Binding customers with trigger mails

Trigger-Mails beim Online Shopping bieten wertvolle Impulse, um die Kundenbindung zu vertiefen.

Trigger mails - communicate along the customer journeyAutomation and personal approach at the right time

Most people are probably familiar with this situation: You browse through an online shop and may already have put something in your shopping cart, but then decide against completing the purchase process. Maybe you want to compare if there are cheaper items available somewhere, or the purchase should be continued at a later date. A short time later you will receive an email from this same online shop reminding you that there is still something in your shopping basket. Sometimes there is also a voucher in addition. At this point we talk about trigger mails.

Trigger mails are an integral part of e-mail marketing. These are mailings that are sent to the appropriate recipient on a specific occasion. They are therefore fundamentally different from regular newsletters. With the dispatch time adapted to a specific event and the appropriate content, a higher response rate is targeted. Trigger mails are therefore a good supplement to general newsletters, as they are more personal, accompany current processes and bring your company back to the customer’s mind. Trigger mails are also a good instrument to accompany the recipient along the customer journey, support him or her and strengthen customer loyalty.

These advantages bring trigger mails

  • A clear advantage with trigger mails is the automation that comes with them. The larger the customer base and the product range, the more important automated processes are. These ensure the continuous “care” of the customer and the necessary customer loyalty along the customer journey.
  • Another major advantage of automation is the associated time savings (and minimization of error possibilities).
  • Because the mails are preceded by a specific event, they are perfectly matched to the current needs of the individual recipient and thus achieve a high degree of personalization.
  • In contrast to newsletters, correctly used trigger mails have a much higher relevance. This is because the notification arrives exactly when it is expected to receive the most attention.
  • Due to the targeted approach, trigger mails also generate higher opening and click rates.

Possible applications for trigger mails

In addition to the shopping cart abandonment emails described earlier, there are plenty of other areas of application for trigger emails. We have listed the most important areas of application for you below. Depending on the industry, other processes in the customer journey can also be controlled and supported with the help of trigger emails. The better you get to know the lead or customer, the more occasions there are for automated email communication. In our article Touchpoints in the optimized customer lifecycle, you can learn more about which trigger emails can be used for each phase.

Trigger mails support user onbording

Greeting and welcome campaigns are more than just a nice touch. Depending on what your business field is, they can contain e.g. further information, special new customer offers or an overview of possible services. If you are a software provider, you can also use small video tutorials, tips & tricks or contact details for support requests to help the new customer get started.

For user onboarding, a good way to set up a campaign is in tidbits and in multiple stages. With onboarding campaigns, you want to positively influence the customer experience. The goal, of course, is to further retain the new recipient/customer as quickly as possible and to develop them further.

Service Mails are also Trigger mails

These are now expected by most customers, as they know that the action carried out was successful and that the associated process was initiated.

Typical service mails are e.g. purchase and dispatch confirmations, but also confirmations for inquiries, appointments or data changes. Service mails can also include reminder mails that remind the recipient of an upcoming event or appointment and, at best, contain additional information, such as travel information, admission or any necessary preparations.

Example for an abandoned cart email
Example for an abandoned cart email

Behaviour-related Trigger mails

Behavioral trigger emails take the actions of your visitors on their own website or in newsletters they receive as the reason. The content of these trigger mails is tailored to the behavior and thus completely individualized. In this context, we also speak of 1:1 communication.

If, for example, a visitor was looking for green sneakers and also looked at some models – preferably several times – he will receive a personalized newsletter. In this, the surfing behavior is picked up and the last viewed products or similar are offered. In the best case, you also point out if the price of a previously viewed product has changed. This can be an additional reason to buy for one or the other. Behavioral mails can also include the aforementioned shopping cart abandonment mails, in which a trigger mail is triggered due to the purchase process not being completed.

Pick up on personal occasions in Trigger mails

Trigger mails should not only be used to increase sales, but also for customer retention.

A common example are birthday mails or customer anniversaries. In these cases, a personal approach is made, preferably with a personalised picture and usually in conjunction with a voucher. The customer is thus shown appreciation and interest and who is not happy about a small gift.

Trigger mails for reactivations

Reactivation trigger e-mails are used to get supposedly “dead” recipients (so-called sleepers) excited about one’s own products and/or services again. The reactivation emails should contain special offers with high relevance, as it is much cheaper to reactivate a customer than to win a new one. The last purchase date plus a period X is used as the trigger. In many areas, reactivation activities start when this date is 6 months in the past.

The reactivation process can be set up as a multi-stage campaign. For example, after half a year of inactivity, a newsletter is sent with special advantage offers, containing products from the categories that were previously particularly exciting for the recipient. In the next stage, after 9 months without a purchase, a coupon is added to the reactivation email. In the next three months, further mails with vouchers will be sent monthly. Of course, the campaign should stop as soon as the customer buys something again. If the recipient still does not react, an attempt can be made to continue the reactivation via other channels.

After-sales campaigns through Trigger mails

In order to increase satisfaction and thus also the probability of renewed use, after-sales campaigns are recommended. Since here, too, the purchase is the trigger for the campaign, these are also individual trigger mails.

This can start with thank you emails when a special purchase is made. For simple purchases or services, it is also advisable to send a mail that prompts the recipient to evaluate the performance (so-called review mails), the product or the service a few days after the purchase. In the next step, you can send upselling or cross-selling mails that match the purchase already made.

Especially for premium products, campaigns of any size are possible and the customer journey can be extended with them. Think of a car purchase, for example, there is plenty of potential for complementary products and services. Whether it’s winter tires, an invitation to a car wash, or a reminder for the next inspection. In addition to customer loyalty, you thus also strengthen the sale of other products and services.

Requirements for Trigger mails

The basic prerequisite for the use of trigger mails is a professional email marketing tool such as AGNITAS E-Marketing Manager. In order to be able to create trigger-based, automated mailings, on the one hand a profile enrichment in the e-mail tool and on the other hand interfaces, e.g. to your CRM, store system and possibly other tools, are required. For this, the recipient must give their consent for opening and link tracking as well as website tracking. Service mails are not affected by this.

Trigger mails and newsletters - a perfect match

Even if trigger mails are clearly more promising than normal newsletters, it is, as with many things, always a question of the right measure. Very few recipients, for example, want new product recommendations every day based on their latest search.

It is also advantageous not to rely only on trigger mails, because if a customer always only gets what he is supposedly interested in recommended, it quickly becomes boring. In addition, you run the risk that the communication appears sterile, because it is also clear to the recipient that this type of mail is automated.

A normal newsletter can be quite stimulating and make the communication more lively.

Do you want to learn more about professional email marketing and get to know our EMM? Or do you need help implementing trigger campaigns? Then simply make an appointment for a customized online demo

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Our E-Marketing Manager (EMM) is an intuitive marketing automation software for creative multi-channel campaigns. With EMM, you can deploy customized trigger emails in the customer journey of your leads via email, web push, SMS, fax and print. The award-winning software meets individual data protection requirements both as an in-house and cloud solution and flexibly adapts to your needs. From open source to high-end, we offer the right variant for every budget.

When Martin Aschoff founded the company in 1999, AGNITAS was a pioneer of email marketing in Germany. Today, AGNITAS is one of the most renowned and innovative providers of high-quality marketing automation software used around the world for customer-oriented communication.


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Are you interested in the most automated and efficient email marketing possible? Then the following articles may also be of interest to you:

Automated touchpoints in the customer lifecycle for long-term customer loyalty

Targeting – Reaching customers with the right content