Transaction campaigns are messages that contain no commercial content and, by their nature, are required to be delivered to the recipient, whether or not they have given their consent to the commercial communication.
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 are 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 email 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:
- Prepare your Campaign (as shown below).
- Enable Test mode in your campaign and fill in your test address.
- Send us an email at email@example.com and request approval for your transactional campaign. Please ensure you specify which campaigns require approval (account, name, ID).
- Wait for us to assign the campaign transactional settings and inform you when ready.
- 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.
- Send us samples of the test campaign in .eml format. Samples in .eml format must be sent in ZIP archive, even if you are sending one sample.
- Wait for approval of the email providers. (It is not possible to prioritize, speed up, or urge the approval of providers). Keep in mind that the approval can take several business days.
- Once approved, we will disable the test mode for the campaign and notify you. You are then able to commence your transactional campaign.
How a ready-to-approve campaign looks like:
- The campaign has a 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 score.
- The campaign is based on a template (one transactional campaign = one template) and ready for sending via API.
- We cannot approve "bianco" campaign. It must be clear from each campaign what will be sent through it. There must be another campaign for a different type of message.
- 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 do not include an unsubscribe link (the automatically inserted unsubscribe link is disabled once the campaign is set as transactional). Campaign must not contain any links to social networks, blogs or pages containing brand promotion.
Changes in transactional campaigns:
Changes in transaction campaigns cannot be made without our consent/prior knowledge. If there is a change in the campaign, it will be sent and the provider will find out that it has been changed without reporting (or that something else is being sent other than approved), which means immediate blocking (by providers).
As a result, the campaign may need to be re-approved - even in the case of "small" edits (such as changing the sender, changing a link, adding a paragraph of text). If you need to modify a transactional campaign, always consult the process in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common mistakes that are not directly related to transactional campaigns but do have a negative impact on performance all the campaigns:
- 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 – it is OK, but homepage.com is much better
- http://www.homepage.com/this-very-long-text-is-a-bad-idea/avoid-this - BAD (and making “http” invisible doesn't help)
- RECOMMENDATION: place links to text or buttons... the same way with 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 will be 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 they will always take into account the overall reputation of you as a sender.