Triggered email marketing is a method of planning and automating email marketing based on customer behavior.
Triggers are the timely signal of an opportunity to reach out. Triggers fall into two broad categories.
The main difference between triggered emails and general emails is that triggered emails are automated, one-to-one messages, and promotional emails are manually sent on a one-to-many basis.
The entire point of triggered email marketing is time-based personalization.
By this point in the evolution of digital marketing, all of the stats in the world only confirm our deepest intuition that the old marketing chestnut is totally accurate:
Marketing will see the greatest success if they can deliver the right message to the right customer in the right place at the right time.
If you’re not convinced, then:
“Right-time marketing,” though, is getting harder and harder.
The only way you can deliver relevant messages every single time is by responding to actual customer behavior.
It’s not as easy as simply deciding to send more emails. Consider the fact that more than 290 billion emails are sent daily, a number expected to balloon to 347 billion by 2023. Just sending more emails is likely just an ocean-boiling exercise.
But sending more emails that are even more relevant to the customer is a strategy with some promise. If we can replace reliance on third-party data with rich, democratized first-party data, then we stand a chance of getting real traction.
Customers expect certain types of triggered notifications, like a purchase confirmation or customer service question submission. But there’s no reason to stop there. The only thing that’s limiting you is your imagination — and maybe you’re current technology stack.
The term “automation” skews toward the robotic, so “automated personalization” might sound oxymoronic. But planning, designing, launching, learning from, and iterating upon an automated communication process is one of the most humanistically informative activities in all of marketing.
Building a triggered workflow that can personalize itself to an individual at a moment’s notice is a creative and technical miracle when done well. It’s not unlike building a video game world that can respond to and evolve with your players.
A well-designed trigger flow requires minds that are comfortable with:
As you learn and iterate and as your customers pass through your workflows, each touchpoint has the opportunity to become more relevant and timely.
According to Digital Commerce 360:
Data powers personalization. If this weren’t the case, you wouldn’t need to know anything about a person to make a personal connection. But we all know that getting to know someone requires finding commonalities.
Your data can tell you where your value proposition intersects with a customer’s hopes, needs, desires, and interests. This intersection might not be apparent to the customer, which is why data and marketing make such nifty bedfellows.
But timely messaging requires timely data. For instance, if there’s a delay, you could send a promotional cart abandonment email after a successful purchase of that item. You could market wedding inventory to someone who canceled their wedding two years ago.
This is where marketers start to run into problems. The list of possible messaging collisions and gaffes is endless. Insufficient or slow data can turn the marketer’s boon into the consumer’s bane.
It’s not that their martech stacks have been pumped full of sugar water instead of gasoline. It’s that their fuel is being lobbed into the tank in an ad hoc fashion from across the organization, and only when it’s explicitly requested. That’s no way to drive a car.
Marketing triggers — though not necessarily new — have gained sophistication concerning both intake and output. But the sad reality is that marketing departments don’t own the inputs, which makes the outputs inconsistent at best. All of our powers of logic, empathy, and creativity are for naught if the data isn’t democratized to power performance at the outset and deliver accurate reporting in the end.
To learn more about how marketers can own their customer data to build more nuanced marketing communications, click over to