In a world where your customers are increasingly on the go, it's more important than ever to find effective ways to cut through the noise and get them coming back for repeat purchases. Triggered email, also known as lifecycle email or email marketing automation, is a very effective tool to that end.
What is triggered email?
Triggered email, very simply, is any email that is sent out to a customer or prospect based upon some unique event or action taken by them - a trigger initiating the email. Let's look at a few examples:
- An abandoned cart email goes out an hour after a customer or prospect begins to check out on your site but doesn't complete the checkout.
- A welcome series of one or two emails introducing yourself to the customer - talking about your shipping / returns policies, any loyalty program you may have, your social media presence, etc.
- A win back email goes out 90 days after a customer's last purchase with a discount, in order to incent them to come back.
- Another win back email that contains new products which have been launched since the customer's last email.
- A review request goes out two weeks after an order ships to ask customers how they liked the product and to ask them to post a review.
- A recommendation email four weeks out from their purchase mentioning products that are similar to the ones that they recently picked up.
- A wishlist reminder to let customers know that items on their wishlist are getting low in stock.
- A birthday email on the date of your customer's birthday to give them a special discount.
- A purchase anniversary email on the date of your customer's first purchase with a special discount.
Now that you have a better idea for triggered email in general, let's talk about some of the important elements to consider for your mobile shopping experience.
The mobile shopping experience
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you're using responsive email templates for all of your triggered email. Take a look at the example email here for reference.
As you know, customers are increasingly checking their email on their mobile devices, and if your emails aren't easy to digest, with appropriately sized photography and calls to action, they're not going to get nearly as much attention.
The other component to the mobile shopping experience are the dynamics of how and when the customer will receive and act upon these emails.
For example, a customer may be browsing your site on their mobile device and after getting to the checkout realize that they don't have the time to checkout on their device, so they abandon.
Then an hour later they receive the abandoned cart email and maybe they're at their desk now. They have a convenient touch point to get back to the site from their desktop to complete the purchase.
You'll want to make sure that the call to action in the abandoned cart email actually restores the items to their active cart so that they don't have to manually do that all over again from their computer if they began on their mobile device.
You can also save your customers time by automatically applying the coupon codes to their cart upon click-through so they're not having to awkwardly copy and paste the code from their email app.
Additionally, you can even log the customer in automatically upon clicking through from the email, so that their shipping address and billing information may already be populated. This can save a significant amount of time if they're clicking through from a mobile device.
The welcome series, or any triggered emails that are more educational in nature, are going to be much easier for your customers to digest on their phones. People tend to use their phones during down time, so they'll take the extra minute or two to learn about your company, whereas on their desktop they're just looking to clear their inbox out quickly and move to their next ask.
The right email to the right customer at the right time
In the end, triggered email is all about sending the right email to the right customer at the right time. This is what really differentiates it from your traditional email blasts. And while the volume of email in aggregate is much lower, the relevance and timeliness of the emails will delight your customers and give you a nice bump in incremental revenue.
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