The types of transactional emails you configure in Klaviyo will depend in large part on your integrations. Different integrations bring over different events (or metrics), which can, in turn, be used to trigger different types of flows. For many pre-built integrations, Order and Shipping Confirmation emails are the transactional emails that you can configure out-of-the-box. We recommend reviewing the data for your specific integrations to see which types of transactional emails you can leverage out-of-the-box. To configure other types of transactional emails, you can leverage Klaviyo's open API.
A transactional email is an essential, non-marketing email. Transactional emails are typically sent in response to a purchase or other direct interaction with your brand in which it is imperative that the customer receives a response. Additionally, customers expect these emails and will search for them in their inbox. For this reason, transactional emails are sent to all customers, regardless of their suppression status, and should not contain any marketing content. For more information on the difference between marketing and transactional content, see below.
In Klaviyo, transactional emails are delivered through flows, as they must be sent in response to an action that the customer took. Additionally, transactional emails are marked on a per-email basis, not a per-flow basis. This means that you may have one email within a flow that is considered a transactional email, while the other emails in the series are considered marketing content. For example, you may have a post-purchase flow in which the first email is a transactional order confirmation, while the subsequent marketing emails are aimed at generating product reviews and cross-selling related products.
You cannot have an entire flow that is deemed transactional, though it is possible to create a flow in which all the emails are transactional.
The Difference Between Transactional and Marketing Emails
While both transactional and marketing emails can be sent in response to an action a customer took, it is important to differentiate between the two. As a rule of thumb, a trigger-based email that is geared at relaying essential information to the customer rather than generating sales can be considered a transactional email. Common transactional emails include:
- Order confirmation
- Shipping confirmation
- Account created confirmation
Triggered emails that are not considered transactional emails include:
- Abandoned cart
- Product review / cross sell
- Browse abandonment
Another key distinction between marketing and transactional emails is the fact that transactional emails are not tied to whether or not someone has subscribed or otherwise opted-in to receive emails from you. Even if a customer has unsubscribed from marketing emails, they would still expect to receive transactional messages around orders or administrative account activity. Because of this, emails marked as “transactional” in Klaviyo will still send to suppressed recipients.
Delivering marketing content to unsubscribed recipients via transactional emails may violate the CAN-SPAM Act, and Klaviyo's policy prohibiting marketing content in transactional emails is designed to protect customers from any legal ramifications.
Ability to Send Transactional Emails with Klaviyo
It is possible to send transactional emails with Klaviyo, but you must first contact our Customer Success team. These emails are manually reviewed and monitored closely to ensure that no marketing content is sent out.
Support for transactional emails may vary by ecommerce integration. In all cases, you will want to turn off the corresponding transactional email in your ecommerce platform before beginning to send with Klaviyo. Otherwise, you may be double-emailing people.
How to Create a Transactional Email
1. Create the flow
If you want to use a metric to trigger the flow that isn't synced through your ecommerce integration, you will need to create a new custom metric. Klaviyo has an open API that you can leverage to set this up. For example:
- An order confirmation email could be triggered by the Placed Order metric
- However, a password reset email would need a corresponding "Password Reset" event, which would need to be configured as a custom metric
2. Contact Klaviyo Support
Once you have configured all the content in your flow, you must first contact our Customer Success team to flag the email(s) as transactional. In your message, include:
- URL link to the flow
- Flow name
- Subject line of the email(s) that are transactional
The internal review process for transactional emails is stringent. Because a transactional email will still send to unsubscribed recipients, it is important that only essential, non-marketing emails have this status enabled.
Once support verifies that your email is transactional, you will see a green badge on the email card. You will also see the transactional status enabled for a given email under the email’s Settings.
We strongly recommend turning Smart Sending off for transactional flow emails. This ensures that your customers will receive the transactional message, regardless of any other marketing or transactional messages they have received within your Smart Sending window. Additionally, you can turn Smart Sending off for all transactional emails at the account level. To do this, navigate to Account > Settings > Email Settings and scroll to Smart Sending Period. Here, check the Ignore transactional messages checkbox.
On the main Flows page, you will notice a marker on each flow that contains a transactional email, with the count of how many emails are transactional.