4 Best Practices for Triggered Emails in E-Commerce

Sparky
Feb. 7, 2018 by Sparky

**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

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