Triggered Emails: The Importance of Relevancy

We tweeted out this article from Marketing Sherpa last week as a must-read, but we think this particular aspect of marketing automation is a topic worth revisiting. “Trigger Happy: Why emails are the magic bullets of marketing automation and shopping cart recovery” by Adam T. Sutton discusses the importance of keeping your emails relevant to their intended audience with behavior-triggered emails.

“Buzzwords like ‘marketing automation’ and ‘shopping cart recovery’ are everywhere, but the automated messages behind them seem to be taken for granted,” Sutton says. “After 2011, I am no longer taking triggered emails for granted. I interviewed scores of marketers that used them to achieve fantastic results.”

Sutton goes on to talk about how marketers are using triggered emails to nurture new leads, notify customers that products needed service, encourage customers to return to a website and incentivize customers to refer friends — among many other uses. He also provides links back to older blog posts on each of these topics (all are great reads if you have a moment to check them out).

But in addition to exploring the benefits of employing relevant, behavior-triggered emails, it’s important to consider the consequences of sending irrelevant emails. Take a look at this “cautionary tale” published by MarketingProfs last week. The post begins, “Today I was sad,” and goes on to tell the story of a disappointed subscriber who received an email from a previously trusted source only to find that it was another in a string of generic, run-of-mill marketing messages. The contact’s emails, once considered a valuable source of information, were promptly moved to an archive of “marketing people,” to be glanced over in spare time.

The lesson to take away from all of this? When you send your prospects information that is tailored to their specific needs, you are seen as a reliable source with their best interests at heart. Send a few ill-timed and irrelevant emails and you risk losing that credibility.

So take the time to ensure that your prospects and clients are receiving emails that fit their needs — and it will take some time: as the Marketing Sherpa article notes, “‘set it and forget it’ is a myth.” Content becomes outdated, your prospects’ needs change, etc. It’s important to frequently reevaluate your triggered emails and make sure they’re still valuable to your audience. The time investment required to establish your business as a trusted source of valuable and relevant information will have significant pay off in the long run.