What Are Triggered Emails? Examples, Types, And Best Practices For 2023

December 27, 2022
Ammar Mazhar
What Are Triggered Emails? Examples, Types, And Best Practices For 2023

Table of contents

You might have received a welcome email after successfully signing up for a product. Right? Have you ever wondered why you receive your welcome email immediately after signing up?

That is because your signing up triggered automation that sent you a welcome email.

We deal with trigger emails daily now. As we use apps for our various needs, automations are getting sophisticated with multiple new triggers.

In this blog, we will discuss what triggered emails are, how they work, and look at a few examples of triggered emails.

What is a triggered email?

A triggered email is an automated email sent to a recipient responding to a specific action or trigger. Triggered emails are often used in marketing to send targeted and personalized messages to customers based on their behavior or interactions with a business.

For example, a triggered email might be sent to customers who have abandoned their shopping cart on an eCommerce website, reminding them to complete their purchase. Other examples of triggered emails include welcome emails for new subscribers and confirmation emails for completed transactions. Triggered emails can be effective because they are timely and relevant and can help businesses nurture and retain customers.

What is a triggering event?

A triggering event is a specific action or occurrence that causes a triggered email to be sent. In email marketing, triggering events are typically defined by the business or organization sending the emails. They can be based on various actions or interactions with the business.

For example, a triggering event might be a customer purchasing on an e-commerce website, subscribing to a newsletter, or abandoning their shopping cart. Other everyday triggering events include signing up for a free trial, completing a form, or clicking a link in an email. The specific triggering event will depend on the goals and objectives of the business, and it can be used to send targeted and personalized emails that are relevant and timely for the recipient.

Why are triggered emails important?

Triggered emails are essential for several reasons. Here are some of them:

1. Relevance

Triggered emails are relevant because they are based on specific actions or interactions the recipient has had with a business. This makes the emails more targeted and personalized, increasing their effectiveness and making them more likely to be opened and acted upon.

2. Timeliness

Triggered emails are timely because they are sent in response to a specific action or trigger. This means that the recipient is likely to receive the email when they are still interested in the topic or offer that is being presented.

3. Improved user engagement

Triggered emails can help businesses engage with customers and build stronger relationships. Businesses can nurture and retain customers and improve the overall customer experience by sending timely and relevant emails.

4. Increased conversions

Triggered emails can help businesses to increase conversions by reminding customers about abandoned carts, offering personalized recommendations, and providing other relevant and timely content. This can increase sales and revenue for the business.

5. Cost-effective

Triggered emails are often more cost-effective than other forms of marketing because they are automated and do not require significant manual effort to send. This means that businesses can reach many customers with minimal effort and cost.

5 Types of triggered emails

5 Types of Trggered Emails

1. Welcome emails 

These are sent to new subscribers or customers to introduce the business and welcome them to the community. Welcome emails often include information about the business, its products or services, and special offers or promotions.

2. Reactivation emails

These are similar to re-engagement emails and are sent to inactive subscribers or customers to re-engage them and encourage them to continue interacting with the business. Reactivation emails often include special offers or incentives, or updates about new products or services.

3. Abandoned cart emails

These are sent to customers who have left items in their online shopping cart and must complete a purchase. Abandoned shopping cart emails often include a reminder about the items in the cart and any special offers or incentives to encourage the customer to complete the purchase.

4. Transactional emails

These emails are sent in response to a specific transaction or action, such as a purchase or registration. Transactional emails often include details about the transaction and any next steps or instructions.

5. Birthday emails

These are emails sent to customers on their birthday, often to wish them a happy birthday and offer a special promotion or discount. Birthday emails can be a great way to build customer loyalty and engagement.

How to Create and Send a Trigger Email - 5 Simple Steps

If you want to create triggered email workflows in a few simple steps, then nothing is simpler than using AppFlows email automation builder. Here’s how you can create a simple email automation in AppFlows:

1. Choose a campaign type

Choosing a campaign type in AppFlows

After signing up for AppFlows, you must create a campaign. Choose a campaign from the “Create New Campaign” tab. From there, select “Automations” as the campaign type.

Choosing a campaign type in AppFlows

2. Choose your workflow

After choosing your campaign, you can now choose specific pre-built workflow recipes. If you want to build your own custom automation from scratch, you can also do that.

Choosing your email automation workflow

3. Create an automation flow

Now that you have chosen your workflow, it’s time to personalize it.

Creating an automated flow in AppFlows

Start by setting up unique conditions for your email sequences. You can split journey types for unique actions and add delays to your workflows. 

4. Write your email

You can write your email within the automation builder. Just add the email to the workflow and enter all the required fields.

Write your emails in the AppFlows automation builder

Also, you can design the email using our various email templates. 

Choosing a design template

5. Review and activate!

Once you have created your automation, review it and activate it. Here we have a confirmation email automation workflow that is ready to be activated.

