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Keeping Your Finger on the Trigger

Are you using triggered emails with your web business?

Recently Epsilon released an email marketing report that showed triggered emails are consistently outperforming normal business marketing emails. Yet, they are only accounting for 5% of total email volume. While that tiny number is actually an increase over previous years, it is still rather befuddling why something that is so effective is so underused.

For those who aren’t familiar with the idea, triggered emails is a way to instantly react with a customer in real time. They can be more of a challenge to set up, but the results speak for themselves. Per the Epsilon report the triggered emails are opened about 47% of the time, a number which is 70% greater than other “business as usual” emails. Yet people only use this type of email 3-5% of the time? That just sounds crazy!

Triggered emails represent a huge opportunity after you get a customer on the hook of subscribing. If you truly want to gain long term value from subscribers you need to constantly work at engaging them in a positive manner.

Sample Triggers

Not sure what type of triggers to set-up? Here are five great starting spots.

    • Welcome Email – Is does not get any more obvious than this, yet a lot of people don’t employ this triggered email. When people sign up, you want to welcome them! You can review benefits, include important contact information for problems, direct them to important areas, and even give them a welcome bonus of some sort like 20% off the first purchase.
    • Order and Re-order Emails – If you have a customer that orders gifts every November, or has ordered a lot of widgets for the past few months it makes sense to send a trigger based on that. It can be as simple as reviewing previous order history and updating on current or new products that match their ordering pattern. Or it can be a reminder email based on previous date patterns.
  • Special Event Emails – These are again no-brainers. Give a reward on someone’s birthday and they will feel special. The same goes for anniversaries and other events that are important. Structure a promotion around their event tailored just for them!
  • Abandoned Cart Emails – If someone set up a cart and then abandon it, check on them. While some people might feel this is invasive, a lot of it depends on the timing of the email in relation to the event. This can also be done when people leave the site after browsing. You can even tie in with a survey to see why they stopped shopping to help create a better site.
  • Transaction Emails – After a completed transaction things like Thank You emails and follow-up emails are key to maintaining and improving customer service. You want them to feel wanted and special even after a purchase was made and be there to right a wrong if needed.

The Bottom Line

Triggered emails should be part of everyone’s toolbox. There are a lot of options and ways to use them to help make people feel more included because you are reacting to them in real time rather than the standard 2 a.m. mass mailer everyone gets. With the highly effective nature of them, you really have to ask yourself why aren’t you using more of them.

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