The 3 Best Triggered Email Messages to Send

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

Big data, hyper-personalization and triggered messages have all gotten a lot of press over the last few years. It seems like everyone would be firmly seated on the one-to-one marketing bandwagon by now. However, the reality is that many marketers aren’t able to leverage data to personalize campaigns. In a recent study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, 17 percent of marketers cited a lack of tools for personalization, and 26 percent stated the process of creating customized campaigns is tedious. This is a real tactical challenge in today’s marketing world for those that want to use more personalization.

These challenges, whether related to lack of tools or resources, mean that retailers have been slow to progress in this area. Therefore, it’s not surprising that nearly half of marketers send the same content to every subscriber, and 17 percent of marketers don’t apply any type of personalization to email.

While personalization may not be simple to implement, let’s pause to think about the subscriber’s experience and perspective. When a company fails to tailor its messaging, a subscriber notices the lack of effort. Feeling like a number instead of a person can lead to message tune-out and degraded brand value. In fact, the top reasons subscribers give for unsubscribing from an email program are irrelevance (21 percent), failure to meet their needs (21 percent), and boring/repetitive content (17 percent).

While you’ve been reading this, you may have thought to yourself that you’re among the half of marketers struggling to bring personalization to your email program. If that’s the case, take note! Triggered messages are a feasible way to create customized experiences for your subscribers — they also take less effort than many other types of personalization. However, all triggered messages aren’t created equal. Certain types of triggered messages perform better than others, with higher read rates, clickthrough rates and conversion rates.

If you’re able to add just one new triggered message this year, make it one of these:

  • Birthday emails: Everyone likes to feel special on their birthday. Family members, friends and co-workers all recognize this day for each other. So why don’t all brands? In fact, very few companies send a birthday greeting to their customers. Those that do enjoy a 23 percent read rate. In addition, birthday messages that get filtered to spam are highly likely to be “rescued” out of the spam/junk folder and moved into the inbox. If you’re collecting date-of-birth information during email signup or account registration, use it! Because each subscriber will only receive this message once per year, it’s a low maintenance and effective way to extend a personal touch.
  • Loyalty emails: We typically associate loyalty messages with rewards/frequent buyer programs, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Similar to birthday messages, loyalty emails are a way to acknowledge a customer milestone (e.g., number of purchases or shopper “anniversary”). This is a great way to develop brand equity and prime the next purchase. With an average read rate of 21 percent, loyalty messages (with or without a reward) are consistently solid performers.
  • Feedback emails: Marketers don’t have to make all the sending decisions. Sometimes asking subscribers for their input is the best way to foster engagement and understand their needs. Consider asking for a review on a recent purchase, soliciting suggestions for a new product or service, or gathering information about a new customer. Feedback messages drive a 19 percent read rate and can be used in a number of ways to complement the customer’s lifecycle experience.

It will take time and effort to add a new triggered or personalized message to your email program. Start by carving out an hour of your schedule to reflect on the viability of adding one of these three triggered messages. Do you have their date of birth in your database? Consider starting with a birthday message. Review Return Path’s 2018 Email Marketing Lookbook for inspiration from others. You’ll find that even an hour can do a lot to move you away from the daily task list and into the process of evolving your email strategy.

This post originally appeared on Total Retail.


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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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