Marketing and Transactional Emails explained

This guide will cover:
What is a Marketing email?
What is a Transactional Email?
How do I decide whether an email is Marketing or Transactional?
Why is this important?

BriefYourMarket provides two separate methods for identifying potential deliverability to your contacts based upon their subscription and activity statuses. These take the form of differing rules on email delivery in “Marketing” and “Transactional” emails, but just what are these and when should you be using them?


What is a Marketing email?

Marketing emails, as the name implies, extend to any email with the primary intent of advertising your products or services to your subscribed audience – for example, an advertisement or a newsletter. This will delimit your send to only contacts on your system who are subscribed and have a status of “Active”, for most of our customers, this is the bulk of the email correspondence that they manage through BriefYourMarket.


What is a Transactional Email?

A transactional email is any email which has the primary intend of informing your contacts of important information that pertains to themselves in relation to your business – this, for example, could extend from simple appointment confirmations and unexpected closures to sweeping regulatory changes which will affect how your contacts interact with your products and services.


How do I decide whether an email is Marketing or Transactional?

A good general guide to confirming whether your communication should be a marketing or transactional email is to identify the primary purpose of the content in an email – is the email trying to get your contacts to buy into one of your products or services? It’s a marketing email. Is it informing contacts who are already your customers of your business of changes to any existing products or services relevant to them? That’s likely a transactional email.  Though do bear in mind that some of your email templates, for example, may be inherently marketing focused and as such should not be used for transactional emails. Ultimately, you have the final decision on which category the email you intend to send falls into.


Why is this important?

Usage of emails for marketing for commercial purposes must be compliant with all relevant legislation – Transactional emails are largely exempt from relevant legislation, as such it is important that you do not mix commercial messages with your transactional emails as that could result in you being in breach of the Data Protection Act (An ICO penalty of up to £500,000) or the new GDPR legislation (Which will carry penalties extending to £16m or 4% of global turnover – whichever is greater). As such, we advise that you review BriefYourMarket’s terms and conditions on this function, click here to view.

If you have any further questions on this subject, we would be happy to give further general advice on this function – just email us at or call us on 0344 800 8424 – however we do advise that you primarily rely on your determination of the regulations and/or separate legal advice for information regarding how current data legislations will impact your mailers and contact base specifically.


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  • 1
    Ryan Miller

    Loving the clean, simple layout Jack.

    Edited by Ryan Miller
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