5 Reasons to Pull the Trigger on Automated Emails

We’re already three months into 2013, and one of this year’s hottest topics is still the importance of triggered email marketing. Has your company launched any automated campaigns yet? If not, you might want to consider these five reasons to take on triggered email, because this is the year to get automation working for you…before your competitors get to it first.

Reason 1: Triggered emails perform better
When considering your choice of email marketing solutions, consider this: triggered emails simply do more in the inbox, garnering more open rates and more click throughs than the average marketing email. According to a recent email marketing study:

  • Open rates for triggered emails averaged of 47.7% in Q3 of 2012, 75% higher than the business as usual (BAU) rate.
  • Although click-through rates for triggered emails dropped 2% compared to 2011 (from 11.7% to 9.7%), the average click-through rate for triggered emails was more than double that of BAU emails.

Reason 2: Triggered emails lighten your workload
Picture working without working—that’s what triggered emails are like. You determine the triggers and create the emails, then leave these automated emails alone to do their job. You don’t have to think about them, and you can set up alerts to tell you when something does need your attention. One caveat, however: you can’t leave them alone forever. You still need to monitor how well these emails are performing, and test and tweak to constantly improve them.

Reason 3: Triggered emails help your email deliverability
Because they are triggered by an action on the part of the customer, triggered emails tend to be highly personal and relevant, even expected. For example, if you just submitted a $3500 payment for a vacation package on a travel website, you’d immediately want to receive a confirmation email. Complete with your name, receipt, and trip details. That level of personalization and relevancy make these emails people are receptive to and more likely to engage with. And engagement on the part of your subscriber equals improved email deliverability for you. The ISPs take note of this, improving your sender reputation.

Reason 4: Triggered emails can nurture your leads along
Here’s another way automation lightens your workload: triggered emails can do some of the work for your sales team, warming up leads and moving them along the buying cycle. Imagine a tractor dealer capturing email addresses by offering a downloadable comparison chart on how to choose a tractor. The first email would obviously offer the comparison chart, but subsequent emails might offer an invitation to an open house at a local dealer’s, alert you to limited time interest-free financing, then suggest a sales person schedule a visit to assess your tractor needs. This kind of automated campaign helps the prospect to answer with a series of small yeses–yes, I want to go to the open house; yes, I want to learn about the financing; yes, I want to have an assessment of my needs—rather than asking for one big yes at the start: yes, I want to buy that tractor. 

Reason 5: Triggered emails offer a great opportunity to up sell and cross sell
Because they have a higher open rate and people are usually more receptive to them, triggered emails can be a great vehicle for doing some up selling or cross selling, especially if the offer being made is relevant to the action that triggered the email. For example, let’s say you just placed an order for ink cartridges for your printer. The order confirmation email might offer you a special price on printer paper. Then two months later, you might get an automated email reminding you it’s time to order more cartridges and offering you a discount on the higher quality ones. Among your options for email marketing solutions, triggered emails are possibly the best for getting more sales.

Convinced it’s time for triggered? Start with your ESP
Triggered emails are becoming more commonplace for all of these reasons we’ve described above. And as marketing automation becomes mainstream, more email service providers are incorporating automation into their ESP platforms. Therefore the first question you should ask when taking on triggered is, “What are the marketing automation capabilities of my current ESP?”

While evaluating these capabilities, keep in mind these questions from our ESP selection guide:

  • Do these capabilities meet your organization’s needs now as well as your projected needs in the future?
  • Does the platform enable dynamic content for relevant, personalized messages?
  • Are there easy-to-use segmentation tools for data filtering?

If the answer to that question is, “We don’t offer automation,” that might lead you on a search for a new ESP and that’s okay. Triggered emails are here to stay. It’s imperative you have the best email service provider for your current and future goals, even if that means switching ESPs to do so.

And email marketing consultants are available to help you make the right switch.