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Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

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sparashar
Level 2

Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

Is there a difference between Transactional and Operational emails? Specially when it comes to GDPR laws and how does Marketo differentiate between the two.

SP
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Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor + Adobe Champion

Re: Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

Well, I believe there's a thin line of difference b/w transactional and operational emails; the former is sent as a part of the transaction initiated by the person - e.g., order confirmation, order updates, etc. However, the latter are sent to communicate crucial information that everybody on your list needs to hear. In the Marketo world, users refer to both types of emails as Operational emails as Marketo doesn't have a setting for setting emails to Transactional, all non-marketing emails that should ignore Unsubscribed and Marketing Suspended statuses are marked as operational emails. AFAICT per the GDPR, both transactional and operational emails can be sent without explicit consent from the recipient (i.e., with the Operational checkbox in the Email setng checked), as long as they are genuinely necessary for the transaction or operation of the service. However, for marketing or promotional emails, explicit consent is required.

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4 REPLIES 4
Darshil_Shah1
Level 10 - Community Advisor + Adobe Champion

Re: Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

Well, I believe there's a thin line of difference b/w transactional and operational emails; the former is sent as a part of the transaction initiated by the person - e.g., order confirmation, order updates, etc. However, the latter are sent to communicate crucial information that everybody on your list needs to hear. In the Marketo world, users refer to both types of emails as Operational emails as Marketo doesn't have a setting for setting emails to Transactional, all non-marketing emails that should ignore Unsubscribed and Marketing Suspended statuses are marked as operational emails. AFAICT per the GDPR, both transactional and operational emails can be sent without explicit consent from the recipient (i.e., with the Operational checkbox in the Email setng checked), as long as they are genuinely necessary for the transaction or operation of the service. However, for marketing or promotional emails, explicit consent is required.

sparashar
Level 2

Re: Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

Thank you! This is definitely the information I was looking for!

SP
SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

As Darshil says, Marketo doesn’t define “transactional emails” in the official product, so there’s no differentiation per se.

 

When you hear “transactional emails” in a Marketo context, that typically means emails triggered using the Marketo REST API’s Request Campaign method. This method can be used to send low-volume individual emails in response to outside events.

Zoe_Forman
Level 7 - Community Advisor

Re: Difference between Operational and Transactional emails

Under GDPR you can send an email as operational as long as you can prove legitimate business contract - the lead is known to the company and it is a necessary business critical message.

You cannot use operational emails for cross selling, promotional or nurturing leads unless you have explicit consent captured (and proof of record).

 

GDPR rules are clear and there have been a number of high profile retailer, banks and brands that have been caught and received hefty fines this year for communicating with end users /customers without explicit consent.

 

If you are not a GDPR expert then get your legal team to review as fines can apply to the company and individuals.