Transactional emails matter. A sales confirmation, welcome email, order update, dispatch advice, even a password change, they’re all important. They’re often some of the first emails a subscriber or customer will receive from you. They work better than standard email campaigns too - welcome emails triggered by account creation can generate up to 320% more revenue than promotional campaigns. Despite this, how many times do we marketers spend hours of time planning, designing and optimizing our marketing emails with the very best in strategy, creative and technology – only to then omit transactional emails from the same processes?

Four rules to sending transactional emails that deliver

1.Timing is everything.

Abandoned baskets in particular are often sent at an automated point (X minutes/ hours after the event) without testing. Whilst research shows that the first 12 hours are critical there are many variances and there are examples where emails are very successful well after that

2. Get the message right.

Some of the reasons for cart abandonment is the checkout total, the need to compare prices against other options and the customer not being ready to commit. What’s more, these will vary by the value of the basket. A standard factual reminder will likely not address any of these concerns so it may well bear fruit to test around incentives to buy now or to gain a P&P discount against a certain spend level for instance.

3. Be helpful.

And not just a prompt. The email needs to remind the customer that they can return and complete but it must also recognize that they have abandoned it in the first place because of a problem. Make it clear that help is on hand to aid completion.

4. Remember the upsell.

In the case of abandoned baskets in particular, there will be an opportunity to point out related or complementary products. An automated admin approach won’t recognize this and a sales only approach will miss the primary objective so a balance is needed. A balance can reap rewards.

3 Steps to Setting up Transactional Email Templates With dotdigital for BigCommerce

Create and turn on transactional email templates in your BigCommerce store to provide your customers with consistent and relevant order details. You can see a list of different events that happen in your BigCommerce store, such as a new account, account updates, or new order confirmations. You can also use the transactional email manager to choose which transactional emails you want to send out to your customers once a purchase is made.

Please note that you’ll need a dotdigital Engagement Cloud account with your BigCommerce store connected to it to use this functionality.

1. Set up your branded transactional email template.

Create brand familiarity with your contacts by branding your transactional email templates. You can upload a logo, add fonts, and change the colors of the template. To access the transactional email manager:

  • In Engagement Cloud, go to Settings > BigCommerce > Transactional email > Setup transactional email templates.
  • Set up your branding by editing the available fields:
    • Logo
    • Font
    • Body text color
    • Heading text color
    • Button color
    • Brand highlight color
    • Email footer
  • Select Generate templates.

Once this is complete, you can turn on your templates.

2. Choose which transactional email templates to activate!

You can turn on, swap, edit, or preview any of your transactional email templates in the Transactional email area. You can see all of your default email templates in this area, too. To manage your transactional email settings, go to Settings > BigCommerce > Transactional email.

If you have not created a transactional email template yet, select Setup transactional email templates. If you already created a transactional email template, select Configure brand styles to make changes.

Account notifications

In the Account notifications area, select Turn all off or Turn all on to turn all of your transactional email notifications on or off for your customers.

Order notifications

In the Order notifications area, you can find a list of default template settings like: 

  • New account confirmation
  • New order confirmation
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Order partially shipped
  • Order awaiting fulfillment
  • Order awaiting shipment
  • Order awaiting pickup
  • Order completed
  • Order cancelled
  • Order refunded

Simply toggle the ones you want to activate to ‘On’.


From the ‘Actions’ dropdown, you’ll be able to preview, edit, or swap out the autogenerated template. 

3. Switch off BigCommerce transactional email notifications to avoid duplication.

To avoid duplicating emails, you must disable the transactional email notifications that are sent via BigCommerce. You must disable all of the notifications, or only the ones that you enable in Engagement Cloud as a replacement. To do this, go to Marketing > Email Templates.

And that’s it! You’re now all set to send beautifully personalized and on-brand transactional emails. 

You can find out more about the dotdigital for BigCommerce integration here.

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