Posts Tagged ‘automated email messages’

Automatic for the People: The pros and cons of triggered emails

September 6th, 2012

Pilots have it easy. All they do is flip on the autopilot, order some Sleepytime® tea from the galley, and get a little shuteye, snoozing across the Atlantic, until they land at Schiphol (word of caution: this is based on my utter lack of knowledge of what pilots actually do … but thanks for getting us there safely).

In all seriousness, marketers have an autopilot, too … of sorts – the automated, event-triggered email. When I read Megan McCardle’s line in Newsweek, “Looking for a fail-safe plan to get rich without working?” I thought, “That could almost be a description of triggered emails.”

Think about it: Triggered emails offer the Holy Grail of email marketing that is so difficult to achieve – relevant, timely information.

I sign up to your email address, you welcome me … right at the moment I am most interested in receiving emails from you. And, perhaps, I hop right on a promotion in that welcome email, since you’re reaching me at the peak of my interest in your company (hey, I just signed up for your list).

Or I abandon a shopping cart because the product is 20% too expensive and then, poof, like magic, I get a 20% discount code in my inbox.

Or it’s my birthday, and you give me a free bottle of prosecco or wine to celebrate (hey, I’m going out tonight anyway), as Pizza Express did for Kate …

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Where to Find Email Marketing’s Low-hanging Fruit

June 19th, 2012

At Email Summit 2012, Luke Thorpe, Multimedia Specialist, MECLABS, grabbed his camera, I grabbed a mic, and we traveled the vast recesses of the expo floor at Caesars Palace to ask attendees and sponsors where the low-hanging fruit is for email marketers. Here’s what they had to say …


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Trigger Happy: Why emails are the magic bullets of marketing automation and shopping cart recovery

January 10th, 2012

Triggered emails are rarely discussed as a standalone tactic. Buzzwords like “marketing automation” and “shopping cart recovery” are everywhere, but the automated messages behind them seem to be taken for granted.

After 2011, I am no longer taking triggered emails for granted. I interviewed scores of marketers that used them to achieve fantastic results by:

Through these and many similar campaigns, I have noticed that triggered messages have tremendously higher engagement rates than most other emails. Why is that?

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Email Marketing: How to sprinkle subscribers with a well-timed welcome in 5 steps

November 18th, 2011

As a native New Englander, I’m accustomed to swings in climate conditions. However, this past month’s weather pattern offered something different. More than 16 inches of snow fell in late October, causing my children to trick or treat in their snow boots. A week later, the temperature reached the low 70s, as if Mother Nature gave homeowners one last chance to clean up their yards before winter settled in.

Part of my Fall family chores is to empty water from the irrigation lines to our lawn sprinkler system.

In MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Strategies Workshop, I use the analogy that automated lawn sprinklers systems are very similar to automated email campaigns. I admit that I would in no way have a green grass if I did not have a sprinkler system set to water the lawn every Tuesday and Friday. If I used a hose and sprinkler set, I would most likely be reactive and only water when I noticed the grass turning brown. I’d also be inconsistent on the length of time I watered my tiny meadow.

With the irrigation system, I can select the day, time of day and duration of the water. It works so well that I save time and money, and I can set it and forget it.


Automated emails for higher open rates

I don’t recommend you “set and forget” automated emails, but they are similar in their efficiency, as these campaigns are triggered to be sent on defined sets of rules based on dates, events or behaviors.

Because of their timing and relevancy, automated campaigns achieve higher open rates than traditional email messages. In fact, in the 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, we discovered 43% of marketers found emails sent based on triggers to be very effective, leading all other tactics including segmentation based on subscriber behavior and use of loyalty programs.

The research also found 80% of organizations sent automated emails, with automated messages making up an average 22% of the overall email volume. The chart below shows the most popular automated email messages sent by marketers.


Chart: Manners matter most with automated email messages

Q. What type of automated, event-triggered, lifecycle email messages does your organization deploy? 

Click to enlarge


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