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Consistently engaging subscribers with email content is a challenging task even for the most nimble marketer, especially as email volume continues to grow year-over-year at the expense of engagement. While open and click rates can be improved through a number of different program components and thorough testing, triggered campaigns provide a lift for any marketer’s current program.”
It’s simple: triggered campaigns are deployed as a result of a specific action taken by the consumer or a specific data point associated with the consumer.
Triggered campaigns fulfill the two most important requirements for campaign engagement – they are timely and relevant. How? Many types of triggered messages have come to be expected by consumers as they enhance the consumer’s experience: for instance, many of us freak out if we don’t get an order or a shipping confirmation when we complete an online purchase.
Others expect a “Thank You for Contacting Us” when they submit an online inquiry for a product or make a restaurant reservation. The fact that these emails follow what subscribers do and when they do it ensures that these campaigns are opened and clicked at a considerably higher rate than regular messages. In fact, triggered campaigns achieve 2.5 times the open rate and twice the click rate of general emails, quite the impressive feat considering the 14% drop in unique click rate over the last year.
One of the best things about triggered campaigns is that they require less maintenance and overhead than most other types of messages – once you’ve developed the creative and have the proper targeting/ business rules in place, triggered messages essentially deploy themselves. In addition to the email program revenue lift, triggers are great mechanisms for testing important email components such as subject line, offer type, creative (text vs. image), audience segments, and more.
Instead of testing on your larger promotional offers which are typically a one-time send (email sent at a specific moment), triggered messages are sent consistently and allow marketers to see how different campaign aspects are trending across hours, days, weeks or months to determine if there are other unexpected factors in play (I.E. time of day). Finally, triggered messages enhance a positive ISP reputation and increase the inboxing rate because the high engagement they garner offsets the declining open & click rates of general campaigns.
Many triggered messages require a single data point like email sign-up date, birthday, date of first purchase, or last open/click date. These simple data points enable marketers to run Welcome, Birthday, Purchase Anniversary, and Reactivation campaigns, respectively. A slightly more complicated but still easy-to-implement triggers include Transactional (order confirmation, shipping confirmation), Abandoned Cart, Cross-Sell, Product Survey/Review emails, and many more depending on the level of sophistication of your program and website.
A lot of times I see marketers overthink their trigger strategy and spend months building it out without enough data to prioritize building one trigger over another. I would recommend using the simple data points we discussed to get triggered campaigns up and running and tweak/tinker down the road when you have collected enough data to know what works and what doesn’t.
Triggered campaigns are low-hanging fruit with a great ROI and require minimal setup before deployment. Marketers need to make sure triggers are an inseparable part of their marketing program.