Whether it’s Lowe’s or Home Depot, JetBlue or Delta, Coke or Pepsi, most people have strong bonds with at least a few specific brands. In a crowded marketplace and inbox, where customers have a wide variety of shopping options, companies need to become brand favorites in order to stay ahead of their competitors. Understanding your customer lifecycle and using key email messages to complement different lifecycle phases can help improve email program engagement and foster brand loyalty. Here are three triggered emails to help you build those long term relationships:
Sending subscribers a birthday email, whether it’s during their birthday month or on the actual day, is a great way to bring personalization to the email program. Plus, according to research from Mapp Digital, subscribers expect to receive these types of messages. Fully two thirds (67 percent) of people surveyed indicated they expect companies to personalize emails based on their birthday.
If you collect date of birth information during sign up, this is an easy triggered email to add to your mail stream. However, if you don’t collect this type of information up front, ask for it later on in the subscriber lifecycle. You can do this by including a link in the welcome message or a promotional email, or even sending a stand-alone email asking subscribers to provide you with their birthday so you can celebrate them on the big day. Including a special “gift” within the birthday email — such as a promotional discount or offer — will not only help bring added value to the message but can also help prompt a conversion.
Additionally, according to Return Path’s recent "2018 Email Marketing Lookbook," birthday emails are one of the least commonly sent triggered emails, but have one of the highest read rates. So adding this to your program can give you a leg up on the competition.
Need some design inspiration? Here are two great birthday email examples providing a coupon and a free gift:
Birthday Email With Coupon Code
As marketers, data can be the driving force behind an optimized, strategic email program. In reality, though, marketers often face challenges from lack of time or resources to database issues when actually trying to incorporate the data into subscriber emails.
Sending an anniversary email is a great way to use easily available data to bring relevancy to the email program. An anniversary email recognizes a milestone with your brand, letting your subscribers know you value them and appreciate their decision to engage with your brand and email program.
Many brands also send emails celebrating their own company anniversary, as a reason to give subscribers a promotional incentive. However, overlooking the subscriber anniversary is a missed opportunity to continue to foster loyal brand advocates.
Here’s an example of an effective anniversary email sent by Uber, celebrating their customers and using unique data to personalize the message:
In addition to the transactional messages a customer receives related to a purchase (like an order confirmation or a shipping notification), consider following up on the purchase with a triggered thank you email. This is a great opportunity to let them know you appreciate their business and value them as a customer. However, this tactic is widely overlooked by many brands as they focus their post purchase digital initiatives on other areas, according to research done by WBR Digital and Varvar.
Whether you include a special thank you offer to use on the next purchase or a note from the company president or CEO, this thoughtful message can go a long way toward building brand loyalty, driving repeat purchases, and setting your brand apart from the competition.
Besides thanking customers for online purchases, there is also an opportunity to recognize in-store purchases, as in this example from Orvis:
Personalizing your email program to recognize subscribers for everything from purchases to milestones can be key to an effective and profitable email program. In addition to these triggered emails, ensure that you’re utilizing subscriber behavior and preferences to provide a relevant and positive brand experience.
Alexandra Braunstein has been helping world class brands grow and optimize their email marketing strategies and initiatives for over a decade. As an email strategist for Return Path, Alexandra uses her passion for analytical and creative thinking to help marketers refine their email programs, resulting in more emails getting delivered to the inbox, improved subscriber engagement, and increased ROI.