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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2016-07-27

In a recent blog post, I suggested leveraging triggered emails as a way to drive customer acquisition. It turns out, this tactic is not only relatively easy to automate, but is driving impressive results as well.


As a refresher, triggered emails are those emails which can be automatically sent to your subscribers in response to an event performed or action taken by them. Recently, marketing platform provider Lifecycle Marketing evaluated 24 billion emails and found that while triggered emails account for only 2.3% of total email volume, they translate into 4.4% of all email opens, 9% of all clicks and almost 10% of email revenue. Compared to standard emails, triggered campaigns double open rates from 14.5% to 28.7%, and quadruple unique clicks from 1.6% to 6.5%.


With metrics like that, there’s no reason to hold back on putting triggered emails to work for your business. Here are five ways to get started:


  1. Welcome messages: A welcome email is triggered immediately after a sign-up, registration or purchase. It should create a positive first impression, set expectations and provide clear guidance on what to do next. For example, Uber’s welcome email thanks people for signing up, explains how the service works, and provides tips on getting started and creating the best possible experience. For B2B marketers, a conference or webinar registration welcome message might guide registrants to pre-meeting content in order for them to make the most of the upcoming event.


  1. Timed milestones: These triggers might include happy birthday wishes (provided you collected this info at some point), or, even easier, they can commemorate how long someone has been a customer or prospect. The idea is to drive engagement and, ultimately, a purchase. B2B marketers might, for example, reach out to prospects on the six-month or one-year anniversary of their newsletter sign-up date by sending a special message or promotion. Timing emails in this way also works well for limited-time free trial offers that are about to expire, which encourages the recipient to take action and the next step towards a purchase.


  1. Abandoned cart (or purchase): These messages are common in the B2C realm when you put an item in your sales cart but don’t complete the purchase for some reason. In the B2B space, such a message might apply for any correspondence or registration that doesn’t result in a sale. For example, a prospect downloads the software demonstration video but doesn’t make a purchase after a certain amount of time. Here, a follow-up asking if any additional questions need answering, or perhaps offering to arrange a special conference call with a qualified sales engineer would be in order.


  1. Renewal reminders: For those B2B marketers who offer a product or service that is subscription based, automating renewal reminders can drive activity before the subscription runs out. Such a tactic could also work for replenishment of, say, business supplies (e.g. paper or ink) that may soon run out.


  1. Inactive or dormant contact: Perhaps you haven’t heard from a contact in the last six months or a year. It might be most effective to come clean and tell them this, gauge their interest and inquire whether there is any information they need or anything you can do to help them. In addition, telling them that if you don’t hear back from them you will drop them from your communications may spur them to 1) reconsider your product again, 2) tell you they no longer have a need, or 3) uncover how they solved their issue, which could be interesting or insightful for future efforts. In this case, you can drop them from your list, or move them to an “inactive” file.


Other triggered emails that may (or may not) apply to your activities could include order confirmations, unsubscribes, thank you messages or service/product feedback or survey requests. Whatever the occasion, triggered email messages give marketers the opportunity to deliver timely, personalized and relevant emails that invite engagement, and stand out from overflowing inboxes. Research shows they are a highly effective type of email for eliciting an immediate response, which B2B marketers can and should use to their advantage.




Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful email marketing database.




Image copyright: feelart / 123RF Stock Photo

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