Use SMTP to send transactional emails

Abstract

Introduction to transactional emails, including configuring SMTP, selecting recipients, and tracking a campaign.

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 way of engaging 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 email messages

  • Password reset email messages

  • Purchase or order confirmation email messages

  • Order status email messages

  • Reorder email messages

  • Email receipt messages

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 the Sitecore Send 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 out the following fields:

    • SMTP hostname - the hostname that you use to connect to the standard Sitecore Send SMTP service.

    • SMTP port - the SMTP port that you use to connect to the standard Sitecore Send SMTP service. You can use ports 25, 587, 25000, or 465. Ports 465 and 587 support TLS encryption.

      Note

      We recommend you to use port 25 or 587 which are the standard SMTP ports.

    • SMTP username - the username you use to log in to your account. If you use a subaccount, you must provide your domain in Sitecore Send in the username as well. For example, if your domain name is myaccount.sitecoresend.com, your SMTP username is myaccount\username SMTP.

    • Password - the password you use to log in into your account.

      Note

      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.

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. When 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,check 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:

  • Check that you have imported the recipients to your email list, then send your SMTP campaign to mailing-list-id@lists.mailendo.com, where mailing_list_id is your own mailing list iD. For example, if the email list ID of your list is 6d2849086-f535-48aa-bf77-542b0d8da338, you must send your SMTP campaign to 6d2849086-f535-48aa-bf77-542b0d8da338@lists.mailendo.com.

You can use the reporting and analytics in Sitecore Send to monitor the performance of your campaign.

To track your transactional email campaign:

  1. To see how your recipients have interacted with your campaign, click Transactional campaign.

  2. To view all your transactional message recipients, see the Transactional campaign recipients list.

  3. To track statistics using a different campaign, you can create a campaign on the platform with the same subject as your transactional email. When a campaign subject matches the subject of the transactional email, all opens and clicks are registered to this campaign, and any new members are added to the email list that is connected with the campaign which has the same subject on your account.

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.

Tip

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.