Communicating with the right person, with the right message, at the right time is one of the golden rules of marketing. The best way to achieve this for email marketers is to implement automated email triggers. These are emails that are automatically sent to subscribers after taking into account their behavioral data and user preferences.
The standard triggers for any basic email program consist of Cart Abandon, Browse Abandon and a Welcome Series.
Going beyond these essential triggers will take your email program to the next level.
The engagement process doesn’t stop after logging those subscribers to the list and cashing in on those sweet customer conversions.
If you want to turn customers into lifelong advocates, you have to create an email communication strategy that provides value throughout your customer’s entire journey.
These 6 best email triggers will do just that.
Customers are attuned to opening their emails right after a purchase either to check for a receipt or to check for a confirmation.
This ingrained and automatic reflex of the consumer is the email marketer’s best friend.
Taking the opportunity to combine post-purchase promotions with high-engagement email notifications is one of the easiest paths towards repeat purchases, referral programs and increased brand engagement.
A successful post-purchase email can have an instant impact on the success of your business. These emails help create customer satisfaction by turning them into repeat customers who are more informed and excited about your brand.
One form of the post-purchase email is product recommendation. You can time this email by basing your recommendation on a specific product a customer just bought, or you can send them an email that dynamically populates with similar products.
For example, let’s say that a customer has just purchased some apparel that’s part of a larger collection. Perhaps it was the newest release of the Signature Sweaters line, you could then send a post-purchase email that dynamically recommends the Signature Slacks and shoes that go along with the same collection.
If you offer a smaller product list, manually creating email sequences that recommend a companion product is another great way to inform your customer base about the rest of your offerings.
An excellent and simple example is Shutterfly’s email below, a basic automated message that gets sent to every customer who purchases within a specific time frame. Although easy to build, these emails are highly effective as the appeal of further discounts entices customers to think of adding further products to their order.
The post-purchase product recommendation is a must-have email trigger for any eCommerce business.
Reviews are the standard for credibility on the web. They are what differentiates your business from the shysters and bots lurking in your spam folder. Getting those five gold stars and brand-boosting comments takes some work.
Of course your product or service first needs to be of value to your end user. Reviews quantify this and act as social proof for prospective buyers. One of the best ways to grab reviews is from a follow-up email. All you have to do is ask.
If a customer is a first time buyer, you can send a “thank you” email to them with a call to action for a review. Use multiple types of forms to bring an interactive element to the inbox. This could be the standard app rating, an on-site review, or a survey that can be used to collect information so you can better serve your customers.
Surveys and reviews are the easiest emails to automate, but also one of the most overlooked ones. While you can trigger them during any post-purchase sequence, it’s wise to strike at a time when you’ll get the most out of the interaction. Some of the best times to send a review is after a repeat purchase or milestone customer anniversary. Long term customers are more likely to write a review when prompted to.
This post-purchase email from Old Navy seeks to fulfill two goals. By offering a discount in exchange for a response to their survey, they’re able to gain knowledge about the buying experience for analytical reasons and still promote them to purchase again in the future. Both Old Navy and the customer are rewarded when a reader fulfills this type of Call to Action.
There are a whole lot of solutions for just about everything online. Educating customers with timely onboarding emails is one of the most effective ways of exceeding their expectations.
Going that extra mile is what will always put your brand just a step above the rest.
Trigger emails are an effective strategy for showing your customers the full benefits of your product or service. It makes the process less stressful and stops them from feeling overwhelmed.
These context-aware emails need to be trigger based as it’s not feasible most of the time to send them manually.
You can send triggered emails to customers who haven’t used specific features of your offering. This could be in the form of a handy checklist or a gamified chart that shows their progress as a percentage. Product tour triggers can be a resourceful guide to put your customers on the designated paths you want them to be on.
Avoid sending too many emails that aren’t focused on actions that’ll give value to your customers. Send them blog posts that are centered around how to use their product or service. Link them a knowledge base resource that gives them detailed information on how to proceed with your offering.
A product tour email is also a central component of any brand’s overall content marketing strategy.
In this email, SEMRush offers readers a check-list of further tasks they can achieve to get the best experience. By checking off the first task already, signing up, readers already feel accomplished (and who doesn’t love that feeling of ticking off items on our to-do list). This email will further engage with readers, tempting them to continue the experience.
