**Today’s guest blogger, Alyssa Jarrett, is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Iterable. Read on to learn how to boost your triggered emails and increase your conversion and engagement rates in e-commerce.

By now, email marketers are aware that messages triggered off customer lifecycle or activity perform better than standard batch-and-blasts. In fact, triggered emails account for 30 percent of the revenue generated by this marketing channel, versus 14 percent from unsegmented blasts.

Despite their higher engagement and conversion rates, triggered emails often don’t play a large enough role in marketers’ email strategy—even within industries, such as e-commerce, where the opportunities to automate message off customer behavior are enormous.

But what exactly do we mean when we say “triggered?” Is it synonymous with transactional? Not exactly. Experts wisely differentiate the two categories by noting that all transactional messages are triggered, but not all triggered messages are transactional.

Transactional messages are an automated form of customer service. We’re all familiar with order confirmations, package tracking, password resets, returns and refunds as types of transactional messages.

Promotional messages can also be triggered off individual actions, such as shopping cart abandonment or a welcome series that’s sent post-signup. With the right technology, virtually any customer interaction with your brand can initiate a 1:1 message, from browsing web pages to adding items to a wish list.

Turn heads with triggered emails

At Iterable, we work with major e-tailers like Tobi and Spring to power omni-channel relevance at scale. After reaching one billion people with data-driven, personalized content, we’ve determined the key attributes of marketing that makes an impact.

Here are the top four tips to give your triggered email campaigns the Midas touch.

  1. Think outside the shopping cart. As we’ve stated, shopping cart abandonment (SCA) campaigns are now a standard practice among e-commerce companies, but it’s more useful to think of SCA as an example of conversion recovery, of which there are many. You’re selling yourself short if you aren’t actively monitoring all site visitor and email subscriber behavior to stimulate action. Identify all other possible points for abandonment along the customer journey—such as filling out a survey but not submitting—to ensure that you’re not missing valuable opportunities to recover lost revenue.
  2. Trigger timing is key. Although the right cadence of sending triggered messages depends on each individual brand, it’s important that you take your average sales cycle into account. Someone shopping for toilet paper may only require one reminder to complete their checkout, whereas another in the market for a designer handbag may need more nurturing over time. Just make sure you can monitor subscriber behavior in real time to avoid a timing faux pas, like sending an SCA message after the customer has purchased the item.
  3. Avoid the creep factor. Forrester reports that a third of U.S. online adults prefer to shop with retailers that use personal information to improve their shopping experience. But it’s vital that brands don’t exploit this trust. Heed the golden rule by explaining to your customers why you’re collecting data, then put that value to good use. If your triggered emails are individualized with highly relevant content, then your subscribers will consider their relationship with your brand rewarding—not repellant.
  4. Evolve beyond acquisition. Practically every e-tailer has a “15% off your first purchase” signup reward, but how many are triggering personalized post-purchase campaigns? There are a variety of techniques to increase engagement and improve retention: a sophisticated upsell campaign, for instance, can be triggered once a customer has reached a designated spend threshold to increase their average order and lifetime value. Automated messaging workflows make moving subscribers through the funnel easy and efficient.

Unlike legacy solutions that restrict marketers to batch data uploads and a limited number of touchpoints, modern growth marketing technology can activate on all customer data in real time across email, mobile, web and social channels.

To learn how you can use Iterable to build and send personalized messaging triggered off virtually any data source, request a demo today.

– Alyssa Jarrett, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Iterable  

Every individual of an organization is responsible for its growth, from the email marketer who creates the campaigns to the engineer who manages the systems that send them. The popularity of “growth marketing” strategy illustrates this desire to accelerate business, but what is growth marketing and how can it be applied to improve email performance?

Having a growth mindset, rather than one that is fixed, means understanding that it is always possible to better understand your customers. People’s preferences are not set in stone, so it’s critical to possess a spirit of self-improvement around your tools and tactics.

In essence, growth marketing is all about coordinating all the channels at your disposal to increase user engagement, and email has been proven time and again to be the best digital channel for ROI.

Much of what is discussed in business is user acquisition, the strategy of gaining new members of your audience. But once an email address has been obtained, it’s up to you to keep users interested.

User Engagement Benchmarks growth marketing

Regardless of your role, you can practice growth marketing by improving these three metrics to increase user engagement.

  1. Open Rate – Obviously, emails can’t be opened if they’re delivered to the wrong place. Technical operations teams and email marketers alike understand that deliverability isn’t just about email acceptance, but also about the right inbox placement. Get started on the right foot with customers by ensuring that your content doesn’t land in the promotions tab, or worse, in the spam folder.
  2. Click-to-Open Rate (CTO) – Unlike click-through rate, which measures the total times a link was clicked, CTO more effectively determines user engagement by only calculating the number of clicks from opened emails. According to industry benchmarks, email pros should expect a 25-40 percent click-to-open rate.
  3. Unsubscribe Rate – Though few of us enjoy seeing unsubscribes to our emails, they do serve as a sort of “tough love” that helps improve overall list quality, as well as a learning opportunity for fine-tuning content. Setting up an email preference center is the key to reducing your unsubscribe rate, which should not exceed 0.4 percent.

