September 9, 2015 Filament Email Marketing Specialist

3 Keys to Un-Creepifying Your Triggered Emails

It’s standard practice in digital marketing to use triggered emails to stay in touch with your customers. It’s one of the easiest ways to nurture them down the sales funnel at relatively little cost. But how do you keep your emails from having that big-brother feel? Here are 3 key pointers to help keep your triggered emails from feeling creepy:


Send your messages at the right time dependent on the trigger you’re working with (welcome, birthday, post purchase, abandoned shopping cart, etc.). This practice not only keeps your emails relevant, but it can also have a big impact on conversions. eMarketer found that 54% of shoppers buy an abandoned item within 24 hours, but only 10% within 48 hours.

Consider also the overall frequency of your triggered emails, whether you’re sending on a single email or a series of triggered emails, in the context of your other email sends. You don’t want to overwhelm their inbox, but you don’t want to underwhelm either. We suggest prioritizing triggered emails over other emails.


Useful personalization makes your emails more relevant. For personalization to work, you need to keep your email segmentation on point, so your subscribers are getting useful information. You also need to take a close look at your email content, making sure you’re also personalizing the tone and language of your email to your target audience. Buyer personas are an excellent tool for just that.

You can go beyond using the recipient name and company name by including the right type of offer for where the recipient is in the buying cycle (welcome vs. abandoned shopping cart, for example), product recommendations and reviews or ratings using preview purchase history, and other dynamic content.


Timing, personalization, dynamic content, subject lines and creative—these should all be tested to find the perfect mix for your target audience. You can use A/B testing to find what works best for different segments in your target audience and for different types of triggered emails.

Not sure where to get started? Check out some excellent examples below of a few triggered emails:

Williams-Sonoma does a great job of creating a fun subject line and a sincere thank-you email that outlines the perks of being a subscriber—along with gorgeous creative.

Welcome Email

Michael’s engagement campaign promotes their classes and events with inspiring images while also letting its subscribers know other ways they can connect.

Re-Engagement Email

It’s always nice to get an unexpected birthday surprise. Don’t underestimate the value of a simple triggered birthday email with a deal.

Birthday Email

This email is the second in a series of cart abandonment emails. It uses Litmus’s cart abandonment email sandwich strategy, in which you lead with a straightforward email notification, follow up with a more service-oriented browse abandonment message, and then finish with another more direct cart abandonment email.

Abandoned Cart Email

And, last but not least, a re-engagement email from one of our favorites, ModCloth. It contains the perfect combination of personalized tone, language and product (albeit with an embarrassing miss in the address line in this example) with an added dose of urgency.

Triggered Email


Armed with the above tips and examples, you’re off to a great start. Feel free to get in touch with Filament for some extra help creating email campaigns that strike the perfect note for your target audience.

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