Separate Your Marketing And Transactional Emails for Better Email Deliverability

Written by: Chris Donald

Published on: 07-03-2017

Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

Every email you send affects your deliverability either in a positive or negative way.

There are two general types of emails: Marketing Emails and Transactional Emails: 

1. Marketing emails include “mass” message with the purpose of promoting a product or service. (This is also an important distinction in terms of anti-spam laws.)

2. Transactional emails include purchase confirmation emails, sign-up registration emails with activation links, invoices, password reset emails, shipping confirmation emails, and other notifications.

Your transactional emails should be considered “urgent” and priority #1 in terms of getting into the inbox. The quantity of these messages is generally low (at least on a day-by-day basis), and yet need to be delivered as soon as possible after the transaction is complete.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but your marketing emails can seriously affect the possibility of your transactional emails being delivered. Why?

  • Your marketing emails will generally be sent out to a large(r) number of subscribers.
  • Your email server may require a significant amount of time to process and deploy all messages.
  • Marketing messages receive a much higher percentage of spam complaints, blocks, and unsubscribes.

Why would this matter to your transactional messages?

  • Your transactional emails may get delayed by getting stuck behind large marketing message sends.
  • Your transactional emails may get flagged as spam because your marketing messages have received large numbers of complaints.
  • Your marketing message mailing list may be filled with bad email addresses and un-engaged subscribers.

Why do we bring all of this up? Because if you can maintain the infrastructure, you should keep your marketing and transactional emails separate.

How can you separate your marketing emails from key transactional emails?

  1. Use separate IP addresses for your transactional vs commercial email
  2. Use different domain or subdomain names in the “From” and “Reply-to” email addresses.
  3. Send your emails from different servers to prevent blacklisting and throughput issues.


Separating transactional vs commercial email streams is crucial to ensuring timely delivery of all your important email messages. Achieve this through separate sender and delivery profiles created to manage commercial and mission-critical emails.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

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