Resources Hub » Blog » Triggered Email Best Practices to Automate Your Workload

People want you to send them emails with products they’ll love, information they can relate to, and content they genuinely care about.

But you’ve already spread yourself thin analyzing data, developing marketing ideas, and running integrated campaigns across multiple platforms. How can you manage time to create personalized emails and send them at the perfect time?


Maybe you’re part of the 49% of marketers who already use automation to create uniquely relevant content for some emails but not all.

7 triggered email best practices to optimize every campaign

In this post, we’ll go over triggered email best practices to help you understand how to automate broad swaths of your email marketing campaigns.

We’ll also provide tips and suggestions for optimizing every triggered email you send—even if you don’t physically hit the send button every time.

Why bother to automate your triggered email campaigns?

When someone voluntarily gives you their email address for marketing material, they’re trusting you with personal information and access to their intimate space. Take this relationship seriously.

From a broad perspective, the latest estimates from Radicati suggest that over 347 billion emails will be sent every day in 2023. That means the average office worker receives 121 emails in their inbox each day.

It’s crucial for marketers to use this space wisely.

When asked why they unsubscribe from email lists, 59% of people cite a lack of relevant or interesting content. Automation and personalized content can solve these problems and ensure your subscribers stay engaged.

Sending personalized content through automated campaigns allows you to leverage your data by sending the right content at the perfect time.

7 triggered email best practices

Triggered emails, customer journeys, automated campaigns. Whatever you want to call them, these campaigns are powerful solutions for providing personalized content to your subscribers.

Following these triggered email best practices can help you optimize every campaign you send.

1. Choose your data sources.

First, you’ll need to decide where you’ll collect information about your subscribers. You’ll then use this data to curate relevant content and personalize your campaigns. You can find information from multiple sources.

  • Where did they sign up for your list, and what does that tell you about their interests?
  • Which products and web pages do they view on your website?
  • Do they engage with your content across multiple platforms?
  • Which products have they purchased?

2. Segment your subscriber list.

To create more specific automated campaigns, you’ll want to segment your subscribers based on different demographics and factors, like:

  • Location
  • Engagement and activity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Parental status
  • Work status
  • Work title and rank

These are just some of the common segments you can create. Remember, the more specific you can be, the better.

3. Set one specific goal for each triggered email campaign.

Do you want your subscriber to make a purchase? Visit a specific landing page? Register for an event?

Setting one specific goal for each campaign will keep your content clear and concise. If you start branching out too far with your goals, your subscribers may get overwhelmed and take no action at all.

4. Carefully schedule your campaigns.

Forty-five percent of people say they unsubscribe from mailing lists because they either receive too many emails in general or from a specific company.

Carefully time your emails to go out on a specific schedule every few days or once a week. Since you’re sending highly relevant and interesting content, spreading your campaigns out will leave your subscribers longing for more.

5. Optimize every email.

Transactional emails have 8x higher open rates and 6x higher conversion rates than other marketing campaigns. If you’re not optimizing your confirmation and shipping emails, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage with your subscribers and deliver a customer experience above and beyond what your competitors are doing.

Include engaging copy and personalized calls to action. Thank your customer for their purchase and recommend adding related products to their order before you ship. Include a paragraph asking them to follow you on Twitter or Facebook.

Do whatever you can to squeeze the most juice out of every campaign.

6. Integrate your triggered email campaigns with other channels.

Your subscribers are active on multiple online channels. Are you integrating your email campaigns to encourage conversation?

Add Facebook or Yelp review snippets when you promote products through email. Include your WhatsApp number or live chat link to text questions easily. Figure out where your subscribers hang out online and provide unique ways to engage with your brand.

7. Monitor results and change tactics.

You’ll never know if your automated campaigns are producing results if you don’t check your metrics.

Are new subscribers opening your emails? If not, you may need to work on your subject lines. Are subscribers opening your emails but falling short when it’s time to take action? Consider rewording your copy to make it more precise and direct.

Which email campaigns should you automate?

Plenty of brands have already automated certain transactional emails, like shipping confirmations, but the truth is that you can automate and optimize most of your email campaigns.

