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Send notifications that remain accessible in your app

What transactional in-app messages can do for your business

Jan 4, 2023 • 4 min read
Isabelle Hahn
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Send notifications that remain accessible in your app
Banner background mobile
Send notifications that remain accessible in your app

In 2022, mobile retail e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to surpass 430 billion U.S. dollars, but mobile conversion is still lower than website conversions.

One way to increase your mobile conversion is through transactional in-app messages that guide a customer toward a purchase. By providing an opportunity to engage with your business, you’re allowing for a customer relationship to start taking place.

Transactional messages are the ones that complete a purchase or another action — they’re confirmation emails, product suggestions, shipping notifications, receipts, and so on. In this post, we’ll look at what transactional messages are, the difference between transactional messages vs. promotional ones, and some best practices for using them effectively.

There are many moving parts to selling a product. Messaging is just one of them, but it’s an important one.

What are transactional messages?

Transactional messages help businesses keep customers up-to-date on any changes that may occur regarding orders, payments, shipping status updates, and privacy policy updates. They are a great way for businesses to demonstrate commitment to customer service while streamlining effortless communication between companies and their customers.

Transactional messages can come through text or SMS messages, email, push notifications or through in-app messaging, notifying about a purchase or other updates.

However, with in-app messaging, customers can be personally guided through their transactions without ever leaving the app.

SMSDeliverabilityScams, no rich media
EmailRich media, easy to referenceSpeed
Push notificationsSpeedFleeting
In-app messagingSpeed, contextual, immediately actionable, referenceableRequires dedicated app

Different types of common transactional messages:

  • Delivery notifications let customers know the status of their purchase or order and provide tracking information
  • Order confirmations are typically sent out immediately after a purchase is made, providing all the details on what has been purchased including pricing, delivery address and other information.
  • Payment reminders can be sent to prompt customers when payments are due, while account activation emails are typically used once an account has been created by a customer in order to verify the email address linked to it.
  • Account activation emails
  • Receipts provide the customer with a record of their purchase and may also include any applicable coupons or discounts they have received.
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Transactional vs. promotional messaging

Two types of messages are essential when communicating with customers: transactional and promotional messages.

Promotional messages relay specific marketing content to an individual or group of people to inform them about deals, promotions, sales, announcements, etc.

Both forms of communication have their place and importance in any digital communication strategy. It’s important for businesses to understand when it makes sense to use either type of message for maximum impact on their customers and their engagements.

How to write effective transactional messages

Transactional messaging, whether it comes from email, SMS, push notifications, or in-app, should be concise, focused, and inspire action by customers.

Craft your message with the same urgency as a sales or promotional message; lead people to make a purchase or sign up for additional offers or services. Focus on adding powerful images that catch people’s attention, as well as helpful links that provide further value and guidance. For example, a picture of a receipt in addition to a file attached to an email. The more personalized and useful your messaging, the more you build loyalty among customers even after purchase.

Transactional messages also have different purposes, as well. Are you informing a customer of their account status? Sending them a notification about their package being delivered? Each step of the buyer’s journey should include some sort of message, even if it’s as simple as a push notification.

That way your customer knows you’re thinking about them every step of the way.

Transactional messaging inspiration and examples

Blog DoorDash delivery notifications
Doordash delivery notifications

Delivery notifications are transactional, or operational, messages that alert the user that their delivery is on the way, completed, or delayed. With a messaging feature, customers can communicate directly with their driver in a secure way.

Blog Carousell marketplace
Carousell marketplace transactions

Combining suggested messages with SendBird’s chat layer, Carousell is able to drive faster conversations and successful transactions, leading to much faster responses and a better experience.

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