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Transactional messaging with Intercom

Everything you need to know about sending event-based messages

Brian Byrne avatar
Written by Brian Byrne
Updated over a week ago

What is transactional messaging?

Whenever customers take an action or reach an important milestone, it's important to be able to immediately message them, for example:

  • A customer's renewal date is approaching... and you send a reminder.

  • A customer leaves items in their cart... and you remind them afterward.

  • A customer requests a password reset... and you send a reset link.

  • A customer pays for an order..... and you follow up with a confirmation message.

These messages are what we would call 'transactional', 'operational', or 'event-based' messages.

Every time one of these situations or events occurs, you want to message customers immediately, automatically and in a personalized way. Here's a quick video overview:

So, where are your transactional messages now?

They might be hardcoded into your product

Many operational messages are hardcoded into your product by your developers. If this is the case your marketing team may have little-to-no visibility or control over these messages.

You might use third-party tool to send them

Other transactional messages may exist in external tools outside Intercom, like Sendgrid, Pardot, or Mailchimp. Meaning all your messages aren’t consolidated into one tool.

Or you might not send any transactional messages at all

These message types can be difficult to set up, so it may not have been possible for you to create them before.

Why should you start transactional messaging with Intercom?

It’s a huge opportunity for your team

They’re easy to set up, meaning no coding, no engineers, and no more headaches—all thanks to our visual message builder.

No need for another platform

You can stop jumping between platforms and take care of all your transactional and promotional messages in one spot.

Go beyond transactional emails and send in-app and mobile messages too

Unlike other tools, you’re not limited to email, you can send transactional messages via multiple channels (and even combine them!), including email, in-product messages, and push, to ensure your message is seen at the right time, in the right place.

Where can I learn more about transactional messaging?

The following articles go into more detail on how to use Intercom's features to send impactful transactional messages.

Or register to watch our best practices webinar:

When do transactional messages send?

Event driven in-app messages, such as Chats and Posts, send instantaneously when a user is active in your app or website after matching the message criteria.

Event driven emails match instantly and send in our highest priority queue. Typically emails send within seconds or minutes, however in times of high traffic there can be a slight delay with the longest delay up to 30 minutes.

If you're sending a timely email, such as a password reset, we suggest including a note on the page to account for possible delays, such as: "Please check your email for a password reset link. Note: This may take up to 30 minutes to arrive."


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