Venture Blog

Advance Your Business and Improve Customer Engagement with Transactional Communications

Terra Topik
by Terra Topik

August 22, 2023

Getting your customer’s attention is in itself a difficult task; keeping it is a balancing act that requires skill and effort.

If your business is sending customer communications to clients without getting the intended response, it may be time to evaluate your transactional communication strategy.   


What Are Transactional Communications?

Transactional communication refers to any communication exchanges between a business and a customer during their partnership: messages that businesses send to customers to confirm, invoice, or inform them about a specific transaction. From service invoices to financial statements, transactional communications are an integral part of the customer experience.  

These communications are typically triggered by a customer’s interaction with a company, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or changing account details. Common examples of transactional communications include: 
  • Invoices: Documents that provide a breakdown of the costs associated with a purchase or service. 
  • Statements: Documents or records that detail transactions, balances, or other relevant information. 
  • Letters: Messages addressed to a person or organization that may include attachments or enclosures. 
  • Notifications: Messages or alerts that inform customers of an event, activity, or status update, like tracking information once an order has shipped.  
  • Order confirmations: Messages that confirm a customer’s purchase and provide details about the order, such as the items purchased, delivery date, and payment information. 
  • Reminders: Messages that remind customers about upcoming appointments or events. 
  • Marketing: Promotions sent to a target audience about products, services, or brands.

By optimizing the content, design, and delivery of these messages, businesses can turn transactional communications into a key part of their customer communication strategy. Regardless of the message type, transactional communications are a powerful tool for building relationships with customers and driving engagement.  


The Transactional View of Communications

The concept of transactional communications highlights the dynamic and interactive nature of communication between correspondents. 

The transactional view of communication is not simply a one-way process of transmitting information; rather, both parties are senders and receivers of messages, formed by a conglomeration of verbal and non-verbal cues, gestures, and symbols. Communication is influenced by the individuals' backgrounds, experiences, values, and the context in which communication occurs. It’s a complex interaction that involves encoding, decoding, and feedback.

Key concepts associated with the transactional view of communications include: 

  1. Simultaneous encoding and decoding: Both the sender and receiver of a message are actively involved in encoding and decoding messages. They interpret and assign meaning to the messages based on their individual perspectives and experiences.
  2. Feedback: Whether verbal or nonverbal, feedback serves to provide information about the value of the communication and helps adjust and refine the message.
  3. Context: Transactional communication takes place within a specific context that influences the meaning and interpretation of messages. The physical environment, social norms, cultural values, and the relationship between the communicators are all variables that actively determine how a message is received.
  4. Dynamic and transactional nature: Communication is not static or linear; it’s an ongoing, dynamic process that involves constant negotiation and adjustment. Participants continuously exchange messages and meanings, which informs the nature of the relationship between the two parties.

The transactional view of communications has implications for understanding effective communication, interpersonal relationships, and business communications. Understanding the power of empathy, active listening, and mutual understanding in our interactions is critical for their success.  

By adopting the transactional view of communications, businesses can create mutually beneficial communications, resulting in improved customer relationships, enhanced engagement, and overall business success. 


Transactional Communication Is Essential 

Transactional communications provide customers with the information they need to navigate a transaction and stay informed about their account or purchase. They are also an opportunity for businesses to build relationships with customers and drive engagement.

Below are just a few reasons why comprehensive transactional communications are essential

  • Transactional communications empower customers with the information they need to interact with your business. When communications are clear, personalized, and relevant, customers feel more confident and informed about their relationship with your organization, resulting in brand loyalty, repeat business, and recommendations to others.
  • By including marketing opportunities in your communications, businesses can promote additional products or services to customers who have an interest in your brand. For example, a Media & Communications company might include an offer to upgrade service plans or for complementary accessories.
  • A natural byproduct of successful transactional communications is valuable data, procured from interactive customers. By tracking response rates, payment times, click-through rates, and other metrics, businesses can gain insights into how customers are interacting with their brand and use this information to optimize their messaging and transactional communications strategy.
  • Some industries like Mortgage, Finance, Wealth Management, Healthcare, Insurance, and Media & Communications are required by law or regulation to manage certain sensitive transactional communications more vigilantly. For example, financial institutions are required to send account statements to customers regularly, while e-commerce businesses must provide customers with a receipt or invoice purchases.

