Creating and designing a transactional email template

Want to know more about our transactional email functionality?

You can read a complete overview in Using transactional email

 Contents

Overview of how sending transactional email templates works
Creating transactional email templates as a triggered campaign
Designing a transactional email template in EasyEditor
   » Supported
   » Not supported
   » About unsubscribe links
Using personalisation in transactional email
   » EasyEditor's personalisation function isn't related to transactional email personalisation
   » Another couple of things to note about transactional email personalisation

Summary

In addition to being able to send your transactional email content entirely via SMTP or the API, we also provide you with the option to make transactional email templates in EasyEditor and trigger the sending of these via SMTP or the API instead. 

Being able to create your transactional email in EasyEditor means you get all the design benefits that go with it, including being able to choose from our free templates, upload your own template, and make use of EasyEditor's drag-and-drop functionality.

For instance, if your brand colours or design happens to change, it's easy to update your transactional email to reflect this.

You can also add placeholders to make use of transactional email personalisation.

Overview of how sending transactional email templates works

This overview gets a little bit technical, and may be too technical for you if you're a non-developer! Don't worry. We just provide it as an overview of the process and you don't really need to understand it to create a transactional email template in EasyEditor.

Feel free to get your developers to read this instead, and skip straight to Creating transactional email templates in EasyEditor.

Sending transactional email templates requires you to firstly create your transactional email as a triggered campaign in EasyEditor.

Your transactional email is then sent via SMTP or our API by making use of the triggered campaign's ID to fire the content.

For sending via SMTP, the triggered campaign ID is included in the SMTP headers.

For sending via the API, the triggered campaign ID is included in the parameters for:

Personalisation can be included in the transactional email by making use of transactional email's personalisation capability. Placeholders are used in the email, e.g. 'Hi @FIRSTNAME@'. Then, when SMTP or our API is used to send the triggered campaign, personalisation key-value pairs will need to be included in the code, such as:

"PersonalisationValues": [{ Name: "FIRSTNAME" , Value: "John" }, { Name: "LASTNAME" , Value: "Smith" }]

The value for the corresponding placeholder name will be pulled into the email, e.g. 'Hi John'.

Read more about using personalisation in transactional email »

Need something for developers?

Our developer hub has a developer's guide to sending transactional email templates.

Creating transactional email templates as a triggered campaign

Transactional email templates need to be created in EasyEditor as triggered campaigns. Triggered campaigns can be sent to individual contacts. If they aren't triggered campaigns, then they won't get sent.

You can create a triggered campaign by selecting Automation > Triggered campaign content and then clicking on Add new (your campaign will be automatically set as triggered).

You'll be taken through to the 'Pick a template or import your own' page.

After selecting or uploading your own template and giving it a name, you'll be taken through to the 'Provide a few campaign setup details' page.

If you like, you can confirm the 'Triggered' setting of your campaign here by clicking on Campaign settings and checking under the 'Format' section (don't change it!).

Protip

In the 'Campaign tags' field, we recommend tagging your transactional email campaigns with 'transactional email' and 'triggered' so you're able to easily filter them in listings. This will prove extremely useful.

Designing a transactional email template in EasyEditor

When designing a transactional email template in EasyEditor, it's important to be aware of what it does and doesn't support.

Supported

  • As transactional email templates support links, link clicks will appear in your transactional email reporting in your 'Dashboard'. This is where all reporting for triggered campaigns sent as transactional email will appear.

    Triggered campaigns that are sent as marketing campaigns get separately reported in 'Campaign reports'.

  • You can add personalisation to your transactional email by making use of transactional email's personalisation placeholders (e.g. '@FIRSTNAME@').

    This is not to be confused with EasyEditor's personalisation functionality, which makes use of contact data fields and isn't related. EasyEditor personalisation doesn't work in transactional email templates.
    Read more about using personalisation in transactional email »

Not supported

  • Transactional email templates don't support the following building blocks and link types:
    • 'RSS feed'
    • 'Sharing'
    • 'Social links'
    • 'Dynamic content' (this includes classic dynamic content)
    • 'External dynamic content'
    • 'Advanced personalisation' blocks
    • 'Forward to a friend' link
    • 'Unsubscribe' link (but you will need to include one in order to save your template in EasyEditor; see 'About unsubscribe links' below)
    • 'View in browser' link
    • 'Double opt-in' link

Don't make use of these types of blocks or links in your transactional email template, otherwise it will not send. 

About unsubscribe links

Despite unsubscribe links not being supported by transactional email templates, you will need to have one in your template in order to save it in EasyEditor. The unsubscribe link will then get automatically removed at the point of send via SMTP or our API.

Why does an unsubscribe link need to be included? 

Your transactional email is created as a triggered campaign. This means it could well get re-used somewhere along the line for non-transactional email purposes (for instance, in a program). If so, it will legally need to include an unsubscribe link.

Therefore, this covers you should you use the triggered campaign for anything other than transactional email in future.

Important note about automatic removal upon send

Upon the point of send via SMTP or our API, the whole parent container containing the unsubscribe link will get removed, so keep the unsubscribe link in an entire container by itself.

If it's in a container that contains other content, that content will also get removed. Please be wary of this.

Keep transactional emails strictly transactional

Don't include marketing content in transactional emails. As transactional emails don't contain an unsubscribe option, you don't want to upset your customers and subscribers with marketing content they didn't ask for, and that they can't easily say no to. Your reputation will be at serious risk.
Read more about using EasyEditor »

Using personalisation in transactional email

You can add personalisation to your transactional emails using personalisation placeholders. The values for the placeholders will be sent by your development team in the SMTP headers or via the API call that's made.

Do this by adding a placeholder in your text, such as 'Hello @FIRSTNAME@' or 'We just wanted to let you know that your order (@ORDERREF@) has been despatched'.

Your developers will then need to include the personalisation values as an array of data stored in key-value pairs in their code, which are included in the SMTP headers or in the API call's parameters. 

Read more in our developers' guide to sending transactional email templates »

EasyEditor's personalisation function isn't related to transactional email personalisation

EasyEditor's personalisation and transactional email's personalisation don't crossover, interrelate or back each other up at all.

This means you can't use EasyEditor personalisation in a triggered campaign sent as transactional email. It won't work.  

For example

Let's say you have the placeholder @FULLNAME@ in your transactional email, and you know you have this value (or a default value) stored in your 'FULLNAME' contact data field. However, your developers haven't included the personalisation value "FULLNAME" in their code.

The result
Your transactional email's @FULLNAME@ placeholder won't have any value pulled through for it and it will be blank in the sent email, e.g., 'Hi ,'

Another couple of things to note about transactional email personalisation

  • As part of EasyEditor's standard validation process when saving, you'll be warned about placeholder names which don't match to contact data field names. This is simply because EasyEditor is expecting you to be using its standard personalisation function. All you need to do is ignore the warning by clicking Save anyway.
  • Transactional email sent as a triggered campaign will be multi-part email, which means it will get sent in both plain text and HTML versions. Any personalisation you add will work in both versions.

A note on HTML compatibility for personalisation content 

When making use of transactional email personalisation, the type of personalised content needs to be compatible with the HTML element it's being put into. For example, if code contains a personalised table, it will need to go into a table element, not a paragraph.

Check with your developers to ensure that your campaign's elements are suitable for the personalisation content being used.
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