8 Strategies for Creating Triggered & Transactional Email Campaigns
By Julie Graham / June 16, 2016

There are several ways to personalize an email marketing campaign in meaningful, yet completely automated, ways. And there’s good reason to personalize the email experience too. Triggered and transactional messaging is extremely effective in converting email subscribers into loyal and repeat customers.

Here are eight strategies email marketers can use to deliver valuable triggered email campaigns.

1. Welcome Program
Say “hello” and get to know each other

A welcome program is one or more marketing emails that confirm a new subscription and introduce the subscriber to your brand. The best welcome series include an introduction email sent immediately upon subscription. A follow-up welcome email or series of emails may be sent later at designated intervals. Here are just a few ideas for delivering value through your welcome campaign:

  • Send a “thank you” for subscribing (at a minimum)
  • Ask the subscriber to add your address to their address book to help ensure all emails make it to their inbox (helps deliverability)
  • Restate the benefits of joining the email program (tell them what to expect)
  • Invite subscribers to review and flesh out their email preferences so that you can send them more relevant content in the future
  • Introduce new subscribers to your brand and any pertinent loyalty programs
  • Send a special offer/”welcome” gift (people love a good discount)
  • Remind them to follow you on social media

Why should you use a welcome program?
While an effective welcome program doesn’t always have an immediate impact on revenue, it helps establish successful relationships early on and can drive higher lifetime value over the course of the relationship. Among all marketing emails, welcome emails consistently see the highest open and click rates. Most subscribers are more engaged in the first days or weeks following their subscription, so a welcome program ensures the brand starts its relationship with new subscribers on a positive note, and right away. Engage with them while your brand is still top of mind!

2. Activation Campaign
Motivate email subscribers to make a first purchase

The goal of an activation campaign is to convert an email subscriber into a purchaser. Often, an activation email or series of emails is sent if a new subscriber has not made a purchase after a predetermined amount of time after joining the email program. Activation campaigns often include a special offer to encourage the first purchase.

Why should you implement an activation campaign?
Subscribers are most interested in your product or service in the first few days and weeks after they subscribe. Activation campaigns leverage this heightened interest to convert sales before subscribers might otherwise disengage.

3. Post Purchase
Acknowledge and thank customers

A post-purchase message can be triggered by an online or in-store purchase. This message is typically sent a few days after the product is received or likely used. It includes a thank you, and it might also include the opportunity to rate and review the purchased product, as welll as suggestions for future product purchases. This message should not be confused with a receipt or shipping confirmation. Think of this more as a follow up to their purchase, not a confirmation of their purchase.

Why should you use post-purchase emails?
A personalized post-purchase email makes customers feel appreciated, creates deeper brand awareness, and also provides an upsell opportunity by showing customers similar products.

4. Customer Lifecycle
Send relevant messages during different phases of the customer journey 

Customer lifecycle refers to the length and nature of a customer’s relationship with your brand or company. Customers experience different phases throughout their experience with your brand – including inquiry, consideration, selection and purchasing, usage and support, and replenishment or additional purchases. Customer lifecycle messages are targeted to the unique phase a customer is experiencing post-purchase and are targeted to the product purchased. For example, a customer who purchases a car could receive an email campaign educating the customer about the unique features of the car and reminding them to complete their routine maintenance. As the car ages, marketers might send emails related to the estimated trade-in value of the vehicle or features of newer models.

Why use customer lifecycle campaigns?
Customer lifecycle messages are designed to be customer-service based to continue a positive, healthy relationship with existing customers. This strategy helps to keep retention high and encourages customers to become brand advocates that refer others to your brand. This campaign also encourages repeat purchases. It’s an all-around win win type of campaign!

5. Cart Abandonment
Follow up with customers who leave items in their cart

It’s not necessarily a lost conversion when a customer leaves an item in his or her shopping cart. Savvy marketers use a cart-abandonment email or email series to remind customers of the item they’ve taken interest in but haven’t yet purchased. This email can be triggered based on a customer leaving an item in the cart, at any time, before or during the purchase process.

Why send cart abandonment emails?
Cart abandonment email programs encourage conversions from what otherwise might have been lost revenue. Ultimately, this email can be a huge revenue driver, generating an additional revenue of 9 percent or greater.

6. Browse Abandonment
Follow up with customers who spend a significant amount of time on your site

A browse abandonment email or email series can be triggered after an email subscriber spends a set amount of time browsing your website, but leaves without placing an item in his or her cart. This email provides a way for marketers to follow up on the common reasons why subscribers abandon a website while educating the subscriber on the product, brand, or shipping and return policies of the company.

Why send browse abandonment emails?
Just like cart abandonment emails, browse abandonment email programs can generate a high return on investment.

7. Re-engagement
Encourage inactive subscribers to engage with your brand

Re-engagement campaigns are sometimes called win-back campaigns because the goal is to win back the attention of non-engaged, chronically passive subscribers. Non-engaged subscribers are those who have not opened your messages or clicked an email link over a designated period of time. To capture the attention of previously inactive subscribers, these emails often include “We’ve missed you” messaging coupled with an aggressive special offer.

Why conduct regular re-engagement campaigns?
Having a large percentage of subscribers who do not engage can impact your overall email deliverability — or ability to reach the inbox instead of the spam folder. By identifying non-engaged subscribers, you can choose to remove them from your list or manage them differently than engaged subscribers. For example, some email marketers chose to send these inactive subscribers fewer messages.

8. Preference Center
Give subscribers choices while collecting valuable data 

A preference center provides subscribers with a way to manage their own email preferences for content and frequency. Rather than a stand-alone email campaign, an “update your email preferences” link should be included on all other emails sent by the company.

Why offer a preference center?
Preference centers provide brands with the opportunity to learn more about their subscribers. Data provided in a preference center allows marketers to create custom, relevant email for subscribers, helping a brand stand out amongst its competitors. When preference centers allow subscribers to provide their gender, language, hobbies, favorite product types and categories, it’s easy to segment your list and create a one-to-one experience for subscribers.

Need help setting up your brands triggered and transactional email programs? Contact BlueHornet today!