Research on email consumption tells us that, depending on the device, anywhere from 20% to 43% of readers spend 3 seconds or less on an email message. This illustrates the importance of sending relevant content, as people will read your email if the message is eye catching and the content is interesting.According to Epsilon, triggered email messages get 119% higher click through rates than a typical email campaign (Epsilon and Direct Market Association’s Email Experience Council’s Email Trends and Benchmarks report, June 2012 ). Triggered emails are sent based on a user’s situation or behaviour (or lack of behaviour), according to “if-then” logic. For example, if your customer opts in to your email program, then a welcome message is sent, introducing them to the email program and setting expectations. Emails can be sent in response to a variety of behaviours: when a user subscribes to your newsletter, views a certain product or a video on your website, or physically enters your place of business.
1. Welcome Email Program
Welcome emails introduce subscribers to your brand and typically generate high response rates. They provide you with an opportunity to make a great first impression. And, like a first impression, you only get one shot to start the relationship off on a positive note. Make sure your welcome email is engaging and includes an attractive CTA.
Smart Marketer Tip: A welcome email series can be very effective but testing is needed to determine optimal messaging. While a 5-email series may be best for one company, that isn’t necessarily true for all.
2. Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s actions like an order confirmation or an abandoned cart. A study by Experian found that some transactional emails are opened at 8x the rate of promotional emails. The disappointing part is that they often lack additional content, information, and calls-to-action. With significantly higher open and click rates than bulk mailings, transactional emails should be given more attention. Use this opportunity to upsell your customer with suggestions for other popular products or services.
3. Cart-Abandonment Program
According to Listrak, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for 2015 is upwards of 75%, meaning greater than 7 in 10 shoppers who place items in a cart do not check out. The two main reasons customers cite are not being ready to purchase and high shipping fees. Smart retailers recognize that abandoned carts represent missed revenue opportunities. Email can be easily used to bring customers back to your website to complete a purchase.
The key is to capture a customer’s email address first. That way, even if they decide to abandon, you’ll retain their email address to trigger your cart abandonment emails. An immediate email may come across as off-putting and desperate, but a well-timed email series can do wonders for your bottom line.
Sample Cart-Abandonment Email Series:
Email #1 – Sent 15 minutes after cart abandonment and geared towards customer service. The email could ask if something technically went wrong with the purchase and offer help with any problems.
Email #2 – Sent 3 days later and offering free shipping if they complete their purchase.
Email #3 – Sent one week later and warning of the final chance for the customer to retrieve their saved items and complete purchase.
4. Reengagement Campaign
In the email world, “inactives” are often defined as valid email subscribers who have not opened or clicked on an email you’ve sent them in the last 6 months. These subscribers can impact your overall email metrics, but they may also be an untapped segment with potential revenue. Email marketers should design campaigns targeted at reactivating and reengaging these customers. First steps can include a simple questionnaire asking if they’d like to continue receiving messages. From there, you can design a message series to reengage them. You may even want to have multiple trigger points (e.g. inactive for three months, six months, or one year) where you send different campaigns to reengage these prospects. For example, after three months, send a reminder to update their email preferences. After six months, ask them if the content is irrelevant. And finally, after one year, tell them you won’t email them anymore unless they respond.
The competition for your consumers’ attention is only going to increase. It’s up to marketers to create smarter email campaigns that are highly targeted and relevant. Leveraging these types of triggered email campaigns to send the right message, to the right person, at just the right moment will be the key to your success.