The Trigger Email Bill of Rights


Target marketing pros know the “rights” mantra: right person, right content, right time. In today’s digital data world, many believe a combination of marketing automation and behavior data is all you need to create successful trigger email campaigns in just three easy steps: Select leads that match your customer demographic, gather data about their behavior and apply business rules that trigger emails based on that behavior. Presto, campaign success … right?

Wrong, if you want more than a 2 percent response. Really wrong, if you want respondents who convert to sales and campaign ROI.

To get 25 percent to 40 percent results—the kind of results you read about in many case studies—success means targeting carefully selected leads using high-incentive offers and sending custom messages tied to recent behavior, as well as psychographic data that appeals to that lead’s special interests, work role, etc. ( and

Why does the specialized data and customization matter? Because even if leads fall into the right demographic bucket, you don’t know what motivates them buy. To get sales conversion, optimizing the lead is vital. But how do you assess behavior and qualify leads? Much depends on your business goals and knowing your customer base.

To help you create quality trigger email campaigns that result in higher success rates, here are the fine points of the “Trigger Email Bill of Rights.”

Using the right combination of data, segmenting to reach exactly the right lead, the next step is timing. How do you know what threshold behavior should trigger a marketing response, and when does it become too little or too much?

Timing is determined by knowing your customer and what builds a long-term relationship. The tools and analysis you need for a precision trigger campaign are most valuable in the long haul and pay off through testing the interests of different segments of your customer base.

For example, if you have customers who are collectors and frequent shoppers of unique and expensive items, you want all their purchase histories to guide the frequency of contact and offers: Approach them when you have what they want, or when it will go on sale, triggered by specific landing pages and graphics tied to the merchandise. Sending email for a common action—e.g., each time they visit the home page or click on an item—defeats the purpose and cost of personalized campaigns and does little to build a relationship that wins repeat business and/or referral customers.

Publish date: June 1, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT