Financial technology providers are right at the forefront of finding relevant ways to deploy transactional and triggered email.  That only makes sense, since they’re in constant search of new growth surfaces.

The best of their efforts combine a great grasp of what constitutes “customer service” with a keen understanding of customer psychology. Many people get anxious when it comes to dealing with finances, and the seven examples we’ll share below are each crafted to make the customer experience warmer and more personalized, giving them the sense that they’re the ones in control of the relationship.

And each plays its part in delivering a well-designed customer experience that has continuity and clarity for the customer. As our own Brent Sleeper recently noted, that’s key to making customer engagement a happy place – and not a source of annoyance.

Account Balance Alerts

For users of basic banking services – that checking account or credit/debit card, for instance – it’s always good to be on top of their balances. So using email alerts, triggered by events like getting too close to a credit limit or an overdraft, is a service they appreciate.

The DISCOVER example below from a few years ago is a classic example of how to do this perfectly. To start off, the subject line makes it totally clear what the message is about – and even reminds the customer that they set the alert up in the first place.

In a subtle touch, the pitch for the mobile app is at the end of the message – not intrusive, but a logical place to set this call-to-action to the customer in an email that’s just reminded them how important it is to control their finances.

Stock Market/Trading Alerts

To stay on top of the markets, an investor has to be aware of any shifts that might impact their money – or their chance to make more of it. So emails, either to their regular inbox or to an app inbox, can be set to be triggered by specific developments: a particular stock hits a threshold, the market averages do the same, or reminders to sell off shares on a certain date for tax reasons.

Trading apps have excelled at using email alerts to keep clients on top of movements in the market or key dates. Another trigger? Tracking browsing behavior through the app to deliver relevant content; if a client shows an interest in Apple (though they haven’t watchlisted it), news updates about the company (or other tech stocks) can be dispatched their way.

Onboarding & Nurturing

Once you’ve got a user signed up for your Fintech platform or product, it’s important to onboard them effectively so they’ll begin making use of it – and then nurture them through increasing levels of usage and proficiency, getting them to embrace more features (and eventual upgrades).

Here’s a great instance from QuickBooks, based on the profile they’ve built of the customer using their in-app and browsing behaviors. In this case, that user is self-employed, so QuickBooks encourages them to make use of its business expense management features – and dangles the opportunity to save on his or her taxes as a carrot.

Another tactic for deepening engagement during this part of the user lifecycle? Sending them a survey or questionnaire about how they use the product, what features they like the most, what they’d like to see added, and so on. This works in later stages, too, as a way of showing a provider is interested in their user community. Not to mention how it generates invaluable personalization data.

Winback/Re-engagement Messages

Okay, maybe even the very best onboarding and retention efforts weren’t able to keep a customer from drifting away from using an app or service. In that case, fiserv providers can be pretty adept at sending out win-back emails aimed to bring delinquent users back into the fold.

Those can take many forms, but one of the most effective can show the ex-user “what you’re missing!” in terms of new features, and throw in some testimonials to boot. Mint, from Intuit, does of fine job of exactly that, as it frets about the fact the recipient is “missing all the buzz” about those improvements.


Another tactic for deepening engagement during practically any part of the user lifecycle? Sending them a survey or questionnaire.

So long as it’s relevant and well-pitched, you can ask them about how they use the product, what features they like the most, what they’d like to see added, and so on. This works practically any stage as a way of showing a provider is interested in their user community. Not to mention how it generates invaluable personalization data.

It’s important to follow the rules, though, since financial services markets are among the most heavily regulated around. And new laws like the GDPR and CCPA make data privacy compliance vital.

Here’s an offbeat example of how one fiserv platform uses a survey. Kabbage provides small business funding, and in this case, gives users a chance to offer feedback to the Federal Reserve. Not only does it make Kabbage look like a bigger player, but also they’re helping give their users a voice with banking system bigwigs.

Order Confirmations

Sending a customer quick and precise order confirmations with some useful features attached is an email tool of many fiserv providers, and it not only builds reassurance with those users but even an expectation of just that kind of reliable contact.

If you haven’t heard of AliPay, you will; it’s the third-biggest online payment solution in China and has seen staggering growth. One of its key strengths is its ability to let users make cross-border payments in any of 16 different currencies. As you can see from the example below, which is a demo for store owners on how AliPay order confirmations work, it’s also an expert in leveraging email.

The message is short and direct and throws in the option of accessing order status and package tracking. These may be just elementary blocking-and-tackling, but they’re the kind of touches that maintain customer loyalty. And, in AliPay’s case, help it sell itself to retailers.

Suspicious Activity Alerts

With the amount of financial black-hattery that happens constantly, it’s reassuring to the customer to know their provider is on top of things. As, for instance, sending them alerts triggered by suspicious activity on a credit card.

The best examples of these (like the one below from Bank of America) are crisp, clean, and to the point: The recipient quickly sees a list of the suspect transactions with enough detail to help them remember if they’d used the card at that location, and can use big YES or NO buttons to let the card provider know if the charges are legit or not.

One extra feature some have suggested?  The power to put a “temporary hold” on a card if the customer isn’t sure about the charges, and needs to check that office or kitchen drawer full of receipts.

~ Casey