Why it's crucial to trigger your emails on key moments

When it comes to relevance, the timing of an email message is crucial. A thank-you email after an online or in-store purchase, a welcome email after joining a loyalty program or a follow-up message after cart abandonment or a customer service call … Triggered messages like these let you respond in real time to key moments in the customer lifecycle.

Always keep in mind that these types of email can have a significant, positive impact on a customer's relationship with your brand or company. Retailers using this tactic have been known to increase their open rates by 10%.

Triggered emails can lead to more personalized communications:

1. An in-store purchase triggers a customer survey that produces a net promoter score for each customer.
2. This score, which indicates the customer's affinity and loyalty to the brand, is used to group customers.
3. Each group then receives different, highly relevant online and offline communications:
  • Promoters receive personalized emails that sustain loyalty and invite for recommendation
  • Passively satisfied customers are approached with a different tone of voice. The score is used to trigger action within the organization to improve the process. It also provides guidance for store managers on improving customer in-store experience.
  • Detractors are sent an email meant to trigger a customer service call to improve their customer experience
But by all means, don't wear out your triggered email flow. Customers receive a high volume of unwanted email, sometimes even from the brands they love. You can use email fatigue rules to take appropriate action. When your contacts don't respond to a certain number of emails, be sure to adjust the channel and frequency of your communication.

An example
A US book retailer combines the knowledge about its customer data warehouse with real-time preference and behavioral data to send personalized, event-triggered emails.
Based on past purchases and inferred interests from on-site behavior, customers receive personalized new release announcements.

Tactics like this, following customer lifecycle, helped the company generate positive ROI from its campaign setup and automation in less than one year.
  • Well-timed emails to customers who purchased a book from a series, but not the next in the series, outperformed other emails by over 300%.
  • Genre-specific newsletters significantly outperformed batch mailings. Revenue per email grew 194% for ‘science fiction' and 167% for ‘romance


Use the information and knowledge that's stocked within your customer database to determine which kind of triggered messages will be sent out to which specific target group on which particular moment. This will give you significantly better response than general batch emails.

Posted on
Oct 10, 2014