Introduction to transactional email

Transactional emails are automated messages, triggered to send on demand by specific interactions on your website or application. Examples of transactional emails are: order confirmations, shipping notifications, membership renewal notices, account status messages, and many more.

We offer two types of transactional email: Smart and Classic. The main difference is where the email content is stored and can be edited, as explained below.

Important: To send transactional email, you must manage your own authentication.

Smart transactional email

Smart transactional makes creating and managing email content as easy as a regular marketing campaign. While classic transactional email needs developer assistance for content or template changes, smart email makes it easy for those managing your marketing emails to do all this and more within your Campaign Monitor account. With this option, you can use our email builder to create an on-brand email from scratch, use one of your own pre-existing templates for your transactional emails, or import an HTML email directly into Campaign Monitor.

With smart transactional email the content lives with us, and you (or your developer) set up the API trigger for it to send on demand. If any changes to the email are required, you can easily make them yourself and have the new version start sending immediately, without having to re-deploy code. Learn more about setting up smart transactional email.

Classic transactional email

With classic transactional, the emails are created and hosted by your business. By using our SMTP server or API to trigger them to send, opens and clicks are tracked by us, giving you robust reporting once they're assigned to an email group.

You also get the added bonus of visibility, via the delivery log, to help you track recent communication with your customers or users. Metadata for classic transactional email is kept forever, while content is stored for 30 days. Learn more about sending classic transactional email via API and SMTP.