Mandrill + Usermind: How to Trigger Transactional Emails, Without Coding

Mandrill + Usermind: How to Trigger Transactional Emails, Without Coding

Elizabeth Crouch
Elizabeth Crouch

A well-timed transactional email is a beautiful thing. Recipients are generally expecting to receive transactional messages (hello, open rates!) — and since transactional email providers like MailChimp’s Mandrill are tightly coupled with systems containing customer data, these emails are usually easy to personalize based on behavior.

As recipients, we might take it for granted when we receive a nicely designed, compelling transactional email like a welcome message or purchase confirmation — but as senders, we know how effective transactional email can be at driving revenue. And as business operations professionals, we should recognize how important transactional email is when optimizing the customer journey.

According to research by Experian, transactional emails outperform bulk email sends in all the important metrics — opens, clicks, transaction rates, and revenue generated per email — and personalizing these emails has an even more positive impact on revenue.

But there are usually some technical barriers involved in creating new transactional emails or experimenting with existing ones.

To add a new transactional message to the customer journey, it generally takes work from marketing (composing the email), customer operations (designating triggers and success metrics), and engineering (setting up webhooks and coding the emails to include relevant customer data). Maybe these barriers are why 60% of marketers aren’t even using transactional emails as a tool to drive engagement.

Luckily, there’s now an easier way to implement and experiment with transactional email.

With Usermind, you can access all of the commands available through an API like Mandrill’s — without coding.

So instead of having your engineers set up a webhook or build out a new trigger for a transactional email in your product, you can just define a trigger within Usermind, then automatically send a Mandrill email — complete with custom merge tags — to customers who meet the trigger criteria.

Here are a few examples of triggers from other systems you can define in Usermind:

  • Changes to a Salesforce record
  • Activity captured by a marketing automation platform like Marketo, HubSpot, Oracle Eloqua, or Pardot
  • Web browsing or product events captured by Mixpanel
  • Subscription or billing actions captured in Zuora
  • Changes to a customer service status in help desks like Salesforce or Zendesk
  • Events captured via webhook
  • Product interactions tracked in a database like Amazon Redshift or S3, Postgres, Microsoft SQL Server, or Oracle Database

How it Works

For this example, let’s say we want to send a free trial invitation to sales-qualified prospects.

Within Usermind, we’ll create a rule that uses an update to the Salesforce Opportunity Stage as a condition to trigger an email through Mandrill to the appropriate contact role at that account. In this example, the contact role will be “Technical Champion.”

1.  Authorize your Mandrill account

Integrating applications through Usermind is super-easy. For Mandrill, simply generate a new API key for your account (hit the big blue “New API Key” button on your Settings page), and use it to authorize Usermind to access your Mandrill instance.

Mandrill - Connect.jpg

You should already have your template set up and ready to send in your Mandrill account, with your chosen from_name, from_address, and other default variables all set.

Make note of any merge tag values you need to apply to the template, because we’ll populate that information with data from the Salesforce contact associated with the opportunity, account, and contact! For this example, we’ll use first name, company name, and city.

2.  Map your data

With Usermind, you can define relationships between data across any connected system. For this example, we’ll make sure that our Salesforce opportunity is linked to the appropriate contact role and contact ID. Then, we can use that contact’s data like name, company, and location to personalize our Mandrill email.

Mandrill - Map.jpg

3. Define your milestones and rules

With Usermind, you can use triggers or updates to data from any connected system to trigger a Mandrill email.

For this example, when a sales rep sets the opportunity stage to “Free Trial Offer,” we’ll kick off a customer journey that begins with a transactional welcome email to the person in the “Technical Champion” contact role.

Here’s what that first step looks like:

Mandrill - Rule 1.jpg

4. Orchestrate the rest of the journey

Email is just the beginning. As your customer’s free trial continues, you can keep them moving along with a series of milestones and conditions that help them progress to the next step, or alert your team when a human touch is needed.


With Usermind, data and action are centralized, so you can engineer complex journeys across apps and team — without coding.

Interested in integration with a different transactional email provider? Our SendGrid integration is coming soon, and you can suggest another integration here.

Elizabeth Crouch
Elizabeth Crouch
Senior Marketing Manager at Usermind

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