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Two triggered e-mail programs you can’t start 2010 without

Triggered messaging is an important tool in your e-mail marketing arsenal that can increase the timeliness and relevance of your communications. Let’s face it, consumers’ inboxes are jam-packed with e-mails from marketers competing for attention. It is getting harder to stand out. With triggered messages, you can create communications based on the user’s action or behavior. When coupled with the right subject line, you have a chance to capture attention and spur activity.

The beauty of triggered e-mail programs is that you build the creative and set the rules for why and when these e-mails should go out. Then you can sit back and reap the rewards as these automated messages are sent.

Types of Triggers
There are five general categories of triggered e-mails:

Functional triggers that support site activities. Most marketers send automated welcome messages when a visitor opts in or registers at the site, and shipping notices when an order is on its way. Other examples include profile update requests, credit card expiration notices and back-in-stock announcements.

Time-sensitive triggers are useful to wish a customer happy birthday, to announce a promotion or sale, and to remind shoppers of their last chance to take advantage of a sale.

Transactional triggers include abandoned shopping cart e-mails, order confirmations, requests to create a review for a product purchased, and sales reactivations for those who have purchased in the past but have not purchased recently.

Behavioral triggers take into account the actions or inactions of users. When a shopper clicks on an e-mail link and browses particular products on the site but does not buy, you might want to send a follow-up e-mail presenting additional products or a special offer. If someone on your list has not opened or clicked on an e-mail for the past four to six months, you might want to send a message designed to get him or her re-engaged.

Regina (Reggie) Brady is president of her own e-marketing and direct marketing consultancy, Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions. She is a leading authority on Internet direct marketing and has held executive positions in Internet marketing at FloNetwork Inc. (subsequently acquired by DoubleClick), Acxiom/Direct Media and CompuServe.
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