ResourcesKnowledge Base

Transactional Campaigns

Transactional campaigns consist of emails that do not contain any commercial communications, and by their very nature they need to be delivered to the recipient regardless of whether or not they have given their consent to the transmission of commercial messages.

Transactional campaigns typically are a response to a particular activity or transaction, either immediately or within a certain amount of time. These messages are necessary for the recipient and are delivered to the Inbox rather than to the Promotions folder. Examples of transactional messages include, for example, confirmation of orders, invoices, account statements, tickets, boarding passes, and similar things of informative value, and their content does not take the form of a commercial message. It is important to note that, for example, an order confirmation message can not be considered as transactional if it contains another commercial message, such as an offer of related products, as this would become a commercial message.

In order for a campaign to become transactional on our platform an example campaign needs to be generated. The contents are then verified by both us at Mailkit and also by each of the leading e-mail inbox providers. Keep in mind that the criteria of the different providers vary, and sometimes operators may require changes in the text in order to clarify the content and transparency towards the end recipient. In general, anything that could be considered misleading is totally unacceptable. It is necessary to follow these basic rules and, above all, to request the approval of the campaign as transactional.

The following procedure needs to be followed in order to get approval for your transactional campaigns:

  1. Prepare your Campaign (as shown below).
  2. Within the Campaign select Set Test Mode (fill in your address).
  3. Send us an email at helpdesk@mailkit.eu and request approval for your transactional campaign. Please ensure you specify which campaigns require approval (account, name, ID).
  4. Wait for us to assign the campaign transactional settings and inform you when ready.
  5. Next up send a sample of the campaign using a live delivery via API. You have to keep in mind that if the campaign has been sent out in test mode already on the day the switch to live mode will be effective the next day as the cache is reset at midnight.
  6. Send us samples of the test campaign in .eml format.
  7. Wait for approval of the inbox providers. (It is not possible to prioritize, speed up, or urge the approval of providers, regardless of reltaionships. We strongly recommend that you allow for several working days.)
  8. Once approved, we will disable the test mode for the campaign, switch you to live mode and notify you. You are then able to commence your transactional campaign.

What the process for campaign approval looks like:

  • the campaign has a completed subject line. Even if the subject is dynamic, the subject line you enter must have meaningful value.
  • The campaign is assigned a list of recipients.
  • The campaign has test mode set.
  • The campaign has excellent spam scores.
  • The campaign is purely based on a template (one transactional campaign = one template) and ready for sending via API.
  • We will not approve "blank" campaigns. Each campaign must be clear with regards to what will be sent. You must have separate campaigns created for different types of messages and cannot send varying types of messages from one campaign.
  • The campaign content must be purely transactional. Under no circumstances may it contain any commercial message. There can be no statement in the footer that it is a commercial message. Transactional messages will not include an unsubscribe link (the auto-inserted unsubscribe is disabled when the campaign is set as transactional).

Changes to transactional campaigns:

Changes to transactional campaigns cannot be made without our knowledge. If there is a change in the campaign, it goes out and the the inbox provider picks up on the change without prior notification and approval you will be immediately blocked by that provider. Therefor it is essential you do not make changes without going through re-approval. Even the smallest of changes (e.g. change of sender, change of link, add paragraph of text) can cause you huge problems that will be very difficult and time consuming to reverse.

When you need to edit a transactional campaign always consult us in advance by emailing helpdesk@mailkit.eu

Common mistakes that are not directly related to transactional but do have a negative impact on performance:

  • Do not show a url if possible. The only exception would be a link in the footer (to a homepage without sub pages and visible http) and a confirmation link.
    • www.homepage.com - Good
    • http://www.homepage.com/this-very-long-text-is-a-bad-idea/avoid-this - Bad (and making it invisible doesn't help "http")
    • RECOMMENDATION: place links to text or buttons... that includes confirmation links. If you don't want your link to be tracked or you need to show the original url you must state that by using an x in the protocol of the href e.g. httpx://....
  • Be careful when using merge tags as opposed to variables, especially when you're passing data through API (custom variables) - use them as variables e.g.  -  [% shared.CUSTOM_VARIABLE -%].
  • The campaign should contain all legal requirements - clear sender identification, "signature" in the footer, contacts, and so on. (simply put, this is all best practice).
Please note that there is no guarantee from the providers that the campaign is approved as transactional or that the already approved transactional campaign will be delivered to the inbox. Depending on the provider, approval may entail a higher probability of delivery, higher reputation or an exception in spam filters. Each provider applies its own rules and mechanisms, both static and dynamic, and also they will always take into account the overall reputation of you as a sender.