5 Types of Trigger Emails + Strategy and Examples.

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Karolina Petraškienė
Content Marketing Manager
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Trigger emails consistently outperform regular marketing emails, but they only make up 5% of most companies’ overall email volume.

With regular email automation sequences, you’re always left with questions:

  • Do your customers want to hear from you?
  • What do they want you to send them?
  • When should you email them?

There is a ton of data on what time of day you should send emails, how long your subject lines should be, how often you should send emails, and much more.

The reality is, no matter what data you use to justify your email automation campaigns, they’re never going to be personalized at an individual level. Sure, you might get reasonable open rates and high click-through rates, but there are always subscribers who miss your messages.

The best way to connect with every single subscriber, with the most relevant message, is by using trigger emails.

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through what trigger emails are, why you should be using them, and the situations where they’re most effective.

If you’re ready to increase the success of your email marketing campaigns, this is for you.

Let’s jump right in.

What Is Trigger Emailing?

Trigger emails are emails sent to your subscribers based on specific events, interactions that happen between them and your business.

Trigger emails are triggered automatically by user behavior. For example, when someone signs up to your product, uses specific features, or adds an item to their shopping cart, they’ll receive a predefined email.

Sounds simple, right?

That’s because they are. Despite that, triggered emails account for only 2.1% of the overall email volume that most companies are sending to their email list.

Why Use Trigger Email Marketing in Your Strategy?

If you’re struggling to increase your open rates or want to ensure you’re interacting with your customers and leads at the right time, then trigger emails are for you. They have many benefits for all types of businesses, whether you’re using them for a B2C eCommerce site, or a B2B SaaS product.

A study by Epsilon found that triggered emails see an average 74.9% higher open rates, and 16.9% higher click-through rates than traditional email marketing messages.

Triggered emails consistently beat industry average benchmarks for email marketing metrics.

They perform so well for two main reasons.

Firstly, they’re vastly underused by companies.

The other key reason is that trigger emails arrive in your customers’ inbox at the best possible moments.

Triggered email activity rate trends
Source: Epsilon.com

Once you start using triggered emails you’ll see huge increases in your average open rates, and average click-through rates.

Trigger Email Examples

If you’re wondering how to implement trigger emails into your broader marketing campaigns, then this section is going to show you some actionable ways to start implementing them.

1. The Welcome Email

The welcome email is the first chance you have to interact with your customers in a personalized way.

avenue32-welcome-email-thank-you

Amazingly, only 57% of companies send a welcome email.

A triggered welcome email is the perfect place to introduce your brand after someone subscribed to your email list or created an account on your company website. You’ll be able to sell them on the benefits of your brand and encourage them to take the next step.

Welcome messages see 3x the transactions and revenue per email than other emails in a typical automation flow.

2. Cart Abandonment Emails

Product Abandonment automated emails go out to any known visitor abandoning a product page

If you have an eCommerce store, then you know how much revenue cart abandonment costs every year.

The average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. Most people add items to their cart for a reason, but it’s easy to get caught up in other tasks and forget to hit the Order button.

Creating trigger emails for cart abandonment is a simple way to remind your customers that they added an item to their cart, and they might want to go back and finish the order. This workflow is the most effective one among all automations.

Teams using trigger emails for cart abandonment can quickly see big results and tie revenue back to those emails.

3. Discount Code Emails

pierrebuy-newsletter

A great use case for trigger emails is to send discount codes to customers at the most relevant moment.

These could be sent as part of a cart abandonment email automation sequence, or they could be sent on other trigger moments such as customer birthdays.

If you’re in an industry where customers are likely to shop around before choosing a vendor or service, a trigger email containing a discount code can be a powerful motivator to purchase.

Not every business will have a use case for discount emails, and those that do should be careful not to overdo them.

A popular way to use discounts is to only send them on special occasions, or when you’re sure that a customer is close to purchasing but won’t without a final friendly nudge from you. This way, you get the benefits of providing a discount, but don’t lower your brand value too much.

4. Onboarding Emails

One of the most common use cases for trigger email marketing is to help with your customer onboarding.

These are emails that are sent to customers right after they’ve begun the signup process, encouraging them to take the next steps.

It’s worth noting that these are different from the Welcome Emails that we mentioned above. Onboarding emails usually relate more closely to product features or use cases for your product or service. See an example below:

stitch-fix-onboarding-email

You can also use them if someone signs up for your product or service but doesn’t end up using it.

If a user is inactive after signing up, it’s usually because they’re simply too busy to start using your product. A trigger email is a perfect way to remind them they signed up, and the benefits of using your product or service.

You can set your rules, such as when a user is inactive for 7 days after signup, an automatic email goes out that re-sells them on the benefits of your product.

5. Special Event and Relationship Nurturing Emails

Trigger emails are a perfect way to ensure you’re communicating with leads and customers at the right time and nurturing the relationship.

asos-anniversary

Popular examples of trigger emails for lead nurturing are those such as birthday messages or emails when they use a certain product feature.

These trigger emails are the perfect way to show you care about your subscribers or customers and improve the relationship you have with them.

6. Billing Related Emails

After someone makes a purchase, they expect to hear from you. Depending on the product or service you sold, these emails can vary greatly, but it’s the perfect time to increase customer loyalty and improve your relationship.

The order confirmation email template example

Customers are always appreciative if you communicate closely about their upcoming or failed payments. If they hear from your brand more often, they’ll be less likely to wonder why they’re paying for your product or service, too.

If someone’s payment doesn’t go through, you should create a trigger to notify them immediately and provide an easy way to update their details so they payment goes through.

Payment Failure Trigger Email

While some customers may end up not proceeding with the payment, the majority will quickly update their details and will ensure they pay you quickly.

How to Send Triggered Emails

Setting up well-timed trigger emails isn’t only for technical wizards or developers.

Using Omnisend, anyone can easily set up automated trigger emails to engage with their email subscribers at the most relevant times.

There are preset templates for key trigger emails, such as welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, birthday or special occasion emails, and many more. If you have other uses cases, you can create completely custom triggered emails.

Custom Event Trigger Emails

Wrapping Up

Triggered emails are the most effective way to engage with your email subscribers and customers.

It’s a bold claim, but no other pre-created automation will ever be as personal or well-timed as ones sent at the very moment your customers take a certain action.

From saving lost revenue with abandoned cart emails to timely relationship nurturing, you’re going to need trigger emails as part of your overall email marketing strategy to see the best results going forward.

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Karolina Petraškienė

Karolina is a writer, content marketer, and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she's not curating articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.


Further Reading:

9 Best Email Automation Flows to Increase Ecommerce Revenue
How SMS Can Propel Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
5 Stunning Order Confirmation Email Examples for You to Steal Today

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