Last updated on
April 5, 2023
Automation is quickly becoming the future of email marketing. With automation, marketers can send timely emails to subscribers on a predefined schedule. One way you can automate your marketing is with triggered emails.
This guide will walk you through everything you ought to know about triggered emails. We’ll first go through the basics before looking at ways to use triggered emails to engage leads and increase your revenue.
Triggered emails are automated emails that are sent based on consumer’s behavior. You can send customers emails based on what they do on your website or other marketing channels. You might send a triggered email after someone makes a purchase, abandons a purchase, or reaches a milestone, for example.
Triggered emails save marketers a tremendous amount of time and provide better engagement to your contact database. More importantly, they help your business build trust, increase revenue, and, eventually, foster loyalty among customers.
Triggered emails can serve as that fine line between engaging a potential customer or losing contact altogether. They come in many forms, all of which serve a different purpose. Below are some of the most common yet effective examples of triggered emails you can incorporate into your email marketing strategy.
Customers love a good welcome email. Welcome emails are triggered emails that are sent automatically after a new subscriber has finished registering or completed the opt-in process. They make customers feel special and, of course, welcomed into your brand’s community.
A good welcome email gives new subscribers a short introduction about the brand and what they can expect from it moving forward. It can also lead them to other relevant resources they may want to explore, like landing pages, product pages, or famous blog posts.
Welcome emails are 42% more likely to be read than an average email, so be sure to make a good impression through captivating written content and design.
In this example, the creative platform Medium used a light, minimalist design using pastel colors in the email. The email starts with a powerful headline (“Welcome to Medium, where words matter”) that perfectly embodies what the website is about.
It then follows this with concisely written content that explains who the platform is for, the idea behind the company, and how subscribers can get unlimited access to its products. It ends the welcome email with a story recommendation that the new subscriber may want to check out.
Since welcome emails are your subscriber’s first interaction with your brand, you may be tempted to highlight an overwhelming amount of information. Keep your email brief yet catchy by breaking it into segments and using clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
Your mailing list should be consistently updated to maintain its quality. If certain subscribers haven’t interacted with your brand in a while, then maybe it’s time to send them a reactivation email. Reactivation emails are sent to subscribers who have not shown any activity for a certain period of time.
Existing customers are valuable to your business. Keeping them is cheaper and more profitable than acquiring new ones. The probability of selling to existing customers is 60% to 70% while selling to new customers is a measly 5-20%.
However, many customers don’t engage with reactivation emails right away. Some marketers send out numerous reactivation emails in an attempt to reengage subscribers.
That is the strategy popular streaming platform Netflix uses to convince users who have canceled their subscription. First, they send a notice about the cancellation, urging them to come back using a flashy CTA button.
Then, they send an email showcasing the popular new shows and movies that the former subscribers are missing out on for the next three months.
Finally, Netflix sends the final reactivation email by highlighting the benefits users can get when they renew their membership again. Again, they use a flashy, red CTA button to meet their goal. These email sequences are effective tactics to win back subscribers.
If a subscriber doesn’t engage with you after three emails, then maybe it’s time to remove them from your general mailing list to keep the list’s health and quality. These emails require careful structuring and research.
Feedback is essential to discover what is working well for your business and where you have issues. Encouraging users to answer customer surveys or give product reviews through email can help you gather useful information.
Not only do feedback and review emails provide helpful insights. They also give customers a voice to air complaints or tell your business how to serve them best. Those types of triggered emails are usually sent after a customer completes a purchase, attends an event or webinar, or downloaded something from your website.
Source: Mail Bakery
Another way to invite subscribers to take your survey is to give them incentives like discounts and freebies. Here’s an example from renowned fashion brand Kate Spade.
They use a simple yet catchy headline to urge recipients to answer their survey. As a way of thanking them, the brand gives responders 25% off on any full-priced purchase. That is an extremely generous offer, considering a typical survey would only take a customer at least three minutes of their time.
Like reactivation emails, abandoned cart emails are a great way to re-engage potential or existing customers. These emails are usually sent to users who have not completed their purchase or transaction yet. Since these users have already shown interest in their cart’s products, they are now quality leads your business can capitalize on.
Abandoned cart emails have a high open rate of 41.18%. However, getting conversions is a different story. GetElastic saw that companies that sent their first recovery email within the first 20 minutes saw an increase in conversions by 5.2%, while those who sent the email after 24 hours saw their conversion rate drop by 50%. When it comes to emails like these, time is of the essence.
That email from Whisky Loot is a great example of an effective abandoned cart email.
Once a customer abandons their subscription box purchase, they receive a comical subject line like “Your cart is sobering up.” Upon opening the email, users can read all the perks and benefits they can get if they complete the purchase. The company then ends the email with a striking CTA using the phrase “Treat Yourself.” Really, who can say no to that?
Sending subscribers their very own birthday email is a personalized way to tug at their heartstrings and win their loyalty. That is a low-effort way of getting more interaction with subscribers.
A report by Experian Marketing Services found that birthday emails get 481% higher transaction rates than other promotional emails. The same study also saw 342% more revenue from birthday emails than promotional emails.
To easily schedule and prepare for these special days, start by collecting users’ birthdays by adding the field to the email subscription form or account registration form set on your website. Some companies send these emails during the first day of a subscriber’s birthday month while some send it on the actual day.
Give your subscribers exclusive offers and discounts to elevate your birthday emails.
Here’s a good example of an exclusive birthday offer from Omaha Steaks. On top of a 10% discount, the subscriber can also claim a free chocolate cake with his/her order.
That is an irresistible offer as discounts and freebies are major drivers of purchasing decisions. The limited time offer and its striking CTA make subscribers feel a certain urgency to make the most out of the offer.
An order confirmation email is the most common form of transaction email. It’s triggered when a user finally completes a transaction like making a purchase, booking a room, or a ticket. The confirmation email usually comes with a digital receipt to verify the purchase.
Compared to promotional emails, transactional emails have higher open, and engagement rates and generate more revenue. Order confirmation emails assure the customer and make them excited about their purchase. Given such impressive results, marketers usually use this type of email to leverage other offers and encourage repeat purchases.
Source: Smart Mail
Check out this example from Gearhead.
Gearhead adds a top picks section in their confirmation email to showcase similar products consumers may want to purchase next. What’s great about this email is that it humanizes the brand by using images of staff members and enabling customers to inquire about their purchased gear.
Since these customers have already shown great interest in your company to the point of making a purchase, they are more likely to spend more on your company.
With an impressive effectiveness rate of 56%, email marketing is single-handedly the most effective channel for customer retention. As one of the many marketers vying for attention from interested consumers, it helps to use email automation and triggered emails to ease the process and become more responsive to customers.
Triggered emails, in particular, are valuable marketing tools as they are more personalized and cater to the user’s preference. It’s good to start with a catchy welcome email that gives users a bit of background about your business and what it stands for.
Consistently follow these up with well-structured birthday and feedback emails that give users exclusive offers. Don’t forget to lead potential customers back into the sales funnel with reactivation and abandoned cart emails with strong CTAs. Once you’ve had all these in check, drop a grateful thank you note to converted users by sending them an order confirmation email.
You have a wide range of triggered email examples to employ in your email marketing scheme. Leverage them, and your business will be on its way to success.
Content marketer by day and book nerd by night, Momina works at Mailmunch as a Marketing Communications Specialist. Momina eats, sleeps, and breathes content marketing. Her expertise ranges from ideation to production to distribution of content, thanks to 4+ years of experience in the B2B content marketing sphere.