Triggered Emails: Do You Know These 21 Profitable Techniques?


It hurts to lose a sale. Sometimes it’s not even your fault, just bad luck. But what about sales you lose because you never made an offer? Ouch, that’s different — there’s no one to blame but the person in the mirror. Here are the most popular ways to use triggered emails to grab extra sales. Some techniques are quick and easy. Some take a little time and effort. Is it worth it? Here are the numbers.

Recent research by Epsilon reveals that open rates for triggered emails are 58.5% higher than business-as-usual emails. The same report indicates that click-through rates for triggered emails are 127.7% higher than business-as-usual emails.

Why? Triggered emails feel like one-on-one communication. They let subscribers know you took the time to think about their needs. That their needs are important to you. That you care enough to follow up.

Here are 21 types of triggered emails that subscribers love to respond to:


Basic automation

Email marketing service providers often include a no-frills version of the basics. Add your personal touches, to give new subscribers a memorable first impression.

1. Confirmation Permission marketing has become mainstream, and new subscribers expect a confirmation email. Customize your confirmation to reinforce that you only send emails to people who want to receive them, and that they can unsubscribe anytime.

2. Thank you This email lets subscribers know what to expect. Will they receive newsletters once a month, once a week, or once a day? Will emails include timely information? Industry news? Exciting special offers? If you provide clear expectations, subscribers are less likely to unsubscribe.

3. Welcome This email can be much more than an online welcome mat. Record a friendly video introducing yourself as a real person behind your brand. Direct them to valuable resources on your website. Point them to blog articles they should read first. Or give them an unbeatable special offer.

Tip: Your new subscribers have taken a big step by joining your list and may be motivated to brag about you. So include social media icons on these basic-automation pages and encourage subscribers to share your message with friends, fans, and followers.


On-demand content

Some subscribers may be happy with just the basics. Others want all the great content you can deliver. So construct as many autoresponder sequences as you wish. You can add existing subscribers to any campaign, offer them a sign-up form, or add a trigger rule that adds subscribers under certain conditions.

4. Orientation series – If you could invite every new subscriber to your office, you’d show them around and explain how your products and services work. Over time, your orientation autoresponder series delivers the same great introductory experience for everyone,

5. Product launch – Use email to build anticipation for your new product. During pre-launch, invite people to sign up to receive value-added content. During the launch, use your autoresponder to deliver reminders and additional content. Use countdown emails to create a buying flurry at the end of your launch.

6. Subscribe to an email course – A course can be a promotional freebie or an in-depth paid product. For either, your email autoresponder is a great way to deliver timed content according to a schedule.

7. RSS-to-Email – Don’t rely on your readers to remember to check your blog. Instead deliver new content automatically, including a link to read your new posts on the blog.

Tip: If your content is evergreen, you can create a long-term series to keep subscribers engaged. Some autoresponder sequences are built to last for years.


Emails triggered by calendar events

You don’t need to remember when to send your next email. And you don’t have to chain yourself to a complex editorial calendar. Just choose a delivery date and time triggered by the calendar or by the number of days lapsed.

8. Birthday – Retailers can build loyalty and generate in-store traffic by sending birthday best wishes and an email offer just for them. Not sure of their birth date? Check their social media profiles, or just ask them.

9. Anniversary – Any date can be used to trigger an annual email. Celebrate the anniversary of the date they became your customer. Or the date they became a parent or grandparent. Or any date that’s important to them.

10. Reminders – If you sell tickets to an event, use reminders to build excitement and make sure they attend. If your customers consume what they purchased they are more likely to become repeat buyers and refer you to friends.

11. Follow-up appointments – Dentists can automate reminder notices to go out at intervals. This helps you keep your practice booked with repeat business. Your customers will appreciate your diligent attention to their ongoing needs.

Tip: Even if you’re not a dentist, you may profit from quarterly or annual appointments. A financial planner could automate his request to schedule a quarterly review. An accountant could send reminders for payroll tax filings and tax deadlines.


Emails triggered by behavior

Performance statistics don’t do much for your business unless you use them to refine your approach. Certain key indicators can be used to trigger follow-up emails.

12. No open – Most people open new emails within a short time — or not at all. Maybe your subject line didn’t appeal to some subscribers. Or maybe the timing was wrong. You can re-send the same email with a slightly different subject line, and subscribers will see it as a brand-new communication. Some will open it.

13. No click – Some subscribers may open your email but not click the link inside. Maybe they intended to but procrastinated. Try changing the “Buy Now” button, headline, or CTA then send again. More clicks may mean more sales.

14. No upgrade – Does your business model include the sale of upgrades or renewals? Customers may procrastinate. So create a series of reminders that keeps running until they take action.

Tip: These techniques involve setting up autoresponders based on queries. Sounds complicated, right? Our quick guide to Autoresponders 2.0 explains it step by step. Click here to download  free guide.


Emails triggered by changes in profile data

If you collect subscriber data, be alert to changes. Any change may signal  an opportunity to provide service and make sales. Analyze how certain changes in profile data can be used to trigger automatic email offers.

15. Change of address – A new business address could mean your client is growing fast. A consumer with a new home address might need certain products and services. Use automatic emails to congratulate them and serve their needs.

16. Change of location – A move to a new city means your subscriber may need local consumer resources. Business clients might want to network with local contacts. If you can help, you can use it to build your relationship.

Tip: Use surveys to capture new and corrected information. Everyone won’t respond, but those who do may be your best prospects.


Emails triggered by events in other platforms

Use API integrations to add the power of email marketing to other software you already use.

17. Cart abandonment – Sometimes the customer has changed her mind. Or she may have been interrupted. The smart move is to try for the sale again. Customers will appreciate your follow-up.

18. New order – The buyer might need information about how to use their new product. For a service, you could send information about what to expect. Use these types of follow-ups to reduce returns and cancellations.

19. Cancellation – Maybe the customer cancelled because of a minor problem you could fix. Or maybe a different level of service could save them money. Or they might need a more comprehensive service. A customer who cancels needs to understand the options.

20. Up-sell – Is it time to suggest an upgrade to a more comprehensive services? Figure out what indicators point to a need and set up a triggered email to respond to that need. Repeat at appropriate intervals.

21. Cross-sell — A customer who buys a handbag may need shoes too. A business that buys carpet cleaning services may need housekeeping services too. If you sell more than one item, your  best prospect is an existing customer.

Tip: Check the GetResponse App Center for dozens of free integrations with e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM), content management systems (CMS), social media, and others.


Analyzing the opportunities

Triggered emails have the look and feel of one-on-one communication. Designed thoughtfully, they can add a new layer of service, improve relationships, and generate new sales.

Some of these techniques work especially well for e-commerce. Others help B2B companies cultivate relationships. You may have to experiment to find out what works best for you.

Use this post as a self-audit to find profit opportunities. Every triggered email you send has the potential to add sales and profits — automatically. And if you need help, the GetResponse Customer Success Department is at your service.