Feb 01, 2011 10:30 PM  By

What have you been missing on the Big Fat Marketing blog? How about some email marketing advice from web guru AMY AFRICA.


COMPANIES SEEM TO HAVE THRUST EMAILS DOWN PAT, but few do jack with triggers. This surprises me, because on average, triggers perform four- to six-times better than your best-performing thrust emails.

What triggers should you do? Here are a few of the best performing triggers.

  • ABANDONED CART PROGRAMS: A lot of folks have one email they send out for abandoned carts. If you have less than three, you should go back to the drawing board. Sending out just one is very 1998.

  • ABANDONED SEARCH: Companies lose a lot of traffic from failed searches (or from what they think are successful searches but are a failure in the user’s mind). Contacting your users after an abandoned search is often the very best thing you can do for your site. Literally. (Remember, a failed search from a user’s perspective is one where they use the text search box and then subsequently abandon, for any reason.)

  • ABANDONED SITE: Sign up for program and you’ll get a good example of an abandoned site email. Do emails like these work? Like gangbusters. The key is the timing — and every company has its own magic formula.

  • EBOPP: Emails based on past purchase are super effective. A lot of folks try these and fail the first couple of times out. If you’ve tried this type of email before and it hasn’t been successful, try it again — but this time look when you send it out as well as the format/design. Many companies make the mistake of overdesigning these emails — like any other trigger you do, EBOPPs are meant to look like one-to-one emails, not overly designed emails for the masses.

  • EBOSI: Emails based on selected interest. With the exception of their from address (which sucks), Amazon does a fantastic job at these emails. The key here is choosing the right number of products to feature — too few or too many render these emails useless.

  • THANK YOU FOR SIGNING UP: You should have thank-you emails for catalog requests, email sign-ups, orders, filling out polls and surveys, downloading white papers, attending webinars, and so on. A rule of thumb: Anything that the user does right on your site deserves a thank you.

There are dozens of others that really work, but the ones listed above are a great start. One of the very best things about triggers is that you can develop them once, tweak them, and then use them for years — with slight modifications, of course.