What's Your Wish (List)? An Example of Triggered Email Success

Sending personalized emails that are triggered on a subscriber’s behavior is one of the best ways to increase the relevancy of your emails. With more relevancy, comes more engagement with your subscribers (and in the end, likely more revenue). In addition, subscribers that are actively searching your website or adding items to a shopping cart or a wish list are likely some of your best customers (or potential customers). Let’s take a look at how one retailer is using a triggered email to increase subscriber engagement.

Last summer, DSW launched their wish list and used email as a channel to promote this new perk. In addition, they encouraged subscribers to share their wish list on their social networks for a chance to win free shoes (email creative below).

Starting in August, DSW then used emails to alert subscribers when something on their wish list was almost sold out. The subject line is short and sweet and clearly communicates urgency with the subject line, “WISH LIST: Something’s almost sold out!” (email creative below).

So, how are these triggered emails performing for DSW? Using data from Return Path’s Inbox Insight product, we can see that in 2014, these wish list emails are performing very well for DSW.  When we look at the read rate of these emails against their overall read rate and read rates for their birthday emails, it is quite clear that these triggered emails are engaging their end recipients. Wish list emails have a read rate almost double that of standard DSW emails and a read rate over 30% greater than their birthday emails – and all this without a discount or offer.


So, what can we learn from DSW’s wish list program?

  • Use email to promote any new functionality on your site
  • Leverage social sharing to encourage your brand advocates to spread the word on your behalf
  • Test the use of urgency to encourage action
  • Mention the connection in the subject line (e.g., WISH LIST)
  • Determine if your brand needs to include an incentive or not to increase engagement
  • Include the product details (and ideally a image of the product) in the email
  • Keep the email short and to the point with a clear call to action to drive subscribers to your site

Subject line: The DSW Wish List is here! Plus, count on ASICS for performance


Subject line: WISH LIST: Something’s almost sold out!







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