Transactional messages. Those messages that have the most eyeballs on them (2x the open rate of promotional messages). The messages that subscribers care the most about. We’re talking about e-receipts, confirmations, even account or password reset messages. These are the messages that subscribers expect to receive in an instant and search them out in their inbox. With messages like these, the stakes are high and expectations are even higher. Because strong transactional email messages are key to every email program, we’re sharing three ways to make them even better. 


Bring Experience Design to transactional messages 

Gone are the days of font-only, design-lacking transactional messages. The design of the message is important not just because it’s something to look at but because it creates a better experience for the subscriber. The design impacts:

  • Trust: Customers want to trust that these important messages are coming from that same brand they know and love. When the transactional message looks different from the promotional message, it requires a second look to make sure the message is coming from who they say it is. It’s important to create a cohesive look and feel across all of your messages, and don’t leave transactional messages out of that conversation. 
  • User Experience: Give the subscriber the information they need in a way that’s easy to digest. As you’re building these messages, focus on four design principles: 
  1. Keep customers informed: Tell the customer exactly what they need to do
  2. Make it easy: Use plain language, start with the most important information, and don’t make them work hard
  3. Provide clarity through minimalist design: Make it scannable using sections, headings, and bullet points 
  4. Demonstrate helpfulness and courtesy: Anticipate customer questions and concerns, and address them

Take personalization further 

Because of the nature of transactional messages, they already have a personalized, 1:1 element to them. An e-receipt will include the shopper's specific purchases, and an account confirmation will include the important details of a new account. Take personalization a step further by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend products or content most relevant to that subscriber. 

  • Pick which messages need recommendations: This added level of personalization isn’t appropriate for all transactional message types. Password reset or important alerts? Steer clear of recommendations. E-receipt or account confirmation? These are prime message types to include content or product recommendation. 
  • Ensure the recommendations are a secondary message: Remember, these are transactional messages to begin with. The information the customer is requesting or hoping to receive comes first. Look at the recommendations as helpful information showing the customer other items or content that would benefit them. 

Send promotional and transactional messages from the same platform 

Sending from the same platform sounds simple enough, but many marketers use different messaging platforms for their different message types. They might use one platform for promotional while leveraging another messaging platform for transactional. This type of setup often results in disjointed messages sent by siloed teams. 

Sending from the same platform not only benefits both the end-recipient and the marketer. From the marketers perspective, sending both transactional and promotional messages from the same place allows them to:

  • Map out the entire customer journey: An end-to-end customer journey usually crosses through different message types. The marketer can ensure the experience is cohesive when it’s all sending from the same place. 
  • Easily report on the full program: On the same platform, the metrics for reporting for both messages are consistent, and they can be easily built into the same report. 
  • Follow the customer experience: The benefits of reporting on one platform can surface common customer patterns. Does engagement with promotional messages peak just before a transactional message send? Does engagement with certain transactional messages flag someone who might unsubscribe soon? These types of insights come easier when it’s easy to compare the messages and experiences side-by-side.

Transactional messages are bound to be opened. When you do get that open, make the most of it. Build trust by creating a cohesive experience, encourage a loyal audience with messages that allow customers to easily engage, increase engagement by layering in helpful personalization, and create a well-rounded marketing program by sending all message types from the same platform. Happy emailing!

Learn more about the new Transactional API