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Alberto Miscia
21 April 2016
Reading time: 5 min

Triggered emails: 7 ways to boost sales

The world of email marketing is constantly changing. While newsletters and one-shot campaigns are still strategic choices, companies that follow the latest innovations are starting to set up and deploy email campaigns that can be triggered automatically based on user’s actions and behaviors.

There are many motivations that drive companies to adopt marketing automation systems: triggered emails are instant, personalized and extremely relevant to your recipient.

Boosting the effectiveness of your campaign has direct results in terms of opening and clicks rates, which are higher and more frequent than non-automatic communications. In turn, this positive trend translates into increased conversions and revenues.

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What is email automation?

Unlike a newsletter or a promotional campaign, a triggered email is created and set up only once; it is then sent to your database contacts whenever your pre-set conditions are met.

For example: imagine we are Company XY and we’d like to send an email to visitors who sign up to access the user area of ​​our website. The welcome email will provide them with a series of initial informational content to manage their account, add a profile picture, etc.

If we had to manually create and send an email to all new subscribers, this would mean a lot of work which would take up time and resources. Whereas, triggered mailings speed up and streamline our email marketing activities. This is the real advantage of an automated system: once you set up your system of rules and content, the system does all the work for you.

Boost your business

As we said earlier, triggered emails work based on pre-established and pre-set rules. There is no fixed rule, you can have many combinations of conditions based on the data in the database, your type of business or your business needs. Below is a short list of some examples of automatic email campaigns.

  • Welcome email to new subscribers

The majority of visitors to a website are not yet ready to buy, but as they have shown an interest, they are perfect candidates for our email automation campaign. If, as in this case, the goal is to establish a relationship and convince them to buy later, a good starting point is to get them to sign up to the mailing list: a fast and simple action, which will make them more inclined to make a purchase. Once registered, users will receive a triggered welcome email that may contain a gift (discounts and/or coupons) that rewards them for their trust and encourages them to carry out another action (make a purchase, take part in surveys and questionnaires, or share content on social media). The economic incentive does not guarantee 100% conversion, but it does let you track and monitor the effectiveness of a campaign and assess its impact on sales.

  • Birthday email

Happy birthday emails are the most widespread and effective type of automatic email campaign. Users who receive them appreciate the surprise and, if the message contains a dedicated promotion or a discount, they will be more inclined to buy. With just one email, you get three benefits: you improve the relationship with the customer, you build loyalty and you stimulate the purchase.

  • Events and reminders

Most research has shown that gaining a new customer costs five times more than retaining existing ones. One effective way to keep your relations with your customers alive and active is to periodically send out reminder emails, to remind them of dates or deadlines, or inform them of a recurring event. These emails are ideal for all businesses offering medical services, maintenance (mechanics, technicians) and cleaning.

  • Promoting events

If a company invests time and money into events, meetups or webinars, you need to get people to participate. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that even if you get a large number of registrations, only 50% of those registered actually take part in the event. To try to increase this percentage, we can use a series of pre-event triggered emails which encourage people to participate, as well as post-event emails including exclusive materials and content.

  • Blog posts

The company blog has become one of the most commonly-used marketing tools to spread content and boost target users. When you publish a new blog post, it is good practice to send your subscribers an email to notify them about the availability of new content.
The email you send should be sufficiently attractive, with a compelling text and preview image, which can explain the blog content and encourage the user to keep reading. To enable these emails, you just need to set up an automatic feature that monitors an RSS feed of the blog. There is a wide range of sending settings, which can organized by category of content or based on the sending frequency (daily, weekly, monthly). This type of campaign allows the company to convey their content online and renew their image and relevance in the eyes of the user.

  • Creating a course by email

Offering a course by email can be a very effective way to attract new subscribers and teach them about specific topics. If carried out properly, the course by email will help to build a rich database of information and improve brand identity in terms of reputation and expertise. These are all elements that encourage contacts to make a purchase and choose one company over another.

  • Informing customers about the expiration of a service

We said that losing a customer is expensive and that loyal customers are a great asset. Increasing the profitability of acquired customers by 5% can lead to a 75% increase in company profitability. So it is important to avoid letting customers leave our company without any kind of communication. A triggered email sent just before the expiration of the service purchased could regain the customer and encourage them to renewal their contract. To encourage this renewal, promotions and monetary incentives always give you great leverage.

Tips for an effective automated email campaign

Like the most commonly-used email campaigns, triggered emails also need to be optimized to be effective. Below are some tips on how to create impactful emails with a strong conversion potential:

  1. Write a catchy subject

    Although they are sent entirely autonomously after a specific action by the recipient, automatic campaigns need an interesting subject to capture the contact’s attention and ensure a high opening rate.

  2. Well-arranged content

    Several studies show that emails are viewed panoramically, as a whole. It is rare for the recipient to look at the content word for word. Instead, they quickly scan the body of the message to find items that might capture their interest. This is why you need to have a well-arranged message in terms of design to create a hierarchical order of the content.

  3. Use compelling and interesting content

    If your goal is conversion, you should not forget to use persuasive content that creates expectation and desire among your recipients.

  4. Use call to action buttons

    A call to action button will significantly improve the CTR rate than plain underlined text. This is why, when you create your triggered email, you’ll want to always include one or more call to action buttons.

  5. Measuring the results

    Monitoring the results of your campaigns is a fundamental step to pinpoint your ideal strategy and plan future mailings. The next step? Broaden your range of analysis by tracking the performance of your triggered emails through your website’s monitoring systems.

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Alberto Miscia

I have been working in the email marketing industry for over 10 years. I love numbers, figuring out what they tell us and – even more – what they don't. This led me towards a natural development in the field of Email Deliverability, an area with few certainties but where one thing is sure: the email will reach its destination if the recipient wants to receive it and finds it relevant. My ambition is to ensure that there are more and more recipients who want to receive emails sent by MailUp customers and that these recipients get them in their inbox.

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