Understanding the Difference Between Bulk and Transactional Mail Tools


Email marketing is nothing new, and companies have been using email to keep in touch with their customers both for transactional purposes and marketing purposes.

The way this kind of email sending is done can vary greatly depending on the intended purpose of the emails and the type of email communication you need.

Fundamentally we break down the types of email we send through mail delivery services into bulks email and transactional emails, but what are the differences and when should you use them?


What is a Bulk Mail Tool?

Bulk email is, quite simply, one of many tools for email marketing to your customers. It allows you to send the same email to many users and customers with little effort.

The strategies for how to design these emails and what to include, as well as how often you should send them, are very dependent on your business. Some examples of when you might use a bulk email tool are:

  • Newsletters for your company, club or organization.
  • Promotional emails with special prices or new services.
  • Informational emails to communicate important messages to your customers.
  • Retention emails designed to retain your customers.


What Is a Transactional Mail Tool?

A transactional mail tool differs from a bulk mail tool because it is designed to be, as its name suggests, transactional.

It’s a one to one tool that communicates with specific users and is used for many different things.

If you consider any interaction that you’ve had with a business that ended up in an email being sent to you, you’ve received a transactional email. Examples include:

  • Confirmation of login to a website.
  • Email confirmation messages when you register for an app, service or online store.
  • Order confirmations when you buy something online.
  • Emails from your bank notifying you about transactions.
  • Helpdesk and customer support emails, particularly from ticketing systems.


When Should You Use Each Option?

The use cases for each option should now be quite clear.

Bulk email marketing tools are for when you want a message to go to many users at once for promotions or information about your company, while transactional emails should be sent to users for targeted emails providing information or confirmations to specific users.

Two of the biggest companies in the email sending service space are Mailgun and SendGrid. While neither are restricted to transactional use, if you’re looking for a bulk email service, you might consider a dedicated service for the purpose.

If you want a highly configurable mail sending service, then these are the options you’ll likely want to choose between.

Choosing between them can be quite complex and you should compare both before you decide on which is right for you.  You can do this easily via the PieSync website.

Choosing not only the right strategy for email marketing but the right provider for your specific needs doesn’t have to be a complicated decision if you have the right information and understanding of the technical implementations.

You should now be armed with the knowledge you need to make the right choices for your company’s email delivery needs.

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