Email personalization is now widespread – but still shallow. While 71% of U.S. marketers report sending some form of personalized messaging, according to eMarketer, 39% admit the majority of emails they send are not tailored, and just 34% say they personalize a quarter or more of their campaigns.
Boosting that percentage should be a top priority, given that shoppers increasingly expect brands to deliver individualized products and offers. Two-thirds of consumers say contextual relevance is important, according to Adobe – and more than 15% say they spend less if companies fail to deliver.
One way to meet expectations is through intelligent automation. Thanks to tools powered by machine learning, merchants can now combine pre-set contextual triggers with personalized content and products to create aptly-timed, ultra-relevant messages in real time.
Abandoned cart email is the best-known use of such triggered messaging, which is highly effective: triggered campaigns earn an open rate 76% higher and convert at double the rate of regular marketing campaigns, according to data from Epsilon.
Given such strong performance, 60% of marketers plan to expand their triggered email automation, eMarketer found. There’s room for growth: currently less than half of marketers send triggered campaigns, and of those, fully a quarter only use the technology to send “welcome” messages when shoppers first subscribe to email updates.
There are numerous other possibilities for triggered, personalized campaigns – but to respect consumers’ privacy concerns and demonstrate practical relevance, merchants should prioritize a solution-oriented approach. Triggered emails can help shoppers:
Use products better.
Links to installation manuals and how-to videos in transactional videos can be followed by replenishment reminders at a cadence specific to the product in question. Maintenance reminders, service and upgrade offers, and ideas for accessorizing can all help customers make the most of what they’ve purchased.
Stay current on favorites.
Not every personalized recommendation needs to be generated by sophisticated AI algorithms; shoppers can also explicitly choose to receive updates about specific products or categories. Merchants can build on signups for sneak peek previews and back-in-stock alerts with broader offers in relevant categories.
Navigate the calendar.
Merchants should adopt a gifting strategy that extends beyond the fourth quarter and send reminders about other red-letter dates relevant to their audience, from high school graduation to Single’s Day. And they can help shoppers discover new events worth calendaring by combining location and product preference data to suggest relevant happenings at local stores.
How is your business using triggered messaging?