Type email marketing into your chosen search engine and you’re very likely to see references to triggered messaging within the first couple of pages. Don’t do it now, read on first!
Since the aim of email marketing is engagement it’s pretty clear why event triggered messaging is such a hot topic. Behavioural or event triggered emails are highly contextual and are therefore dripping with relevance.
This relevancy drives engagement, making the behavioural email a front runner in the race to increase conversions and win the hearts and minds of your customers. Triggered emails also have the benefit of efficiency. Once they are set up they run, automatically, as events dictate, increasing your email reach without the need for more resource. This combination of high returns and increased production efficiency should be enough to make any business want to jump in, feet first, to the behavioral email pool. Despite this, it is still an underused technique. But for any business that takes the time to consider adding automated emails into their marketing mix the rewards are high, and they will be gaining a competitive edge on those that don’t (yet) deploy contextual emails.
Okay, so what is an event triggered email?
As the (many) name(s) suggest the event (or behavioural) email is a message sent when a user performs an action or their profile changes. This can be a subscription, a page visit, an interaction with a broadcast email, or even a birthday. Essentially when a user interacts with your business it is very likely that you can send them a message that is relevant to their action.
The key to streamlined contextual messaging is to define business rules and deploy relevant content. The event triggers should compliment your existing broadcast emails. It is important to resist the temptation to trigger a message at every opportunity, otherwise you risk bombarding your engaged customers. Permission is key, as it is always, to these emails. For example don’t piggy back a marketing message on the back of a transactional email.
The business rules can be defined across the two broad types of triggered email:
- Event Based – abandoned cart, welcome, follow up, etc.
- User Profile based – re-order, birthdays, cross sell, etc.
Event based are more complex and have a higher level of effort, but they pay far higher dividends due to their reactive nature. Typically the user will have just performed an action on your website, so will be very responsive. Profile derived messaging bolsters the relationship with your customers, furthering the ‘email as a conversation’.
Okay, I’m sold on this idea, give me some examples:
- The Welcome series
- Abandoned basket emails
- Replenishment reminders
- Birthday / Anniversary
- Order / shipping confirmation
- Post-purchase cross-sells
- Re-engagement emails for lapsed users
The technology is widely available and becoming easier to adopt. Event triggered emails are contextual and therefore have a very high relevancy factor. The customer is already engaged to a high degree in the offer being promoted, so response rates will be significantly improved. There may be a relatively high level of effort involved in defining and setting up the business rules for your event triggered messages, but once they are live they are very low maintenance and provide exceptional return on investment, reaping high rewards.
Additonal benefits lay in the increased engagement, due to the high relevancy factor. This increases brand awareness and advocacy, improving engagement across your other email strands.