Triggered Email Marketing Guide

Email Marketing
Triggered Email Marketing Guide
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: December 19, 2023

Triggered email marketing uses an automation software to send a personalized message when a customer takes a specific action. Triggered email marketing is an automated process that allows you to send emails based on user behavior.

In a 2019 survey, 68% of marketers across the globe shared they planned to start implementing more creative uses of behavioral triggers in their email marketing. Triggered email marketing provides a number of benefits such as optimization of time, financial and human resources, along with increased conversion. You can use and benefit from it, too — we’ll explain how.

What Is Triggered Email Marketing?

Triggered email marketing is a marketing strategy in which emails are automatically sent based on pre-set consumer behavior, a condition or an event — in other words, a trigger.

The purpose of triggered emails is to provide relevant information in a timely manner.

Events or “triggers” can include:

  • Viewing a product
  • Purchasing an item
  • Abandoning an online shopping cart
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Downloading an e-book or a presentation
  • Signing up for a webinar
  • Reaching a milestone

For example, when someone signs up for your newsletter, you might send a welcome email. If a customer makes their first purchase with you, you might send an email thanking your new customer for their purchase. Or, if a potential customer has abandoned their shopping cart, you might send an email reminding them to complete their purchase.

Unlike cold call emails that are sent to users without establishing prior contact, your users will not receive your triggered email unless they interact with your brand in some way.

Triggered email marketing can also be used on special personal occasions such as customers’ birthdays or anniversaries.

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How Do Triggered Email Campaigns Work?

Triggered email campaigns work by pre-setting triggers that activate the automatic sending of an email, once an action has been taken by a user.

Once a specific action is taken, your marketing automation software will send out triggered emails, also known as transactional or behavioral emails.

These emails:

  • Go only to those consumers who have shown, through their actions, that they are interested in your brand and content
  • Depend on the behavior of your customers as they move through the conversion funnel

Best Practices For Triggered Emails

In addition to the general email marketing best practices, here are some tips for successful trigger email campaigns:

  • Research and select the right tools to automate your trigger email campaigns such as Mailchimp, HubSpot, or ActiveCampaign.
  • Set clear goals behind each trigger.
  • Segment your customers to target the right audiences and ensure a personalized feel. Segment by age, gender, user behavior, location or family status.
  • Create different trigger emails for different purposes.
  • Use a short, clear message that is relevant to the trigger action.
  • Align your subject lines with the triggered action.
  • Provide valuable content.
  • Plan your email schedule carefully to avoid overwhelming your customer with too many emails.
  • Monitor your campaign metrics and run tests to optimize your results.
  • Keep track of key metrics like open rate so you can determine how well each email is performing.
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How Do Triggered Emails Differ From Marketing Emails?

Although part of email marketing, triggered email campaigns differ from email marketing in several ways. Here’s how:

  • Marketing emails can be sent at any time to promote and sell products or services without needing a “trigger,” while triggered emails are based on a specific action a consumer has taken.
  • Promotional emails are sent manually, while triggered emails are preprogrammed and delivered automatically.
  • General promotional emails are sent to multiple people at the same time, while triggered emails are delivered to people on a one-to-one basis.
  • Marketing emails are often not personalized, while triggered email campaigns always have a personalized subject line.

Types of Trigger Emails

Trigger emails can be used to reach both individual clients and as a B2B lead generation strategy.

Here are several examples of emails you can use in your trigger campaigns, depending on your industry and business goals:

  1. Welcome Emails
  2. Onboarding Emails
  3. Account Emails
  4. Early Activation Emails
  5. Cart Abandonment Emails
  6. Transactional Emails
  7. Subscription Renewal Emails
  8. Personal Event Emails
  9. Milestone Emails
  10. Real-Time Trigger Emails

1. Welcome Emails

The welcome email is the first email your customer will receive from you, setting the bond between them and your brand.

Once new users sign up for your newsletter, send them an email to welcome them to your brand’s family. Provide information about your company and encourage future engagement.

2. Onboarding Emails

If a new client has signed up for a service, use onboarding emails to provide further knowledge about your products and services.

Listing your resources and offering assistance will set the grounds for future interaction.

3. Account Emails

If your users have added, removed or updated their personal or account information such as password changes or a new phone number, send them an automated account email.

This will keep their mind at peace and let them know their accounts are updated and safe.

4. Early Activation Emails

If a subscriber has shown interest in your brand but has not activated their account, send an automated email with special discounts. This can help encourage them to take the next step.

5. Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment during online shopping is quite common and can be due to multiple reasons, from losing interest in the product to getting frustrated with the payment process.

Reminding your customers they have not completed the checkout process can help them to finalize their purchase.

Use fear of missing out (FOMO) phrases like “Offer ends tomorrow” or “Only 10 left” to reinforce your message, include pictures of the abandoned items or add a discount code to help push the recipient to conversion.

6. Transactional Emails

Conveying information that is important to your customer, transactional emails are one of the most common types of triggered emails.

Use them to keep your customer in the loop by confirming orders, sending shipping notifications or purchase receipts and more.

To promote further engagement, invite your users to follow you on social media and share reviews about your products and services.

7. Subscription Renewal Emails

If your customer’s subscription is soon to end, you can send a subscription renewal email to help encourage a new subscription. Set up an automated email to go out a month before the subscription ends to remind them they need to act. If no action is taken, send a follow-up email later on, a week before the subscription ends.

To show your appreciation, add an incentive for subscription renewal and loyalty.

8. Personal Event Emails

Want to show your customers you care about them? Set up emails for important occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions to congratulate them and thank them for their loyalty and support.

This will strengthen your relationship with your consumers, boost brand awareness and trust and encourage future interaction.

9. Milestone Emails

Set up milestone emails for your customers who have reached a certain milestone with your brand. For example, if they have been a customer for one year or have made 10 purchases with you.

Add special offers on these occasions to strengthen engagement and loyalty.

10. Real-Time Trigger Emails

Set up real-time triggered emails to reach your customers based on real-time events around them. For example, once they arrive at a certain location, you can inform them about your physical store nearby. Trigger emails can be based on multiple trigger activities such as signing up for a service, completing a transaction or abandoning a shopping cart.

Get connected with the right email marketing agency for your project.

What Are The Benefits of Trigger-Based Marketing?

Trigger-based marketing has multiple advantages:

  1. Keeps Your Customers Updated
  2. Boosts Conversion
  3. Creates A Bond Between Your Customers And Your Brand
  4. Saves Time
  5. Improves Productivity & Saves Money

1. Keeps Your Customers Updated

Let’s say your customer has purchased new shoes and you send an email with a thank you note, a receipt of purchase and a link where they can track the shipment. In a sea of information, receiving confirmation of a taken action shows your user the process was successful and they have nothing to worry about — their new shoes are on the way.

2. Boosts Conversion

By providing updates on product availability and cart abandonment, triggered emails analyze customer behavior and reach them at the right time. Updates, reminders, discount codes and other details can help increase conversion.

3. Creates A Bond Between Your Customers And Your Brand

Triggered emails serve as a two-way street for communication: your users take an action and receive a personalized email. This shows consideration for your consumers and builds trust and loyalty, facilitating retention of your existing customers.

4. Saves Time

Using the benefit of automation, triggered emails can be created quickly and easily and set in advance to reduce manual work. The only thing you need to do is identify the trigger event and create the email — the rest will be done by your automated software tool.

5. Improves Productivity & Saves Money

Using automation allows you to track the activities of people on your site without missing a single opportunity to interact with them. In this way, you can make money even while sleeping!

Use trigger email marketing to boost your sales, save time and build loyalty.

Why Hire an Agency For Your Triggered Email Campaigns?

Working with a professional agency will help you identify and set up your email triggers using marketing automation software that meets your business needs. Top IT service companies specialize in implementing and maintaining such complex systems, ensuring that your triggered email campaigns run smoothly.

Digital marketing experts at a professional agency will craft engaging copy for each of your triggered email campaigns, eliminate repetitive marketing tasks, measure the results and determine actions to take to continuously improve your strategy.

Triggered Email Marketing: Key Takeaways

Triggered email marketing helps you interact with your customers each time they interact with your brand.

  • Examples of trigger emails include:
  • Welcome emails
  • Account emails
  • Personal event emails
  • Milestone emails
  • Subscription renewal emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Onboarding emails
  • Early activation emails
  • Real-time trigger emails

Triggered email marketing:

  • Boosts conversion
  • Creates a bond with your brand
  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Improves productivity

Partnering with an email marketing agency or at least with reputable digital marketing specialists will help you determine the key actions you want to respond to, craft personalized messaging and measure the success of your triggered emails to help you continuously improve your strategy to boost brand loyalty and conversions.

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