When to Pull the Trigger on Triggered Email

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Email marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective way to connect with your prospects, but what do you say after you’ve made your introductions? One of the most important ideas in email marketing is triggered email, messages that go out in response to your leads’ activities. Take a look at some actions that can trigger messages and what your content team might want to say.

Introduce Yourself – Welcome Series

Whenever a prospective customer visits your site, asks for information or downloads content from you for the first time, that lead enters your welcome flow. In your first email, give prospects a brief overview of who you are and what you can do for them. If you’re using marketing automation tools or site analytics, you have some great data to use for personalization. Writing slightly different content for people who enter the welcome series of emails through different means goes a long way toward making readers feel valued.

Possible triggers for welcome emails could include visiting your site, subscribing to your newsletter, and joining your forum or blog community. Typically, you’ll set up the first welcome email immediately after getting your prospect’s email address. It’s often a good practice to include a registration link in this initial email to ensure you have the right address.

“Is There Anything Else?” – Request Series

Requests for quotes, downloads and emailed questions should divert the flow of triggered emails from welcoming your readers to serving their needs as prospective customers. They’re a little farther along the sales pipeline than new visitors to your site, so the triggered email you send should be more in-depth. These prospects already have a pretty good idea who you are and what you can do; they just need some key details filled in to make their buying decision simpler. Content at this stage should ease that phase change from guest to promising prospect.

Because potential customers tend to spend more time in the fact-finding phase of their relationship than in other phases, you may have multiple triggers at this point. You want different email going out to the people who are moving rapidly through your sales pipeline than the message going out to people who have slowed or stopped their progress. For example, you might have one flow for people who have requested a quote, another for those who have requested information but made no overtures to buy, and yet another for those who abandoned their shopping cart or wish list.

Fill ‘Em Up – Replacement Series

This series of triggered emails go out to customers and help with retention rather than acquisition. If you sell anything that needs regular replacement or replenishment, set email triggers to remind buyers of that. Anything your customers come back to you to buy merits its own email cascade that triggers automatically when your clients purchase them. Calibrating the timing on these letters is essential; when they’re timed well, recipients consider them a courtesy, but if they come too soon or too late, they’re ignored. Sales records tell you most of what you need to know to time these messages just right.

Welcome Back – Reactivation Series

Even your best customers sometimes go dormant without any reason you can see. A triggered email can sometimes be enough to remind them they’d like to see more of you too. You can set this series to trigger as a contingency plan that most customers won’t ever see unless they go dormant for a while. Depending on your customers’ usual time from first contact to sale, you might set this cascade in motion after anything from a few weeks to a few months.

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