best practices

how to write healthcare transactional emails to build engagement

best practices

Learn to build transactional emails that drive engagement and conversion while guiding consumers through the healthcare experience.

how to write healthcare transactional emails to build engagement

Transactional emails are a critical touchpoint between your healthcare organization and consumer base. These emails, triggered by specific actions such as appointment bookings or lab results, convey essential information that patients eagerly anticipate. Marketing emails are primarily used to promote services, while transactional emails relay information that patients have specifically requested, such as appointment details or follow-ups to care. By leveraging these high-engagement communications, healthcare marketers can enhance patient experiences, streamline administrative tasks, and foster deeper connections with their audience.

transactional emails vs. marketing emails

A transactional email is typically an automated email triggered by an action, such as a patient booking an appointment, medication reminders, billing notices, or signing up for a newsletter. The emails are a vital interaction used to confirm a transaction, or convey important information like test results being in or where to park for an appointment. In contrast, marketing emails are specifically designed to increase patient education and engagement and keep your healthcare organization top of mind. Marketing emails provide educational, engaging content that reflects your healthcare organization's expertise and empathy in care. Marketing campaigns with educational and engaging content are integral to building a thriving, loyal consumer base that continually turns to your providers for care. While also being very important, it’s no surprise that since consumers do not specifically request the emails, they are more likely to be ignored.

Transactional emails play a different role, starting with the fact that they are far more “necessary” regarding the information they share. Because patients explicitly ask for the information in a transactional email, these are the only communications consumers aren’t going out of their way to read. Transactional emails often don’t get the attention they deserve as a vital component of the healthcare journey, as they are powerful opportunities to increase engagement with your consumers.

focus on transactional emails for conversion

Many healthcare organizations only see transactional emails as quick, automated messages containing only vital information requested by a patient or operational items such as delivering lab results, billing notices, or medication reminders. However, since these are the only emails consumers look forward to, it’s more important than ever to build out these threads' educational and conversion-oriented components. Here are a few reasons why you should lean into optimizing transactional emails for your healthcare organization:

1. leverage higher open rates

Transactional emails contain pertinent information from a transaction, request, or follow-up that a patient specifically requests. It should be no surprise that their open rate is nearly 4x higher than marketing emails, resulting in an average of 85% open rates (fluentCRM). This massive boost in readership creates opportunities for healthcare marketers to engage consumers in transactional emails. 

2. provide essential information

From appointment reminders to follow-up care instructions, confirmations, and details on a transaction or request, healthcare consumers rely on transactional emails to give them the information they need to receive quality care. As a vital part of the healthcare journey that is already receiving attention from consumers, healthcare marketers should optimize these transactional emails with additional content to convert and engage their patient audience.

3. streamline administrative tasks

When a transactional email is well-written, patients are far less likely to need to reach out through other methods of communication to get the information they need. Spending additional time and effort to write concise, helpful, and engaging transactional emails improves patient experiences and operational efficiency. Save the time and cost of an administrative team constantly fielding calls and inbound requests for questions that can easily be answered in thoughtfully crafted transactional emails.

transactional emails that engage and convert

When writing a transactional email, it’s important to remember that the focus should be on the information the email conveys. However, adding additional content relevant to the transactional piece will further engage patients while encouraging them to be proactive in their care journey.

Share the essential transactional information first, then add additional content at the lower half of the email with other relevant services or educational pieces to build loyalty with your patients. 

Example 1: Lab Results for a Diabetic Patient

Subject line: Important: your lab results from [healthcare organization name]

If you’re sending an email containing lab results for a diabetic patient, put the results at the top of the message, then, add Calls to Action (CTAs) for more information on your diabetic care services or educational blogs on managing diabetes (see below).

Example 2: Physical Therapy Appointment Confirmation

Subject line: Appointment Confirmed @ [healthcare organization name]

When emailing appointment details to a physical therapy patient, ensure the appointment information is clearly stated at the beginning of the email. Then, add CTAs directing the patient to more information about preparing for their session or exercises they can do at home (see below).

Example 3: Pediatric Immunization Appointment for New Mothers

Subject line: Appointment Confirmed @ [healthcare organization name]

If you send a transactional email to new mothers scheduling their first round of baby immunizations, include links directing them to resources for new parent groups, managing postpartum health, and where to receive additional care as needed (see below).

Leveraging your transactional emails as an opportunity to connect with your healthcare consumers will drive more engagement for your organization and improve patient care experiences and outcomes.

keep it compliant

When writing and sending transactional emails, ensuring everything is done compliantly is vital. Always avoid including sensitive personal health information unless sent from a securely encrypted tool, like the Cured by Innovaccer Healthcare Experience Platform (HXP). Strong authentication methods, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), are used to verify the identities of senders and recipients. Specify who has access to patient data, when it's okay to send PHI via email, and to whom. Of course, always get patient consent to receive emails before sending them. To learn more about sending HIPAA-compliant marketing emails, check out our robust page on adhering to HIPAA laws here.

Optimizing transactional emails in healthcare presents a unique opportunity to connect with patients meaningfully. By prioritizing essential information and integrating additional relevant content, you can enhance patient engagement and improve care outcomes. Thoughtfully crafted transactional emails meet patients' immediate needs and encourage proactive participation in their health journey, driving improved care outcomes and engagement for your healthcare organization.

fuel patient growth and loyalty with HXP

The Cured Healthcare Experience Platform (HXP) equips you with pre-built campaigns, strategies, and AI tools to make each patient feel uniquely valued.

download the case study
you might also like...