What is the single best time to interact with your customers? Right after they’ve interacted with you. Triggered email marketing campaigns can generate open rates 30 percent to 50 percent higher than open rates for traditional email campaigns. If you’re not already using behavior-specific emails as a part of your marketing strategy, you’re likely missing some giant opportunities.
Why Are Triggered Emails So Effective?
The success of triggered emails relies on one primary concept: relevance. As Adam Sutton discusses in the MarketingSherpa blog, triggered emails offer a trifecta of marketing relevance:
Relevant Content: Triggered email messaging is tied directly to specific customer actions, such as downloading a report from your website or placing an order from your online store. “You know what they’re interested in because they told you (through their actions),” Sutton says.
Relevant Timing: With behavior-specific emails, there’s no delay in your communication. You can be confident you’re reaching your customer at the precise moment your customer is thinking about you.
Relevant Audience: We all know the importance of appropriate list segmentation to prevent subscribers from receiving irrelevant emails. Along the same vein, triggered emails allow you to target only the specific individual who has taken action.
What Do I Need for Effective Triggered Emails?
Access to real-time data is critical for any triggered email marketing campaign. It’s not just about collecting as much Big Data as you can, it’s about collecting the right data and making it immediately actionable. For successful triggered emails, you need a system capable of tracking a customer’s completed actions, collecting a few key demographics (such as age, gender, location) and then delivering right messages at time when your customer have just interacted with your brand.
You also need the flexibility to customize email elements, which includes:
- Choosing the exact actions and the corresponding triggered email
- Personalizing the subject line and message content
- Controlling the number of emails involved in your campaign
- Selecting the timing of the messaging delivery
When Should You Use Triggered Emails?
As with any email campaign, your strategy shouldn’t be about you; it should be about your customer. When deciding which customer actions trigger automated emails, look for opportunities to add value for your customer.
Obvious triggers include such tried-and-true strategies as welcome messages for new subscribers, thank you messages for recent purchases (possibly including upsell/cross-sell messages) and cart abandonment messages to encourage customers to return to a potential transaction.
However, successful marketers also look for less obvious methods of improving the overall relationship. For instance, consider these often-overlooked opportunities:
- Sending a message when your customer took one action in a series, but not the next
- Reaching out after your customer mentioned you-or a competitor-in social media
- Contacting customers on the anniversary of the day they subscribed to your list, or the day they made a purchase
True customer engagement goes beyond surface-level communications. One-size-fits-all strategies simply can’t drive the genuine interaction a timely, well-strategized triggered campaign can deliver. By combining outstanding functionality with honest, value-added communication, you’ll not only increase email engagement, you’ll also cultivate mutually beneficial, long-lasting customer relationships.
Looking to leverage your customer data for even further results? Check out the free guide Using Customer Data to Achieve Email Marketing Success to learn more!