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Triggered emails are outperforming standard direct marketing emails but only make up 7% of marketing emails delivered. These vastly underutilized campaigns boast an average open rate of more than 50% compared to the 20% cross-industry average open rate. They can also drive two to five times more revenue than standard emails. While the results speak for themselves, setting up a trigger campaign can be a complex task.

Here are four tips to help you get started:

1. Map Your Customer Journey

Knowing your customer and their buying journey is the first place to start in developing a triggered email program. Remember, not all customers purchase alike, identify or use already existing, customer personas and map out the varying experiences while moving through the purchase funnel. This viewpoint will allow for identifying key opportunities to communicate with the customer through a triggered email message.

2. Identify Opportunities

One of the most commonly deployed trigger email is the abandoned cart communication. Your customer places items in their cart, doesn’t complete the purchase, and an email is deployed within 24 hours of cart abandonment reminding them of the item they left behind. Depending on your business needs and customer, other opportunities may lie in loyalty triggers like birthdays and anniversaries, abandoned search, back in stock, and price drops. The key to each of these opportunities is that they’re timely and relevant to the customer.

3. Get Your Ducks in a Row

A trigger email campaign will require collaboration between multiple teams. Create a detailed project management plan that will allow you to work seamlessly with creative, IT, CRM, analytics, and e-commerce teams. Preliminary scope meetings with these teams will be essential in ensuring that you fully understand that workload and turn-around time for each required task and schedule regular status meetings to ensure that you’re on track to meet deadlines.

4. Think Ahead

While the functionality may be automated, that doesn’t mean that triggered email campaigns are entirely plug-and-play. Consider seasonality and relevancy when developing your plan. During the holiday season consider reskinning your creative and adjusting your messaging to reflect the time of year. Creating a cultural and event calendar that includes major holidays, sporting and pop culture events will be a beneficial tool when planning triggered email campaigns. These events could both create an opportunity for a new behavioral trigger or be valuable in terms of messaging and creative. The more timely and relevant your emails are to your customers, the better.

Triggered emails are likely to get a higher response and higher return compared to a linear email marketing campaign. They allow you to create marketing that responds to the behavior of each customer and puts your message in their inbox when it’s most relevant to them in their buying journey.