Transactional Emails as a Powerful eCommerce Marketing Tool and Bonus: How to Set Up Transactional Email in Magento

03 Aug 2016

Running a successful online store and failing to create, personalize and send transactional emails is simply not an option. Even though, as a user, you might consider some of them to be redundant or even spammy, no one can argue that online store cannot function properly without owners sending a fair amount of transactional emails to customers every day.

You will need to communicate numerous valuable information to your customers – confirm orders, help recover forgotten passwords, send tracking numbers, or those less pleasant ones, such as notifying customers their payment has been rejected.

It is inevitable for store owners, and that is why in our latest blog post we will guide you to if’s and but’s, why’s and how’s related to transactional emails.

Hopefully, once you are done reading, you will be persuaded that you need and you can, easily, obtain loads of benefits from transactional emails, and that dedicating fair amount of work into creating them is a time well spent.

Eventually, we will guide you through the entire process of fine tuning your transactional emails in Magento.


Observing transactional emails as merely a way to communicate relevant information to your customers, might lead you to throw away this great opportunity, and fail to broaden their purpose, creating something far more important.

As you probably know, essentially, transactional emails are sent when triggered by a certain action or, better said, interaction, between customers and website/online store.

When you have in mind that users invited you to communicate, share and interact by purchasing on your store, justifying owners that miss out on such a great opportunity is hardly possible.

According to eConsultancy – “Only one in five retailers harness the marketing power of transactional emails.” 

On top of that, according to another one of their researches, 38% of marketers are missing out on revenue that could be easily generated via transactional emails.

And to be honest, it makes a lot of sense when you have in mind the abundance of tasks store owners manage on daily bases.

It is completely understandable that this type of email is, quite often, overlooked, as its primary role is to inform customers that the shipment is on its way, that password has been successfully recovered or that account is created.

Why making such a big deal out of it, right?

You should, actually.

Transactional emails and marketing

Transactional emails can be designed in two ways – to encourage sales increase and to motivate engagement.

But, helping your business grow is one thing they have in common.

Once you realize how well these emails convert, even the least trace of doubt will disappear.

And once you realize what is the open rate on these emails, you will start crafting a strategy of your own.

Because the fact is that transactional emails are largely underestimated, and barely even used for marketing purposes.

Plain silly!

It does recquire an extra effort and a bit of editing of those generic templates, yet it is easy and allows you to have guilty free creativity outburst in what is considered a highly relevant, but, let’s be blank, a rather boring email.

Ignoring the rather boring, and focusing on highly relevant part, is where you will find the essence of this entire endeavour.

It is important to spend some time crafting a quality copy for your email – sticking to generic text or falling into a trap of another extreme and being too funny, but failing to provide information – can cost you a lot.

Creative block?

In case you are having trouble thinking of ways to spruce up your transactional emails, or have no idea which transactional emails you need (apart from the basic ones), we got you covered.

Great thing is that those buyers definitely already purchased your product – they like you – so make sure you don’t go over the top with over promoting.

This is the combination that will help you dig dip into their emotions and make the entire experience more than memorable.

Use your transactional email and announce news, special offers or some of these:

  • Up-sell and cross-sell products customers might be interested in
  • Promotions and giveaways that you plan to organize in near future
  • Promoting your social media profiles and inviting customers to connect
  • Informing customers that you have physical store or showroom they can visit
  • Reminding customers that they have left their shopping cart abandoned

The main point being – offer valuable content alongside valuable information.

Or, better said, use the fact that customers will most definitely open your email and use that to convey more messages than what transactional email initially was made for.

According to statistics published by Experian –  “Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue.”

Step up your game!

Transactional emails in Magento – where to start?

We suggest you start by customizing templates that you will use further down the road. We recommend your first step to be – setting up your logo.

As we mentioned, you need to take advantage of people having to actually open and read your email, and use the circumstances to show off your brand.

Setting up your logo in Magento is easy.

Navigate to System, and choose Configuration.

Magento Admin Panel main menu

Now, take a look at the left hand side menu and choose Design. This is where you can add/update your store’s logo.

Take a look:

Setting up online store logo for transactional emails in Magento

Under Design, choose Transactional Emails. It is easy – simply browse your computer for your online store’s logo and upload it.

Now, move on to actually setting up your emails. You will find them if you click System and choose Transactional Emails.

Click orange Add New Template button and start setting up your first transactional email.

Choosing transactional email template in Magento

Clicking on Template will open the dropdown menu, and same will happen once you click Locale. 

Once you click on Template, you will see that you have more options than you could ever imagine. Choose the one you need (we chose New Order Confirmation) and click orange Load Template button.

Now your template is loaded so move on to setting up Template Infomation.

Next, simply add Name to your template, as everything else will be loaded – both Template Subject, Template Content and Template Styles.

In case you wish to take a look at how your template will look – click orange Preview Template button located in the upper right corner of the page. Yes, it is that easy, Magento will do all the hard work for you!

If you are loving your new template, click orange Save Template button et voilà!

Your first transactional email is ready to hit your buyer’s Inbox and, hopefully, make them smile.

Here is the result:

New order email template in Magento

The only thing left to do now, is tweak your content just a little bit and make it yours, interesting and preferably memorable.

To conclude – we are continuously trying to emphasize how very detail oriented and personal you need to be when running online store.

That is truly something that makes the difference.

Using transactional emails in order to achieve becoming closer to your buyers is only one of those things that, if executed properly, can help you achieve great results for your business.

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