Transactional email vs Operational email

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New Contributor

I'm an ex-Marketo user, and in Marketo we had an option of making an email 'operational', which sounds similar to the 'Transactional' email in Hubspot.

However, i've only used this kind of email for sending a 'thank you, here is the download you requested' email confirmation. This is similar to a 'transactional email', in that it's not a marketing email, rather it's giving the user the requested information. They can still be unsubscribed to everything else.

 

So, here's my question... If i have not purchased Hubspot's additional Transactional Email Add-on, how can i send these 'operational emails' to someone who is unsubscribed, yet has filled out a form and wants an asset?  (please don't answer to just give them the asset on the thank you page, as I find that using an email response helps keep down spam emails.)

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Community Thought Leader

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Q: So, here's my question... If i have not purchased Hubspot's additional Transactional Email Add-on, how can i send these 'operational emails' to someone who is unsubscribed, yet has filled out a form and wants an asset??

 

Short A: The contact must resubscribe themselves.

- see Resubscribe contacts to your marketing emails

 

Longer A:

HubSpot has separate types of email from which contacts may unsubscribe -- Marketing (one-to-many) emails and Sales (one-to-one) emails. An unsubscriber from Marketing emails isn't necessarily unsubscribed from Sales emails and vice versa, so there's that.


Also, even if a contact is totally unsubscribed in HubSpot, you may still send them email directly from your native email client.


That being said, once self-unsubscribed, there is no way to send that contact email from within HubSpot unless/until they resubscribe. HubSpot Support will not even intervene in cases of self-unsubscribes (i.e., accidental or intentional).

- see Resubscribe contacts to your marketing emails

 

Transactional email in HubSpot is a totally different (dedicated IP address) animal -- generally reserved for commerce receipts, account updates, terms of service changes, and other essential business transactions ... not marketing assets. One exception to this may be the delivery of digital downloads based on paid subscriptions. (after all ... not a marketing asset)
- see Use transactional emails

 

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Frank

Chief HubSpot Consultant


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New Contributor

Thanks for the answer, however this is what I feared. I think the basic difference is that Hubspot does not include a form fill request as a transactional action.  

 

This is from an article in Marketo, and you can see that the last 2 are what I'm referring to:

What's a transactional message?

A transactional message is part of a transaction that a lead has initiated and you are responding to.

Here's some examples of transactional messages:
*Receipts for purchases
*Registration confirmations
*Download links in response to form fill-outs
*Requested assets (whitepapers, spec sheets, etc.)

 

So, it sounds like the only solution is to purchase their B2C/ecommerce add on, which is totally inappropriate for what i'm needing it for.  Bummer.

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Community Thought Leader

Sorry we're confused. Wouldn't it be easier to email the contact(s) outside of HubSpot and either ask them to resubscribe &/or just deliver their content at that point?


Can't imagine a good outcome when using Transactional email for contacts who've unsubscribed. (if that's even possible -- @roisinkirby do you know if it's even possible to send HubSpot Tranactional email to contacts who've unsubscribed from HubSpot Marketing email?)

 

Actually, not sure we understand how/why these contacts have unsubscribed yet still want/qualify to receive content from us. Very confusing.

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New Contributor

As it turns out, it looks like the issue we are having is a bug in Hubspot, since upon further investigation, the contacts have not unsubscribed at all.  They came into our system via Hubspot lead form, and were subscribed to various lists per our workflow rules, and somehow the person was auto unsubscribed, so they weren't sent the asset. 

 

Have you seen this error before? Hubspot support is also trying to figure out what's happening.

 

FWIW, to answer your question, you might have a situation where someone with an older record had unsubscribed because they just didn't want the marketing email. Flash forward a few months, and now they actually do want a brand new asset that you're now promoting.  So, they try to get it, but they forgot that they unsubscribed, and nothing tells them that they have, they simply don't get the asset.  That's not a good UI.  Best practice is to have 'operational emails' that are sent regardless of subscription. 

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Top Contributor

Hi @SamAdler - I feel the same way as you. I came from an alternate solution where I always had this override for such cases.  Those emails like you mention at other providers are typically just monitored for limits so they are not abused, but it's not necessarily an addon or advertised as an e-commerce solution.  And unfortunately in your case if someone has unsubscribed they would not get the article.  The worst part about the transactional email setup that I can tell for your use case though is here ( https://www.hubspot.com/products/email/transactional-email ).  

 

"Transactional email is an optional add-on that costs $1,000/month and includes a dedicated IP specifically for your transactional emails sent. "

 

For your use case, I wouldn't want a dedicated IP for my Marketing Transactional Emails that is different from my other marketing emails as I would be worried about having to warm that IP up. If you go down that path, based on your use case, I would ask support to move all emails to that dedicated IP and then perform a warming campaign on it to make sure your transactional emails go through the same as your marketing emails.

 

I would probably recommend you go down a path like we did and just offer the content up in a link via the Thank You message for a Hubspot form as opposed to a workflow.  You still get the tracking of the CTA and Form Submission, but you lose the validation of the email address which I assume is likely something you are after in your process.

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New Contributor

Thanks. Since we don't have too many people that this applies to, is there a way to send me an alert when someone doesn't get an email due to them being unsubscribed? There's an activity in their record that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 1.36.02 PM.png

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Top Contributor

Yep - just use workflows.  First - setup a list with the criteria to check if someone is unsubscribed from your email and submitted a form within the last day. Then add this as the starting criteria for your workflow. Have a step to send a notification to you, and then another step to hold them for a day. This is an important step because otherwise this could turn into a loop.  By having that wait step at the end you ensure that your lead is held until they are automatically removed from your list and to prevent you from getting bombarded with email if they were to keep submitting forms. Also, make sure that you allow re-enrollment in the workflow so that it continuouly check your list in case it happens again.

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