No Sweat: The Benefits of Triggered E-mail

Dec 10, 2007 9:11 PM  By

E-mail is easy on the budget. But are you taking full advantage of it?

Are you, for example, sending triggered messages—the kind that can go out while you’re sleeping at night?

Triggered e-mail has several benefits. The first is a huge savings in time.

You decide when the e-mail is being sent, and to whom—the automated system does the rest. And there’s no need for someone from marketing or IT to do anything.

Let’s say you want to send a thank you, survey or discount offer to new customers a week after their order ships. You might catch that second sale.

This can be done on a daily basis. The system will search your database for new customers whose orders were sent exactly one week before and send the e-mail.

This leads us to the next benefit: reliability. When e-mail is automated, there’s no problem when the person in charge of it is ill or goes on vacation, and there’s little chance of human error.

That means your sales and response projections won’t be thrown off by inconsistent timing.

The most important benefit is the ability to conduct promotions that can’t be done any other way.

What if you want to send an offer for hats and scarves when someone buys a coat? Or a series of e-mails to someone who has signed up for your e-list but isn’t a customer? Or a promotion for monthly shipments of coffee when someone buys a coffeemaker?

Yes, you can do all that with direct mail, but it would be costly and time-consuming. And it would be just as big a hassle to manually do the e-mail.

Finally, triggered e-mail is inexpensive. You determine your contact strategy, then allow your e-mail fulfillment system to execute every as you see fit.

In future articles, we’ll review some specific ideas for using triggered e-mail sequences that can improve conversion of prospects to customer and increase sales.

Shari Altman is President of Altman Dedicated Direct, a direct marketing consultancy specializing in customer acquisition, continuity, DRTV, and loyalty marketing.