Would you rather search far and wide to convert new customers or keep a profitable existing one? Replenishment email triggers aid in retaining your best in class customers automatically. A replenishment emails is a simple message that reminds people to reorder items that they need to restock on. Replenishment or repeat buyer email automations are one of the best ways to drive recurring revenue.
These messages are triggered and automatically sent based on a certain set of timing parameters. That is, when it’s predicted that somebody will need to reorder consumable products such as shampoo, beauty products or other household essentials. Customer data trends can help you determine the usual rate of use per product and help you establish the timing for automatic replenishment triggers.
Subscription businesses have taken this trigger and made it the central operating principle of their business. Any Ecommerce or company that sells a replenish-able product or service should take from the subscription business playbook and implement an email trigger.
These triggers increase customer lifetime value (CLV). They also offer additional opportunities to learn more about your customers and provide them with greater service. This could be in the form of a time sensitive promotion or special offer like free shipping.
Make it as easy as possible for your customer to repurchase by linking them directly to the product page, or even filling their cart for them. The smoother the process, the easier the replenished conversion.
Sephora often sends reminder emails to customers who have previously bought beauty products or are registered for their loyalty program. For the program especially, the company’s parameters are able to predict the time it would take you to finish a concealer, etc., and automatically send a triggered email to remind you to purchase again – before you end up seeing a similar item on sale somewhere else.
Winback and Re-engagement
Unfortunately, those hard-earned subscribers will slowly fade from your list. Email entropy is real. Likewise, your customers may flutter and move around if you’re not giving them your all. Luckily, you can catch some of these prodigal subscribers and shepard them back to your list with dynamic winback and re-engagement email triggers.
There are a few ways to use email automation to create a re-engagement campaign. Send an email after a certain period every time a subscriber hits a time threshold of not opening your messages for a certain period of time. Wow them again and get them fired up to realize why they subscribed to your brand in the first place. Offer them a limited time incentive to get engaged again. For example. You may set a two week trigger to automate a message if your customer haven’t logged into your app or when a customer fails to make a purchase in a 60 to 90 day period.
Winback triggers can also turn into a multi-part series that works to edge your customers back into the fold. It also helps with keeping a healthy and engaged email list. If your winback and re-engagement triggers don’t bring back your customers, while then it’s time to throw them into the sunset. Eliminate them from your email list or retarget them on another medium like paid search.
Dollar Shave often uses humor to re-engage with their customers or audience. They also use the “missing out” trigger that motivates readers to sign up so they don’t miss out on future deals. The reviews at the bottom also provide real evidence that perhaps their decision not to sign up may have been premature.
These types of triggers will either help you re-engage your subscribers, ramp up your revenue or at the least – clean up and protect the deliverability of your email program. All of which, are important goals to have.
Loyalty and VIP Program
While some brands give lip-service to the idea of loyal brand advocates, others implement concrete loyalty programs that benefit long-time customers. A loyalty email trigger can direct your subscribers to either join an already established loyalty or VIP program. If you don’t have an official system setup, you can rig one together through a loyalty email sequence. Both are great options for growing loyalty.
First, if you have a VIP program, your emails should give information about how to join or let them know they’re close to entering the ranks of becoming a loyal VIP customer.
If on the other hand you want to build out a more unofficial loyalty program, you can segment your audience by repeat purchasers and begin to tailor personalized content and promotions to them. The faster you onboard a purchaser into your loyalty program (2+ purchases), the more likely they’ll stay on with your brand for the long haul.
More advanced loyalty programs have a scheme of points, redemption notices, recommended products and unique company status updates. Rather than trying to manually keep this going like a mad man, we can easily set loyalty triggers to keep all sorts of customers updated while they interact with certain touchpoints of your program.
Torrid sends out emails frequently, offering discounts and loyalty rewards. For example, the email below reminds readers that they will receive extra loyalty points every time they open an email (clever isn’t it) and then proceeds to offer an in-store discount as well.
Highly engaged loyalty customers are built by sending quality messaging at the right moment. Keep your loyalty initiatives at the forefront and don’t keep them hidden.
Over 254 million Americans use email daily, sending almost 105 billion emails. If you can develop engaging emails that trigger the right response in the perfect moment, you can considerably grow your audience, build strong relationships with customers, and see a Return on Investment worthy of a growing business like your own.