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Using Triggered Messages to Advance Effectiveness and Efficiency

  |  March 26, 2012   |  Comments

A retailer case study on triggered messaging.

The production process of sending an email marketing message out is predictable, typically following the same process each time a mailing is put together. While this production process is the norm, fewer marketers embrace triggered or automated messages.

The benefit of triggered messaging is that the marketer can build a program once, tie that offer or message to specific customer behaviors, and let the automation take over. Since the program is built once and used in a repeatable persistent manner, it creates efficiency. Additionally, when combined with monitoring and optimization, these programs can advance the effectiveness of mailings by improving click and conversion rates. Examples of triggered campaigns include welcome messages, cart abandonment programs, and inventory in-stock reminders.

I recently spoke at All About Email Live where ESP Listrak and footwear retailer The PSNE Group presented the benefits of implementing triggered messages. The PSNE Group's use of these email programs was so effective that the overall revenue contribution driven by email grew from 5 percent to 18 percent, allowing the retailer to cut back on its printed catalogs and paid search spending.

The PSNE Group implemented a welcome series of emails to both improve inbox placement and engagement and accelerate the sales cycle. The company tested several incentive offers in these welcome messages and found that offering free socks for orders of $50 dollars or more worked better than a percentage off offer. These welcome series were so effective that the company also applied a similar treatment to subscribers that had just made purchases. These messages had high open rates of 50 percent, click-through rates of 10 percent, and a 7 percent conversion rate. Impressive numbers that indicate when the subscriber is interacting with your brand online, they are primed to engage at a higher rate. Using event-driven behaviors such as site registration and purchase confirmations makes these programs rather easy to implement.

Abandon cart messages. These programs are a must for any online retailer or firm with an online application process. The PSNE Group tested the optimal time of how soon to send these messages after a cart is abandoned. For its subscribers it found three hours was the optimal amount of time to optimize click rates, conversion rates, and average order value. It used a large call to action in the email creative to drive the subscriber back into the shopping cart to finish the purchase. These programs have been producing an 18 percent conversion rate, and when the retailer added a discount offer to incentivize the subscriber, the conversion rates improved to 21 percent.

With some testing and tinkering, these programs can add immediate bottom line value to your program. Give triggered messaging a try and capture customers' conversions when they are interacting with your website.

Until next time,


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David Daniels

For more than 20 years, David has been an industry proponent. Direct Magazine said David is "one of the most influential experts in email marketing, if not the most influential." Co-author of "Email Marketing An Hour A Day," David has held senior level positions at Forrester and JupiterResearch, Apple, Anthropologie, MacWarehouse, Proteam, and retailers that dotted the early days of CompuServe. David advises many industry organizations including the OTA, DMA, eec, and has been a contributor to the Weekend Today Show on NBC. Learn more about connected marketing and download free research with registration here. Follow David on Twitter @emaildaniels and learn more at www.relevancygroup.com.

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