E-mail: Triggering Customer Interest
9. Don’t Spend a Ton of Time Nit-picking the Creative
The best trigger campaigns are not always the ones that are the most aesthetically pleasing. In fact, they’re usually the ones from the companies that have the timing and the message right. Mailing the right offer (message) at the right time is far more important than having everything just perfect. (Remember, e-mails are meant to be clicked on, not necessarily to be read or printed out and hung on your wall!) That’s not to say the visuals are not important, because they are critical. People see things in pictures online. However, you don’t need to make your designer go through 111 versions of a trigger to get it just right.
10. Don’t Forget the Buttons
Triggers, just like thrusts, need very solid action directives—big, red, “CLICK HERE NOW” buttons that get users to click to your site, cart, lead form or wherever else you want to put them. Make sure to include at least one button in every view.
11. The Person With the Most E-mail Addresses Wins
You can’t send a trigger e-mail out to someone if you don’t have her e-mail address. So, if you’re going to commit to a trigger campaign/program, you need to collect e-mails anywhere and everywhere you can on your site. Make sure your e-mail captures are on every view of your site—not just along the bottom. Try using pop-ups on exit, especially for abandoned carts and searches. (Don’t think pop-ups work? Try them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.)
12. Try Several Different Formats for Variety and Response
Straight triggers (those without a lot of pomp and circumstance) tend to work best. But some of the other formats that work well are multi-product offerings, solos, all graphics, stories (highly personalized e-mails) and trades. (Trades are things like “ask the experts,” case studies, third-party endorsements and so on.)
13. Track, Track, Track
It doesn’t matter what you do if you’re not measuring it properly. When it comes to triggers, look at open and delete rates; clickthrough rates; page views/user paths; active average user session and time spent on launch; drills/actions; pass-along rate, action rate (carts opened, lead forms completed) and item sales (be sure to include feature items and items that were not in the e-mail).
Build on your success. If something works, keep doing it and keep improving it.
Amy Africa is president of Eight by Eight, a Williston, Vt.-based Internet marketing solutions firm. You can reach Africa at firstname.lastname@example.org.