Remember to Pull the E-mail Trigger!
Let's look at a couple examples of how leading companies are using this technique.
FTD.com offers e-mail alerts for those who would like to be reminded of key gift-giving occasions. Sixty percent of its online customers have signed up for its alert service, so this certainly makes good business sense for the dot-com. One of the keys to success with an e-mail reminder system is not to overwhelm the customer with a reminder form that requires the customer to fill in a long list of dates. Instead, FTD.com takes an incremental approach offering a pop-up window, for example, with a Mother's Day purchase asking if the customer wants to subscribe to a reminder for his mother's birthday.
Care2.com is an environmental site for those concerned about healthy living and a healthy planet. In addition to offering selected e-mail newsletters, visitors can sign up to receive alerts and select only those topics that are of interest to them (e.g., human rights, the environment or health issues). Members will only be sent e-mails when something important happens that they need to be aware of. Care2.com has found that alert offers work particularly well for those who don't want the commitment of a regular newsletter.
Remember that one-time alert, welcome or confirmation messages should be sent out as close to the customer action or event as possible to increase the value of the message and to cement the relationship.
Beyond the Basics
You can also apply advanced triggered e-mail marketing techniques. The winning combination is to automate messaging and tie it directly to a customer's profile. Triggered messaging based on a customer's profile or action will make your e-mail communications program more effective, more cost efficient, and will improve your ROI.
Some advanced triggered e-mail examples are:
>sequenced messages delivered over a specified time period to introduce a new customer to various aspects of a product or service—whether you're nurturing a sales lead or converting a "trial" to a buyer.