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Triggered Email Part 2: Deepening Engagement

Stefanie Florio • May 24, 2017

A few weeks ago, I highlighted some basic triggered email tactics that easily and effectively connect brands to consumers. These emails are sent out in response to various specific shopper behaviors, encouraging frequent engagement between brand and shopper.

Now, in part 2, I highlight five more triggers that continue the conversation and rely on slightly more complex triggers than the basic tactics covered in part 1. A successful triggered email strategy ties these triggers together into a comprehensive, automated communication strategy that enhances engagement while simplifying operations.

If you need a refresher on the tactics covered in part 1, just click here

Active Non-Purchasers

These shoppers are what I like to refer to as “low-hanging fruit”. Active Non-Purchasers are highly engaged consumers who have never made a purchase from your site.

Today’s eCommerce environment encourages window-shopping, and with more data available than ever, consumers take their time to make informed purchase decisions.

You may be surprised to find that the majority of your highly engaged visitors have never made a purchase before. Leveraging an activation campaign to reiterate your value proposition and maybe offer incentives and deals can easily turn these window shoppers into returning customers.

A great example is Huckberry’s activation campaign that includes product recommendations and a time sensitive discount code to inspire shoppers and create a sense of urgency.


Re-Activate Lapsing Customers

As marketers, we hate thinking about “lost” customers. All of those prospecting efforts seem wasted when a customer disappears. Launching a re-activation campaign to lapsing customers is a worthwhile last-ditch effort to win customers back before they churn.

West Elm has an awesome re-activation campaign that includes personal phrasing like “We miss you…”, and a limited time 15% off code to incentive returning customers. Category recommendations look to simplify the returning customers shopping trip and encourage conversion.


Creating Repeat Customers

Everyone is familiar with the 80/20 concept: 80% of your orders come from 20% of your customers. While the numbers may be slightly different, the point still stands that returning customers drive much more business than first-time shoppers.

One of the best feelings in the world is successfully converting a prospect to a new customer. Now that they’ve made a purchase, though, how do we keep them coming back?

Loyal customers are usually worth exponentially more than a single purchase customer, so developing a separate campaign to nurture that relationship is critical.

This campaign should reiterate the value you deliver to the customer, provide product recommendations, and possibly a discount. Keying in on the happiness shoppers feel when they’ve made a good purchase fosters an association between that feeling and shopping your brand

Parachute’s post purchase email provides care information, reiterates the value proposition and offers alternative shopping categories.


Crate and Barrel’s post purchase email provides information on how to get support for questions, as well as product recommendations based on the customer’s previous purchase.


VIP Messaging

Every customer is important, but some are certainly more important than others. VIP campaigns can go a long way towards making your most important customers feel valued and a part of the brand.

VIP messaging is usually incorporated into a loyalty program, but can still be utilized outside of these programs. High-value customers deserve and expect a deeper level of engagement between them and your brand, and campaigns set around order value and frequency can help to determine who should be a part of such a campaign.

Consider incentivizing VIP customers with additional discounts, early access to sales, or free gifts. These customers drive so much value towards your brand that they need some extra value to be sent back their way on occasion.

Nordstrom’s insider email provides early access to their seasonal sales as well as behind-the-scenes media and footage to create a sense of exclusivity.



If you sell consumable products, replenishment email triggers are a great strategy to ensure customers are aware of when they need to re-order, and who they should re-order from (hint, it’s you!).

When designing a replenishment campaign, the average lifecycle of the product will dictate the timing of the email triggers. Make sure to build in any needed time for shipping and processing to ensure your customers have their goods before they run out of their previous order.

Also, replenishment emails are not just for consumer-packaged goods; you can also consider sending replenishment emails for apparel basics like socks, underwear, t-shirts, and other items that have a fairly regular lifespan.

Erno Laszlo’s replenishment campaign is simple and concise, focusing on converting a repeat purchase in the simplest way possible. Simplicity is key!


Stefanie Florio

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Stefanie Florio

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