Transactional vs promotional: Which should I choose?

Broadly speaking, transactional messages are for letting customers know about the status of their order, payment, or subscription. If you want to send promotional or other types of non-transactional content to subscribers, you should choose to send a message about something else.


You should select notify subscribers about a transaction when you want to let subscribers know:

  • When their order is confirmed, shipped, or delivered.
  • When their subscription begins, is skipped, or has an upcoming charge.
  • When their payment fails.
  • When you want to update a subscriber about any other type of business transaction.

You should select send a message about something else when you want to:

  • Boost revenue by prompting subscribers to finalize purchasing the items in their cart
  • Offer discounts to customers who viewed particular products
  • Send customers post purchase information, like aftercare instructions or a prompt to fill out a survey.
  • Let subscribers know about about upcoming sales, promotions, and special offers.

For more on the differences between transactional and promotional messages, check out Transactional vs. promotional text messages.

To learn more about promotional text message compliance, see SMS Compliance and ADA Compliance.

Can I add a promotional message to a transactional journey?

Yes, but transactional journeys that include promotional content must include a separate branch for subscribers who are opted-in to promotional messaging from you. Only subscribers who are opted in will receive the promotional content, and all other customers who enter the journey will receive only transactional content.

For example, you could build a transactional journey that lets customers know when their order is delayed, and add a branch that sends customers a discount for their next order to make up for the delay. In this example, all customers who had their order delayed would receive the order delayed message, but only those customers opted-in to promotional from you would receive the discount code.

For more on branching a transactional journey to include promotional content, see Available branches in journeys: Subscription type.

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