5 Ways Trigger Emails Increase Engagement

Whether we know it or not, all of us have become completely dependent on trigger emails. They let us know that our vacations are booked, credit card bills are paid and new shoes have shipped. With every online action, we anxiously wait for that ever satisfying auto-confirmation email to reach its way to our inbox.

A trigger email is an email, or series of emails, sent to an individual based on the activation of some form of "trigger". The action may come from a variety of places - maybe on your website or from a previous email campaign. 

Once the recipient has completed (or in some cases, failed to complete) the desired action, they will be "dropped" in a trigger campaign and begin receiving timed emails. The send date/time is relative to the action or relative to a previous trigger email.

These desired actions may be:

- Whitepaper download

- Demo request

- Opt-in request

- Event registration

- Survey completion 

In a B2B environment, triggers are low volume with very high open rates. These emails are used to reinforce your company brand and message and continually emphasize consistent messages and calls-to-action. Here are five ways implementing and executing trigger email campaigns will increase engagement with your prospects and leads:

1. Lead Scoring Implementation: This models website visitor behavior and assigns points based on website interaction and engagement. As points accumulate, visitors are grouped and categorized as cold, warm and hot leads. Different groups are dropped in triggers based on the amount of nurturing they require.  

- Triggers may be set to release when a field value populates or changes in your CRM system. Even absence of activity over a specified time period can trigger an email. 

2. "Listening" to CRM: Trigger campaign enrollment may be based on "listening" to designated CRM fields. Creating or updating a listened field will add the desired lead or contact to a trigger campaign. 

- This is used to offload reminder emails from sales to marketing.  This automated send gets your message to contacts/leads right at the peak of their engagement, which greatly increases their chance of email interaction.

3. Establishing connections through personalization: Personalization adds value to the email - when recipients feel as if the message is directed to them specifically, they are more inclined to read the content and take the steps you've laid out for them. 

- Dynamic content, such as name, company or location, can dramatically improve the personalized look, feel and message of the email. This generates more qualified leads and, ideally increases sales conversion rates.

4. Monitor trigger frequency: Marketing and sales have access to the tools needed to evaluate trigger campaigns and take actions. In your marketing automation software, you can view campaign activity and statistics to enroll, or remove, leads into campaigns. 

- When analyzing stats, pay attention to conversion and revenue data. If one customer or lead is enrolled in many trigger campaigns and engagement is decreasing, it may be time to release them from early campaigns and focus on more segmented triggers.

5. Analyze prospect behavior: You can monitor opens and clicks throughout all trigger campaigns. Be sure to give recipients the option to opt-in to additional correspondence with you outside of the trigger campaign. 

- These behaviors (email engagement, Web page hits) create implied preferences which can be tied in to your trigger email. If a website visitor has a history of activity on your customer page, include targeted information in their trigger email, such as case studies or testimonials. 

Used wisely, these interactions allow you to better track your customer and prospect activity to shorten sales cycles and maintain an open dialogue.

Samantha Stallard is the Content Manager for Salesfusion, a leading marketing automation platform with HQ in Atlanta, GA. Samantha is a veteran of the marketing automation trenches and served as the lead onboarding specialist for Salesfusion and has trained hundreds of novice marketing automation users. She has thousands of hours of experience working in the trenches - developing, testing, and troubleshooting campaigns for both Salesfusion and their 450-plus customers.