.

In most cases a transactional email will contain one or more “email variables,” which are placeholders for custom text, links or images that personalize the email for the recipient. See our guide on smart transactional email variables to learn how to use them.

3. Test and finish

After you've created your email, you'll be returned to the "Create Smart Email" page. We recommend checking the plain text version of your HTML email while you’re here. Sometimes it’s necessary to make formatting adjustments to content designed for HTML so that it also looks good as plain text.

Click edit text version (below the “Content” section) to see how it looks. When you're done, click Send a test to test your email variables, or click Finish to grab the code required to integrate this email with your website or application.

NOTE: If you or your client are not already on a monthly plan, clicking Finish will prompt you to choose one.

4. API integration

With your email ready to send, the next thing you’ll see is a message that reads: "Ready to start triggering." If you’re not a developer yourself, this is where you simply grab the code, in the language required, and pass that onto your developer to set up the integration.

You will also need to forward the developer to our API documentation for transactional, at:

We provide code wrappers in cURL, .NET, Node.js, Java, Ruby, PHP and Python. Click View the code then select the language you, or your developer, will need from the top left:

After the code has been used to integrate your application with our transactional system, your application will start triggering emails to send on demand. When that happens, you’ll begin to see reporting on the transactional landing page in your account.

TIP: Attachments to smart transactional emails, such as itineraries or invoices, can be added through our API. Only PDF files are accepted.