Triggered Emails: The Most Powerful Tool to Drive Passive Revenue

Aqsa Mughees
Aqsa Mughees

Last updated on

April 5, 2023

A few days back, I signed up for a trial on Outgrow.

As soon as I hit the Submit button, I received a welcome email that introduced their brand and offered to help me to use their services more effectively.

triggered email

Such emails that are deployed in response to an action taken by the customer are known as triggered emails.

How do Triggered Email Workflows Work?

To send out triggered emails, you must define the trigger events at the outset.

Once a user will meet these predefined set of conditions, they will qualify for the automation workflow and receive the relevant triggered email.

For example: If you have set a trigger event as “sign up process completed”, the subscriber will receive a welcome email confirming the subscription with some information about their offerings.

By sending out triggered emails, you can achieve the marketing triad of sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

Advantages of Sending Triggered Emails

Let’s talk about the statistics first.

A 2019 study by GetResponse has revealed that triggered emails show a 38.03% open rate and 6.76% click-through rate. They are less likely to get marked as spam and see the lowest unsubscribe rate.

triggered email statistics

Another reason why triggered emails are an essential element of any email marketing strategy is that they are well-aligned with the buyer’s journey. As a result, they match the subscriber’s interests and preferences, thereby bringing in a higher conversion rate.

You can retain the existing customers by sending out triggered emails sharing the product recommendations that are in line with their previous interactions and purchase history.

These emails help to build trust and loyalty with the customers which will in turn improve the overall engagement. It will also enhance your email deliverability rate and sender reputation.

Types of Triggered Emails to Include in Your Arsenal

There are six main types of triggered emails that you must have in your email marketing strategy. We shall discuss all of them one by one.

  • Welcome Emails

While the average email open rate is 22.02% and click-through rate is 2.13%, welcome email open rate is 86.03% and click-through rate is 24.69%.

As your subscribers wait to receive these emails, they saw a 52% conversion rate with 12% of all orders.

To make welcome emails more effective, you must draft an engaging copy and use the power of storytelling to present your brand.  

It will set the tone for all future communications, so make sure that you maintain professionalism and consider your brand personality while creating these emails.

Send a series of three to welcome emails to increase brand recall and leave a deeper impact on the subscriber’s mind.

Let me share the welcome email series by Birchbox.

The first email attracts the users with a discount on their subscription box.  

birch box email

In the next email, they explain to the new users their subscription process and help them understand how they can earn maximum loyalty points.  

brichbox email

The last email of the series talks about their special deals and products in much more detail.

brichbox email
  • Browse Abandonment Emails

Going by the statistics, browse abandonment emails can bring a 124% increase in open rates with a 17% conversion rate.

When a user visits your website but does not take any action even after searching for different products and services, you can retarget them with the help of browse abandonment emails.

As a best practice, you must highlight the benefits and features of the browsed product. In addition, do not forget to share relevant product recommendations based on their search history. You must also include your ESPs like free shipping, easy returns policy, and flawless customer service.  

See how Famous Footwear has nailed their browse abandonment email by following all these tips.

abandoned cart email


  • Cart Abandonment Emails

If you are an eCommerce email marketer, cart abandonment will not be a rare occurrence for you. In March 2020, 88.05% of online shopping carts were abandoned. You can recover the cart abandoners by sending out reminder emails at regular intervals. Use these emails to nudge your subscribers about the pending purchase. Include the image of the abandoned product in these emails and offer discounts or free shipping offers to increase the likelihood of conversion.

You can even create a sense of urgency with phrases like “Limited period offer” and “Discount only valid for today”. This will help you get instant conversions.

Just like welcome emails, send out a series of cart abandonment emails like ASICS does.

asics email

Here, I would like to bring to notice the fact that your subscribers might deliberately abandon carts in the hope of getting discounts. Make sure that you do not have to cut your profit margin because of this. Be wary of such gamification by your customers.

  • Transactional Emails

Order-related emails grab the maximum attention from the customers. For instance: order confirmation emails observe an open rate of around 60%. There are a number of trigger events for these emails, as listed below:

  1. Order confirmed
  2. Order shipped
  3. Shipment delivered
  4. Shipment delivery delayed
  5. Refund request processed
  6. Return request approved

To get the maximum returns from these emails, you must cross-sell and upsell your products or services by featuring relevant recommendations.

Here’s how Amazon does it.

transaction email

Your transactional emails need not be boring. You can make it visually attractive by using relevant images or GIFs. It will not only boost your subscriber engagement but also tempt them to make another purchase.

  1. Re-engagement Emails

It comes as no surprise that people will stop engaging with your brand and move on with time. To rekindle the spark and get them to engage yet again, you can send out win-back emails. Through these emails, you can let the subscribers know that you miss them and value their relationship with your brand.

Moreover, you must also help them recall the reason they subscribed to your business. Send out personalized offers that would entice them to purchase from you and also let them know of any recent updates that they might have missed.

Dean Jackson has an interesting formula for re-engagement emails. He has suggested the use of a nine-word template like “Are you still interested in hearing from us?”.

This would pique the subscriber’s curiosity and encourage them to open the email.

Here’s how Animoto has done it like a pro.

animoto email

Send out a series of re-engagement emails over a period of time.

You can offer ladder discounts and alternative communication channels like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

If the user still does not engage with your emails, let them unsubscribe and remove them from the email list. As difficult as this sounds, it is good for your email list hygiene and deliverability too.

  1. Birthday or Milestone Emails

Take a look at this visually rich birthday email by Nike.

See how they have included a GIF that matches the celebration vibes along with an exciting discount offer.

That’s exactly how a birthday email should be.

nike email

These emails will make the subscribers feel special and make them splurge on their big day.

No wonder, birthday emails yield a 45% open rate, 12% click-through rate, and 3% conversion rate.

The same applies to milestone emails. Remind the customers of the wonderful association and let them know that you appreciate their contribution to your business.

Wrapping Up

In order to use triggered emails to the maximum potential, figure out the pages that see the maximum bounce rate and formulate a triggered email sequence around it. Take help of these emails to address the subscriber’s objections and persuade them to purchase from you. Additionally, you can use all the email types shared above to seize maximum passive revenue for your business.

To learn more, head to the insightful infographic created by Email Uplers- Triggered Emails: The Ultimate Weapon to Help You Win the Email Game.

Triggered Emails

                   Source: Triggered Emails                  

Author Bio

Aqsa Mughees

Aqsa Mughees works as a Content Lead at Mailmunch with 5+ years of experience in creative content strategy. With a grip in digital content creation for the tech industry and an undying love for writing, she is crazy about helping businesses grow through content marketing.


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