Not only will automation save you time to focus on other areas, but it’ll also help you milk your email strategy for all it’s worth because you’ll be able to provide the best content to subscribers at the right time.

Welcome series

Welcome emails boast an average open rate of 50%—that’s huge. This welcome email from Lululemon immerses the new subscriber in their brand.

Notice how the email finds unique ways to engage the subscriber both online and off, with in-store yoga classes and events, app downloads, and email preferences.

triggered email best practices. a welcome series from lululemon.

Onboarding and account creation emails

Onboarding emails should be simple, informational, and automated. Using automation, HelloFresh sent this simple, yet effective email introducing the new subscriber to their buying process.

HelloFresh uses beautiful, high-quality images and also includes a generous coupon to entice the new subscriber to take action.

HelloFresh sends this onboarding email that's full of triggered email best practices.

Birthday and holiday emails

Birthday emails have 481% higher transaction rates, drive 342% higher revenue, and 179% higher unique click rates than standard promotional emails.

Birthday emails are some of the easiest to automate. Add a personal touch, if you can, by using information you’ve collected about your subscriber’s relevant interests.

Reminders and re-engagement emails

Do you have subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in a while? Once loyal customers who seem to have vanished? Send an automated campaign to remind them about your services and reconnect.

Include a special discount code and ask them if they still want to receive emails from you. This keeps your email list healthy because it helps you efficiently purge inactive subscribers.

Transactional emails

Transactional emails are some of the easiest to automate, but, unfortunately, too many brands leave this job up to developers who design quick plain-text emails. Instead, optimize your transactional emails to take advantage of their high engagement rates.

Note how this confirmation email from Huckberry contains trending product suggestions.


Source: Pinterest

Email courses

Use triggered email campaigns to create online courses that provide value to your subscribers. This delivers value straight to their inboxes and ensures that you stay top of mind.

A solid email course also helps establish your brand as an authority and builds trust with your subscribers.

This email course from Campaign Monitor is a great example of an email that follows the triggered email best practices.

Source: Campaign Monitor

Sign up for the small business email course to see the rest!

Product teasers and launch emails

Create an automated email campaign with a set of emails to build suspense around a new product launch.

Send a new video or teaser photo every five to seven days to give your subscribers an idea of what’s coming next and keep them guessing. On launch day, send special coupons to your subscribers who opened your teaser emails.

Event emails

Email marketing is an ideal medium for promoting events, whether they’re live or  online events like webinars. Don’t forget to send follow-up emails leading up to the event full of information about the hosts, artists, or keynote speakers, along with plenty of opportunities to share.

Creating this anticipation helps ensure everyone who signed up shows up and can also help you avoid common event problems. For instance, providing a map of parking and local places to eat will ensure your attendees have a great experience and associate only positive feelings toward your brand.

This email follows triggered email best practices and gives attendees all the info they need before the webinar.

Source: Milled

Milestone emails

You can send automated and personalized emails to your customers when they reach certain milestones, like spending a specific amount of money. It’s also a great idea to send a year in review email with all your subscribers’ most interesting and pertinent information.

Surveys and reviews

After a customer makes a purchase, send an automated email to go out a week or two after they’ve received the product. That way, they’ve had a chance to use your product and come up with any questions or complaints. You can make sure customers are happy with their purchases, handle any concerns they might have, and hopefully intercept any problems.

Make it easy for them to leave a rating and review with fast-loading landing pages.

Wrap up

Automation makes it easy to leverage your data and translate it into relevant blog posts, promotions, and other material for your subscribers.

Remember to:

  • Follow the triggered email best practices listed above to make the most out of every automated campaign.
  • Decide on one goal for each triggered campaign.
  • Create a broad range of automated campaigns for different purposes and content types.
  • Monitor your results and change your tactics accordingly.

At the end of the day, it’s your job to provide subscribers with relevant and personalized content.

Are you ready to develop personalized customer journeys that educate and wow your subscribers? Check out these demos to see how Campaign Monitor can help you take your automation efforts to the next level.
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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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