Transactional emails are sent in response to user actions, such as password changes, and do not require explicit consent or whitelisting of sending IPs. Commercial emails, sent to recipients who have opted in, include sales promotions and must comply with legal regulations. Best practices include clear branding, responsive design, and engagement strategies. For commercial emails, clean lists and participation in feedback loops are recommended.

Understanding the Difference

Whether you send transactional or commercial emails, making sure your message is seen and leaves an impact is crucial. What's the difference? Transactional emails are sent to a recipient in response to a specific user action. Commercial emails are advertisements sent to a user in an effort to raise awareness, promote engagement, or close a deal.

Ensure your messages reach your recipients and stay out of the spam folder whether you're sending a transactional or marketing email by following some simple best practices.

Transactional Emails

This type of email is a message sent after a user interacts with a website or another digital element.


  • Password changes.
  • Legal notices.
  • Acceptable use policy updates.
  • Electronic receipts.
  • Delivery confirmations.


  • User activities serve as triggers and not their explicit consent.
  • Whitelisting of sending IP addresses used for transactional email is not required.
  • While not strictly necessary, feedback loops are a good practice.
  • Using responsive design when creating transactional emails promotes multi-platform readability.
  • Enhancing deliverability and providing transparency to the message and sender are achieved through clear branding in the sender address and subject line.

Commercial Emails

These emails are sent to a list of recipients who have opted in to receive them.


  • Sales promotions.
  • Third-party offers.
  • Event invitations.
  • Newsletters.
  • Product updates and announcements.


  • Double opt-in subscription processes form the basis of good commercial email practices.
  • Whitelisting of IPs used for sending commercial email is required.
  • Subscribe to all offered ISP lists to stay updated on email best practices.
  • Consider responsive email design for improved multi-platform rendering.
  • To increase user engagement, use commercial subject lines and a clearly identified "From" address.

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