These metrics are key to understanding how to communicate with your users, but there are many more that must be considered.

Find out how to implement high-performing campaigns in The Growth Marketer’s Guide to Email Metrics, co-produced by SparkPost and Iterable.

Want to know how Iterable and SparkPost work together to support the email marketing needs of B2C companies? Visit iterable.com to learn more or reach out to us to request a demo. We look forward to hearing from you!


—Alyssa Jarrett, Content Marketing Manager at Iterable

Alyssa Jarrett, Iterable

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Iterable SparkPost Partnership Announcement

Why We’re Partnering with Iterable to Deliver Growth Marketing

I’m certainly not the first to say that the digitization of information has proven to be the most powerful development of our age. It’s revolutionized our lives. It’s changed the way we do business. And it’s advancing faster than many of us realize.

One really significant example of this impact of data is the increasing prominence of “growth marketing.” Growth marketing is one of those ideas that’s come at just the right time, when business needs and technology capabilities align to make an idea really take off. It’s all about using the exponential increase in data in our marketing tools to shape how our customers and prospects interact with our businesses—both to increase the value to our business and to improve our customers’ experience.

Marketers are helping increase profit margins by using data science to understand customers at increasingly intimate levels—who they are, what they want, and what they might do next. With that intel, companies are engaging customers with messages that are scientifically targeted to motivate customer movement through the funnel—and increase their own competitiveness.

While this sort of data-driven capability traditionally has required complex systems and a team of data scientists to really execute, a new generation of tools is making the core methods of growth marketing accessible to the rest of us. That’s a remarkable change, and it’s one of the reasons our team at SparkPost is really excited about our new partnership with Iterable, whose next-generation Growth Marketing Platform is gaining industry recognition in its own right.

In his announcement about working with Iterable, SparkPost’s CEO, Phillip Merrick, said, “We are happy to announce this best-of-breed offering to our customers. This combination of SparkPost’s high-performing cloud email service with the front-end growth marketing capabilities of Iterable provides customers with the ability to rapidly improve customer engagement through faster iterations of data-driven marketing campaigns.”

Phillip’s right. We’re really excited about this. The prebuilt, out-of-the-box email and data integration between our services let our joint customers take advantage of SparkPost’s strengths—like our email performance and rich analytics—and Iterable’s flexibility and ease of use to make a data-driven, growth marketing strategy reality. To put it another way: this combination makes it easy for email marketers to hit the ground running and be successful with growth marketing. Quickly.

Some other partnership advantages we are proud to be delivering to our customers include:

  • Less drain on development
  • Powerful multi-channel tools
  • The ability to rapidly improve customer engagement
  • Increased efficiency of data-driven marketing campaigns

I also want to say that not only is this a powerful combined toolset, but it just might be a lot fun to use! I personally was really impressed when I saw the way our tools worked together to use Iterable to define triggered emails as part of a growth campaign, for example.

By the way, SparkPost and Iterable recently shared some advice for turbo-charging growth marketing in a recent webinar together—it’s definitely worth checking out. And if you’d like to learn more about the partnership, you can read the entire press release here.

growthNetkiCompanies today need to be prepared for growth. Whether your company is a young startup or has an established presence in the market, you must be prepared to accommodate growth as it happens – without service interruptions or performance degradations. This is especially true of email, which companies rely on to keep customers engaged.

Netki is a startup founded in 2014 that seeks to help foster mass-market adoption of digital currency and remove barriers to entry for consumers. Netki’s secure and easy-to-use solutions give consumers greater control over their personal and financial identities. Netki’s executive team has been involved in other successful startups and understands the importance of getting critical infrastructure choices right the first time. That meant choosing a provider that would enable Netki to steadily scale its email operations as its user base quickly expands.

Having experienced growing pains with its incumbent email delivery provider, Iterable also sought a solution that could scale. The company’s all-in-one platform for transactional, promotional and lifecycle messaging makes it easy for marketers to create automated, targeted emails. It cannot tolerate inconsistent reliability and performance where emails are delayed or undelivered. Email is a key part of Iterable’s offer, so the company needed a new email service provider that it could count on to support future growth, but also assist with a smooth transition from the incumbent’s service.

SparkPost by Message Systems gives both companies the scalability they need to accommodate periods of high growth. The cloud-based email solution gives companies of all sizes access to the same power and functionality delivered in Message Systems’ premier email platform, Momentum.

Read the Netki and Iterable case studies to learn more about how SparkPost is helping them meet their email delivery requirements or try SparkPost yourself, for free.