Optimize Your Transactional Communications

Transactional communications can be a missed opportunity for some businesses; many companies treat customer communications as a purely functional business component, without considering their potential to drive engagement and revenue. Transactional communications are a way to strengthen relationships and build lasting partnerships with your customers.

Here are some tips for maximizing the impact of your transactional communications:
How to Optimize Your Transactional Communications_00
Personalize the Message 
Addressing customers by name and tailoring the message to their specific needs or preferences can make customers feel valued and connected to your brand. Personalization builds trust and loyalty and increases the likelihood of future purchases. 
Be Clear and Concise 
Customers should be able to quickly find information, understand the purpose of the message, and know how to act on the material. Avoid using technical jargon or complicated language that might confuse or frustrate customers. 
Use Dynamic Designs 
An appealing design can make transactional communications more engaging and memorable. Use consistent design standards across all communications to promote brand identity and make messages more recognizable. Using variable data to personalize messaging also makes your transactional communications more relevant. 
Include Calls to Action 
Make sure calls to action in transactional communications are aligned with the customer's needs and interests, easy to complete, and compelling. An invoice, for example, may include account details, purchase information, payment methods, package tracking, and a discount code for future purchases.  
Optimize for Omni-Channel 
Many on-the-go customers view transactional communications on their mobile devices by email or text. Use a responsive, optimized design that is easy to read and navigate, no matter the screen size. 
Review the Results 
Reviewing and analyzing transactional communications helps businesses understand how customers are interacting with their transactional messages. Identify opportunities for improvement through key data metrics, including response rates, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Best Practices for Transactional Communications 

A key trend in transactional communications is the transition to omni-channel delivery—a Customer Communication Management platform with the ability to deliver communications across multiple channels, like email, text, print, and more.Omni-channel delivery has become increasingly important as customers adopt new communication methods and expect businesses to provide seamless and consistent experiences across all channels. For example, progressive customers are more likely to use text or social media apps to communicate with businesses, while traditional customers might prefer email or print.

Not all channels, however, are suitable for all types of communication. A text might be a better choice for urgent notifications than an email, which is better suited for less time-sensitive communications. Adjust your transactional communication strategy to suit your messaging and your audience.

Regardless of the preferred delivery channel, these best practices are proven to create effective transactional communications that provide desired results:

Best Practices for Transactional Communications_00

Be timely: Customers should receive the information they need when they need it. A shipping notification, for example, should be sent as soon as the package is shipped, rather than several days later.

Be informative: Provide customers with all the information they need to complete a transaction or stay informed about their account. Make sure the message includes all the details to interact with your organization, including account numbers, order information, and payment methods.

Be professional: Transactional communications should reflect the brand’s image. Use appropriate language and avoid expressions that might be misunderstood by your customer base.

Be consistent: Consistency is key to creating a strong brand identity and building customer loyalty. Use a consistent design and tone of voice across all transactional communications to help customers recognize and trust the brand.

Be compliant: All transactional communications must be compliant with industry regulations and laws. For example, financial institutions must comply with regulations related to account statements, while e-commerce businesses must provide customers with accurate and timely invoices.

Be flexible: Omni-channel delivery options allow you to get the right messages to customers using their preferred delivery channel. This improves engagement and ensures you are reaching your on-the-go customers where they are.


Ready to Elevate Your Transactional Communications?

Transactional communications are an essential part of business: they provide customers with the information they need to complete a transaction or stay informed about their accounts. By optimizing the content, design, and delivery of these messages, transactional communications become a key force in driving revenue, building customer relationships, and strategizing engagement.

Venture Solutions offers a comprehensive transactional communication management platform that drives digital transformation through omni-channel delivery, with a focus on personalization, automation, and customer experience.

Our transactional communication solutions include:

  • Venture Access™: Our innovative self-service customer communication portal offers companies total transparency and control of their transactional communications. Venture Access™ lets you see all your transactional communications in one place, so you can know exactly what's happening as it happens. From ad hoc custom messaging to fulfillment and delivery tracking, statement archives, and detailed reports, Venture Access™ makes it easier than ever to manage your transactional communications.
  • Venture Editor™: A user-friendly, self-service communication tool that centralizes the creation of omni-channel transactional communications. Avoid the added costs of elaborate programming and composition software by streamlining processes through Venture Editor's sophisticated automated workflows.

Let’s collaborate: contact Venture Solutions today to take control of your transactional communications. 


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