Email marketers strive to build customer relationships and drive strong email revenue. Yet data shows that the one targeting strategy proven to be most effective for improving email engagement is also the least used.
According to a report by Experian, triggered emails have 8 times more opens and substantially greater revenue than standard emails. Yet an Econsultancy survey found that only 20 percent of email marketers are actually using behavioral targeting for triggered messaging. So why aren’t more senders focused on developing a triggered marketing strategy?
Building an optimized triggered email program requires marketers to initiate emails based on a subscriber behavior, profile, or preferences to keep customers engaged throughout the subscriber lifecycle. Critical to that success is understanding when and how to deliver messages that are timely, personalized, and highly relevant. But a lack of data, poor data management, limited technical understanding, and inadequate strategic planning can be significant barriers to implementing an effective triggered email program.
The following steps will help you focus on the key factors and considerations to develop or optimize your triggered email strategy.
Step I: Situation Analysis
Begin with a review of your current capabilities. Determine the key segments for your email program, including current segmentation criteria, subscriber contact strategy, and business rules.
Next, analyze your data management capabilities:
In addition to reviewing your current capabilities, you will want to evaluate your existing triggered email strategy. Analyze both your subscriber and customer experiences to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities at key inflection points across each lifecycle stage.
Step II: Establishing the framework
Once you have completed an evaluation of your triggered email program capabilities, the next step is to establish the framework for your future triggered message strategy. Data management is the foundation for any successful triggered email program, so begin by determining how you will manage data, including:
After you have ensured data availability, accessibility, and credibility, you can begin to create the framework for each triggered message type. Following are some things to consider as part of this process:
Step III: Creating a Plan for Testing and Implementation
Not only is testing a helpful way to optimize your triggered email strategy, it’s also the key to ensuring continued success. Because of the complexities of developing a full triggered email program, it’s important to start by prioritizing the order in which you will test and implement triggered messages, and which specific elements you will test. To determine this, consider both the level of impact each triggered message type will have on your email program, and the level of effort necessary for testing and implementation.
Starting with your highest priority message, develop a testing outline using the following criteria:
Following testing and implementation, be sure to establish a maintenance schedule for each of your triggered emails. The automation of triggered sends puts them at risk for being forgotten, so you will want to schedule periodic reviews to determine the emails are still functioning as intended (links are working, personalized content is displaying, etc.) and performing as expected. At minimum, each message should be reviewed once per quarter.
Targeted, relevant emails drive better results and can improve a subscriber’s perception of a brand. As marketers, we can use data to better understand our audience and reach them in a way that both resonates and inspires continued engagement throughout the subscriber lifecycle.
This post originally appeared on MarTech Cube.