An Automated Email Marketing Primer: The Terms and The Uses


automated email marketing best practices primer

Learn the Automated Email Marketing Terms That Matter

With marketing automation increasing, you’ve heard plenty about automated email, I’m sure. But that term tends to group together what are in reality very specific and different ways of doing automated email marketing. And knowing about those different ways means knowing more about automated email marketing best practices. To help get you up to speed so you can make better use of automated email in 2011, here’s a brief primer on the terms and what they mean.

Automated emails come in three types: recurring, transactional and threshold.

  • A recurring email is an email that’s based on a date, like an anniversary, or a reminder that it’s time to renew or buy more supplies.
  • A transactional email can be one email and is typically relative to a transaction. It can be a welcome email after signup, a confirmation email after purchase, a shipping confirmation email, or even a drip campaign following a purchase with tips on how to care for the product
  • A threshold email occurs when a customer’s behavior reached a certain point. For example, the customer has purchased three songs from one album so you offer a discount on the entire album

In addition, there are three more terms you should know if implementing automated email marketing best practices: triggered, targeted and drip.

  • Triggered means triggered by an event, usually in response to a certain action within an email or on a web page.
  • Targeted means segmented with dynamic content, so different recipients get different email content and even email design.
  • Drip marketing is a series of messages triggered by an event, such as a purchase or whitepaper download. This is sometimes called lifecycle messaging. Drip emails can be particularly useful in B2B email marketing best practices, because you typically have a longer sales cycle.

If automated email marketing is on your wish list for 2011, but you could use a little help, we’re here for you!


About Marco Marini

Marco Marini has been at the forefront of email marketing since its inception as a channel. Prior to co-founding ClickMail, Marco developed pioneering email campaigns for CyberSource, eHealthInsurance, DoveBid and IBM Canada while holding key marketing roles in those organizations. Through his experience on both sides of the email marketing table--client and agency--Marco has developed significant expertise in using email to its full potential to generate substantial return on investment for marketers, management and investors. As CEO at ClickMail, Marco’s main focus is defining the company’s strategy. However, he also spends time advising clients on how to leverage enterprise-level ESP technology as a primary engine for business growth. His expertise in every aspect of email enables Marco to guide clients and ClickMail’s internal teams to develop sophisticated campaigns that employ best-in-class strategies, overcome technical hurdles, and meet business objectives. Marco was born in Canada and grew up in Italy. He and his wife are the parents of four children. He is active in the Silicon Valley Italian Executives Council and is on the Northern California board of Stop Hunger Now.

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