Use SMTP to send transactional emails

Abstract

abstract byline

Transactional emails (also known as relationship messages) are usually triggered by customer actions and, in order to be qualified as transactional, the primary purpose of the communication must be "[...] to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender".

The purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it, but due to their high open rates, transactional emails can be a great opportunity to engage customers. They achieve that by introducing or extending the email relationship with your customers and subscribers, by anticipating and answering their questions, or by cross-selling or up-selling products or services.

Triggered transactional messages include:

  • dropped basket messages

  • password reset emails

  • purchase or order confirmation emails

  • order status emails

  • reorder emails

  • email receipts

Sitecore Send supports transactional email options and gives you the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. To achieve this you first need to learn how to use SMTP to send your transactional emails to your email list.

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, an internet standard for email transmission. Sitecore Send offers a direct SMTP service that you can integrate with your existing applications, or utilize to send transactional emails directly using your favorite SMTP client. To take advantage of our SMTP service, you must first connect your account to your application or SMTP client.

To set up SMTP:

  1. On the dashboard, click your Account and click Settings.

  2. In the left panel, click Direct SMTP.

  3. Fill in the following fields:

    • SMTP hostname: The hostname that you will use to connect to our standard SMTP service.

    • SMTP port: The SMTP port that will use to connect to our standard SMTP service. You can use ports 25, 587, 25000, or 465. Ports 465 and 587 support TLS encryption. We recommend you to use port 25 or 587 which are the standard SMTP ports.

    • SMTP username: The username you use to login into your account. If you use a sub-account, you must provide your domain in our platform in the username as well. For example, if your domain name is myaccount.sitecoresend.com, your SMTP username should be myaccount\username SMTP.

    • Password: The password you use to login into your account. Note that if you are using a sub-account, you must first create a password for your sub-account.

You can use Sitecore Send's standard SMTP to send your campaigns to a single email address or to an email list on our platform.

To send your transactional campaign to a single email address:

  • Create the content of your SMTP campaign and send it to this person by including the email address. Once your SMTP campaign is sent, a new email list will be created under the name Transactional campaign recipients on your account, and every time you send a campaign to a single email address, the recipients will be added to this mailing list.

    If you prefer to add recipients to a specific email list, just ensure that you have added the appropriate GUID on the headers of the email: mailing_list_id: your-mailing-list-id-here This allows all the recipients to be added using the same mailing list ID.

To send your transactional campaign to an email list:

  • First make sure that you imported the recipients to your email list. Then you can send your SMTP campaign to your-mailing-list-id-here@lists.mailendo.com. At this email address, you will need to replace the mailing_list_id with your own mailing list id. If for example, the email list id of your list is 6d2849086-f535-48aa-bf77-542b0d8da338, the email address you should send is 6d2849086-f535-48aa-bf77-542b0d8da338@lists.mailendo.com.

To monitor the performance of your campaign, you can access Sitecore Send's reporting and analytics. Click Transactional campaign to see how your recipients have interacted with it. Also, the system will automatically create a Transactional campaign recipients list where all your transactional message recipients are added.

If you want to track statistics with a different campaign, you can create a campaign on the platform with a subject equal to the subject of your transactional email. When a campaign subject matches the subject of the transactional email, all opens and clicks are registered to this campaign. This also means that any new members will be added to the email list that is connected with the campaign which has the same subject on your account. Alternatively, you can specify which campaign tracks your transactional emails using email headers. Email headers are extra information passed to the email message and can usually be added only by code. Adding the appropriate GUID on the headers of the email will send all statistics to that campaign. Refer to the documentation of the programming language you use on how to send emails with custom headers.

Look for the following GUID: campaign_guid: your-campaign-id-here

This is the ID of your campaign, of which the statistics will be recorded for every transactional email sent through our SMTP service. You can also specify an email list to store the recipients of transactional emails. Adding the appropriate GUID on the headers will send all new recipients to that email list.

Look for the following GUID: mailing_list_id: your-mailing-list-id-here This allows all the recipients to be added using the same email list ID.