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How Triggered Emails Can Help Increase Your Conversions

Triggered emails are a good way to retain your customers and boost your sales conversations. Learn what they are, how they work, and how to use them.

Email marketing is one of the best and most popular marketing strategies. It can not only increase your sales conversions but also help improve your SEO results.

However, it often remains limited to sending out automated emails for either welcoming the users or promoting new products. As a result, most of these end up in spam folders, rarely seeing the light of day.

Does that mean email marketing is dead?


You can still get the most out of your email marketing with the help of triggered emails.

Triggered emails are known to have a relatively higher success rate compared to their conventional counterparts.

According to a recent study:

  • Triggered emails ($0.95) can generate 24X more revenue per send compared to batch-and-blast emails ($0.04).
  • They also have two times the engagement rate and a lot more longevity. About 18% to 23% of engagement happens after 24 hours.

In this article, you will learn what triggered emails are, how they work, and how you can use them to boost your sales conversations.

What Are Triggered Emails?

Triggered emails happen as a result of specific actions your target audience takes.

Usually, a set of predefined actions (or the lack of them) prompts your automated email marketing system to generate a triggered email.

Triggered emails use the following factors to invoke a response from your customers.

  • Dates and demographics related to the target audience.
  • Behaviors, such as positive actions or the lack of response.
  • Internal or external factors, such as seasonal trends or company events.
  • Shopping preferences during different stages of the buyer’s journey.

As triggered emails target particular users and encourage them to take a specific action, they have a relatively better chance of succeeding. That’s why you can use them to boost your conversions quickly and effectively.

Here’s how:

1. Start with Interactive Onboarding Emails

Onboarding emails are the best way to create a memorable first encounter with your brand.

You need to tell the users exactly what they are going to get from you going forward.

In essence, you have to act like a guide, helping your new customers to understand how your service or product works and what steps they need to take next.

Groove’s onboarding email is one of the best examples of how to create an interactive email.

Devoid of any graphics, the simple email from Groove’s CEO is titled “You’re in 🙂 PLUS, a quick question…”

The question users are asked is, “Why did you sign up for Groove?”

This is a great way to start a conversation with your new users and understand what they want from you.

Groove email

2. Rekindling an Old Flame

No! I am not talking about your high school sweetheart.

This old flame is your customer who has ceased all communication with you for some time.

Like most people, your customers will also get busy in their lives and totally forget about your product or service.

When this happens, you need to re-engage, reminding them of what a beautiful bond you had, and still do.

Sometimes, users simply forget about your product, and all they need is a mere nudge from you.

You can send re-engagement trigger emails after 15, 30 or 45 days of inactivity from the last purchase or log in by a user. Take different steps, depending on the type of inactivity.

For example, if users are ignoring your emails, you can take a straightforward approach like Grammarly does.

In its re-engagement email, Grammarly sends users a simple and crisp reminder of what they’ve been missing. Their bold GO button looks extremely inviting.

What do you think?

Grammarly re-engagement email

Adidas takes a bolder route when they see the shopping cart abandoned.

Instead of asking the customer why they didn’t go through with the purchase, the brand takes the easy but bold way by blaming the customer’s Wi-Fi connection.

The “Is your Wi-Fi okay?” email is a good example of how to re-engage after shopping cart abandonment.

Adidas email

3. Show Them That You Care

Nurturing existing customers is the quickest way to boost your sales. The best way to make this happen is to provide them with the best possible user experience.

Triggered emails can offer an excellent user experience in several different ways. One of the most common approaches is to share the crucial details with your users in real time using transaction emails.

American Airlines uses transaction emails to send real-time updates to the customers, ranging from the change in a flight’s schedule to a simple reminder for checking in.

Similarly, you can send emails informing customers about order cancelations, shipping details, policy updates, and other important developments.

Just make sure to send relevant emails only. You don’t want to look pushy.

American Airlines email

American Airlines email

Another way to show customers you care is to send gifts and discounts on special occasions, such as a birthday, wedding anniversary, or subscription anniversary.

In fact, it doesn’t have to be only about the customer.

BarkBox, a subscription box for dog toys and treats, sends personalized emails to subscribers on their pet’s birthday.

Barkbox email

4. Show the Benefits of Good Deeds

If reminding users of their inaction is a good idea, rewarding them for their positive behavior is a better one.

When you appreciate a customer for their latest positive action, you transform them into your brand advocates, apart from encouraging them to make another purchase.

They may also inspire other users to take concrete action, resulting in more sales conversions.

Trigger emails can help you reward customers behind these positive actions.

Starbucks uses this strategy to reward its loyal customers.

This simple and to-the-point email tells a loyal customer how to redeem their loyalty points to get a free drink or food item.

Starbucks email

Attraction Tickets takes this strategy a step further. After reaching 100K likes on its Facebook page, the company rolled out a Facebook live event offering a chance to win exclusive prizes.

5. Take the Communication up a Notch

You can use triggered emails to keep the conversation going.

You need to communicate regularly to keep customers engaged.

However, your communication needs to provide value to users to keep them interested. Badgering them with irrelevant emails will have the opposite effect.

One way to ensure a constant flow of communication is to educate users about how to use your products or talk about any recent updates or changes.

For instance, you can create a series of emails offering quick tips or ask the user for input after attending an event or using a product. Alternatively, you can also provide them with onboarding tips or profile set up tips.

Salesforce uses a simple email strategy to continue the conversation.

After “Connections,” the digital marketing, commerce, and customer service event held by Salesforce, the company sends out an email thanking attendees and telling them how Salesforce can help their organizations.

The email lists a few links to relevant reports and ebooks.


As you can see, setting up a series of triggered emails can help you retain your existing customers, which will increase your sales conversions.

Putting together a triggered email strategy to tap customers on different buyer journey stages will be challenging and time-consuming. However, it will be well worth the effort.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, June 2019

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Manish Dudharejia Founder & President at E2M Solutions Inc.

Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in ...

How Triggered Emails Can Help Increase Your Conversions

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