E-mail: Triggering Customer Interest

Abandoned shopping cart e-mails can be an early stage in an overall trigger-based message strategy.

13 surefire tips for creating a successful trigger e-mail program

These days, everyone and their brother has a thrust e-mail program. But surprisingly, very few folks have triggers.

Trigger e-mails, also known as “good dog” e-mails, are sent to individuals based on actions. The action could be good (thanking them for orders), bad (when they abandoned their carts, for example) or indifferent (confirming votes in a poll). But it’s always a happening, event or instance. Triggers are successful because they have higher response rates, better deliverability and improved lifetime profit.

So, how do you make a trigger program work for your business? Here are 13 proven tips:

1. First Things First
Like most e-mails, the majority of your success will come from outside the envelope. In other words, make sure to spend some time perfecting your “from” address (works best if it comes from a “real” person); “to” address; subject line (you have approximately 24 to 35 characters because that’s what fits in most inboxes); the first two lines of the e-mail (statistically, more than half the people stop reading after the first two lines); the format; and the deliverability.

2. Inside the Envelope, Work the Top Two Inches of Your E-mail
A lot of companies really blow the “preview pane” of the e-mail. They stuff in a bunch of irrelevant copy—for example, an unsubscribe message, which should never go at the top—or even worse, they’ll leave the first two inches blank, just a meaningless blob of white space. The best e-mailers know that “you need to work your window”—meaning, make sure whatever you want the reader to know is right up top. For example, if you have an offer and/or a deadline, it needs to be in that space. If you’re featuring new products, make sure you have an “xx new items” headline at the top.

3. Implement Your Trigger Program in Stages
Lots of marketers wait until they can do all the triggers, which isn’t the best strategy, as some are so much more difficult than others. Figure out which ones you can do easily, and start with those. Some ideas would be abandoned cart; abandoned search; abandoned site; e-mail based on past purchase; e-mail based on selected interest; we’ve missed you; a celebration (happy birthday, congratulations on the new baby); ask the experts (tips, case studies, podcasts, webinars); surveys; and automatic reactivation promotional programs.

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