9 Tactics to Make Your Trigger E-mail Programs a Success
Trigger-based e-mail campaigns, which are campaigns that send out messages based on actions taken by recipients, are more likely to be delivered than batch e-mails. As a result, they perform much better, too.
This was the focus of a presentation given by Amy Africa, president and chief imagin-8-tor of Eight by Eight, her Williston, Vt.-based Web marketing solutions consultancy, during All About eMail's Virtual Conference & Expo presented by eM+C on Nov. 13. From her "28 Surefire Tips for Making Your Trigger E-mail Program a Success" session, we discuss nine of her most notable proven tactics for making e-mail trigger campaigns work well.
1. Use an offer. If you don't want to use a free gift, discount or sale because of the costs involved, Africa said, "use a downloadable whitepaper, some tips, a little bit of a subscription, or something that costs you nothing — but is important to the user."
2. Give a deadline. Deadlines create urgency and cause people to focus, Africa said. She noted that 90 percent of responses to an e-mail offer come in within 48 hours of that e-mail being sent out, making the use of tight deadlines of 48 to 72 hours the best way to garner the most response.
3. Create urgency if there's a limited supply. "If you only have 10 Prada purses left at a particular sale price," Africa said, "make sure to tell users you only have 10" to get customers to quickly respond before you run out of stock.
4. Personalize as much as you can, but never press. Pressing from an e-mail perspective is saying, "You were at our site at 12:52 and 37 seconds, and you were about to use a Visa card." "That's too much for a user — too Big Brother-esque," she cautioned. Instead, Africa suggested writing users personal e-mails to let them know you're aware of what they did on your site.
5. Show users exactly what's in their carts. While Africa said showing the contents of a cart is pretty straightforward, she added that if you're a lead-generating business and therefore not focusing on abandoned carts but on abandoned lead forms, "show people how much of the lead information they've filled out."
6. Give users many ways to place orders. "You don't just want to force them back into the cart," Africa said. One of the key reasons people abandon carts or lead forms is because they did something wrong the first time, and they can't figure out how to get past the first page of the checkout, she noted. As a result, give them phone numbers, click-to-chat or live e-mail addresses, she said, offering lots of alternative ways to place an order.
7. Pay attention to timing. "Timing is what makes a difference," Africa said. "The first e-mail in a series should go out as fast as it can."
8. Send the e-mails from a real person. E-mails work best when they are from real people rather than company names or "info@," she pointed out.
9. Make it work in a preview panel. "You have two inches to make a difference," Africa said. "So when you design an e-mail, figure out how much the user can read and find out in those two inches."
Register to view the presentation here.