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Email Strategy: Top 5 Triggered Email Best Practices

Sep 4, 2013   |   2 min read

Knowledge Center  ❯   Blog

number fiveEmail marketers who aren’t leveraging triggered emails (messages your system sends to a subscriber in response to his or her action) may be leaving money on the table. These transactional emails boast open rates of more than 50 percent versus just 20 percent for standard direct marketing emails, according to Marketing Sherpa. They drive more revenue, too, according to Experian – two to five times more than standard emails, in fact. But developing and implementing an effective trigger email strategy is as much of an art as it is a science.

If you’re looking to drive the maximum benefits from your triggered email campaign, we’ve identified five strategies that will lend some much-needed clarity to your planning process:

Choose Triggers Carefully

What trigger event in your customer relationship will drive the most revenue, engagement and loyalty? What critical moments during your sales cycle determine whether you will make the sale? How might a strategically timed email help?

Dianna Dilworth of Direct Marketing News encourages email marketers to use their discretion. Just because you have a wealth of data doesn’t mean you need to act on all of it. Focus on the conversation opportunities that matter most to the customer.

Follow Up

Don’t email subscribers once and forget it. Instead, look for opportunities to create a series of follow-up emails. Yael Penn of the Chief Marketer Network recommends that once you’ve identified a trigger opportunity, think about how the recipient will respond to your email. You may be able to create follow-up emails based on these likely actions.

Consider Costs

Think carefully about the data you’ll need to capture in order to send relevant, timely and personal emails. Are your prospects and customers already sharing that data with you on your website or during the order process? Will you need to work with your IT department in order to sync data from multiple sources? And will you need to upgrade your email program to include a transactional tool? Dilworth reminds marketers all of these issues can add to the costs of implementing your strategy and must be considered.

Start Small

Marketing automation provider Mineful suggests you take your time to plan and test small email campaigns before jumping into the deep end. Start with something simple like a birthday email. As you perfect your process, you can graduate to more sophisticated campaigns, such as a welcome series or an abandoned cart program.

As you add new campaigns, continue to try new email campaigns to see what drives revenue for your business and what doesn’t.

Be Useful

According to Chris Hexton at Marketing Land, regardless of whether your trigger email is a welcome email, cart abandonment email or anything else, you have one goal: add value for your customer.

To accomplish this, your trigger email must first answer customers’ questions directly and, second, have a clear call to action. Think about the natural question a customer is asking with their behavior. How can your email provide the answer to that question?

Ultimately, triggered email campaigns allow you to deliver more personalized, highly relevant messages. Carefully planned and properly implemented, they can build customer loyalty, boost revenue and streamline your marketing process. Nonetheless, they still require a certain amount of work to set up. And with this list of best practices, we’ve only begun to scrape the surface.

What trigger email best practices would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget, email deliverability takes effort, too. Download our free eBook today to see how you can improve yours.

Photo Credit: Rootytootoot

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