Triggered e-mail can be effective for “drip” marketing and for warming prospects who are not yet ready to buy.
“You might have [prospects] sign up for a newsletter, some kind of value-added message stream,” suggests Rizzi, noting this as a way to feed them content that’s informative or educational about your product.
In a B-to-B environment, where sales rarely are made without face-to-face contact, it’s important to build a shut-off trigger into the campaign for when the prospect is handed over to the sales team. “You don’t want them to get the next sequenced message … that could confuse the story. You need an event trigger that says ‘now take this guy out of the process, or put him into another process.’”
The B-to-C environment also is brimming with triggered e-mail possibilities.
A simple feature you can build into your program is the abandoned shopping cart alert. Simply set up your e-mail rules to send an e-mail to any customer who abandons a shopping cart, says Rizzi. You can alert the customer that the product is still available, or you could even have your system make a special offer on the products.
“Abandoned shopping cart mailings can be very lucrative,” says Rizzi. The trigger set-up consists of a fairly simple decision tree:
• If a customer abandons a cart, send a reminder e-mail.
• If a customer purchases, end the cycle.
• If a customer does not purchase, send a discount offer and end the cycle, regardless of response.
More involved programs are more complicated, but the payoffs can make it worthwhile. “Travel would be great [for triggered e-mail],” says Symon. “If you’re booking with an airline, it could be used as a value-add. They know when you’re traveling and you get an e-mail a month out that says, ‘Here’s what’s happening in Paris when you’re there.’ … You could get e-mails that say ‘Don’t forget to get your travelers checks’ or ‘Don’t forget your passport.’”