Review and activate

7 Best practices for triggered emails

1. Provide valuable content

Triggered emails should provide value to the recipient by offering relevant and useful information. This can include updates about the business, special offers or promotions, or personalized recommendations.

2. Be concise and to the point

Triggered emails should be concise and get straight to the point, as recipients will likely have limited time to read the email. It's important to avoid using too much text or jargon and to make the main message clear and easy to understand.

3. Create user personas

User personas are fictional representations of the ideal customer, and they can help businesses to understand their target audience and create more effective triggered emails. By creating user personas, businesses can better understand the needs and preferences of their customers and tailor their emails accordingly.

4. Provide a clear call to action

Triggered emails should always include a clear call to action, such as "Buy now," "Sign up," or "Learn more." This helps to guide the recipient toward the next step and can increase the chances of conversion.

5. Solve problems or answer questions

Triggered emails should be designed to solve problems or answer questions the recipient may have. This can help build trust and credibility and make the email more valuable to the recipient.

6. Create a schedule for your emails

Creating a schedule for triggered emails is essential to ensure they are sent at the right time and frequency. This can help avoid overwhelming recipients with too many emails and ensure that the emails are timely and relevant.

7. Test your emails

It's essential to test your triggered emails before sending them to ensure that they are working correctly and that the formatting and content are correct. Testing can also help to identify any issues or problems with the emails so that they can be fixed before being sent to the entire audience.

6 Examples of triggered emails

1. Welcome email

This welcome email from Scaleway is a great example of a triggered email. It’s obviously sent when someone signs up to Scaleway. The best thing in this email is that it starts guiding the user on how to get the most out of their product by providing them a get-started toolkit.

Triggered email example: Scaleway
Image Source

2. Transactional emails

With a great design and simple email copy, this transactional email from Dropbox is our favorite. The email copy clearly states the purpose of the email, and, to aid the user in taking action, it also has a “Keep Dropbox business” CTA right in the center of the copy where it can be clearly seen. Top marks for sure!

Triggered email example: Dropbox
Image Source

3. Post-purchase email

You should learn how to do post-purchase emails from Slack. In the design department, there is nothing fancy going on; just a good old simple email that clearly states its purpose. Such emails are perfect as triggered emails because they can be sent in time without making huge changes.

Triggered email example: Post-purchase email
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4. Reminder email

Just from seeing the image of the stopwatch and the accompanying message “Times Up” a recipient can guess that they have received a reminder email. With this email, DocuSign has done a great job of reminding the recipient of the end of their trial.

Triggered email example: Reminder email
Image Source

5. Birthday email

Celebrating all the milestones your user achieves is a great way to engage with them and remind them that you, as a brand, care about them. You can use triggered emails to send automated birthday emails to your users. Here’s a birthday email example from Facebook.

Triggered email example: Birthday email
Image Source

6. Re-engagement email

Re-engagement emails are extremely important to send to churned or about-to-churn users. You can use triggered email workflows to send out Re-engagement emails to entice back lost users. Here’s an example from Proxyrack to inspire you.

Triggered email example: Re-engagement email
Image Source

7. Onboarding email

After the welcome email, the next step is to provide an onboarding checklist to your users so they would know how to proceed after signing up. You can send onboarding emails, just like Smartsheet here, to further ease the process. 

Triggered email example: onboarding email
Image Source

Final Thoughts

Triggered emails can be an effective tool for businesses to engage with customers and improve the customer experience. Businesses can nurture and retain customers and increase conversions by sending timely and relevant emails based on specific actions or interactions. 

It's essential to follow best practices when creating and sending triggered emails, such as providing valuable content, being concise and to the point, creating user personas, providing a clear call to action, solving problems or answering questions, creating a schedule, and testing the emails. By following these best practices, businesses can increase the effectiveness of their triggered email campaigns and improve the overall customer experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between triggered and transactional email?

Triggered emails are usually sent for marketing or customer engagement purposes, while transactional emails are sent for specific actions or transactions. For example, a triggered email might be sent to promote a new product, while a transactional email might be sent to confirm a purchase or registration.

Which user actions can trigger email sending?

Many different user actions can trigger the sending of an email. Here are a few examples:

Making a purchase: A triggered email can be sent to customers after they purchase on an e-commerce website, thanking them for their business and providing any relevant information or next steps.

Subscribing to a newsletter: A triggered email can be sent to a new newsletter subscriber to welcome them and provide information about the newsletter and any special offers or promotions.

Abandoning a shopping cart: A triggered email can be sent to a customer who has left items in their online shopping cart without completing a purchase, reminding them about the items and offering any incentives or special offers to encourage them to complete the purchase.

Signing up for a free trial: A triggered email can be sent to a customer who has signed up for a free trial, providing information about the trial and any next steps or instructions.

Completing a form: A triggered email can be sent to a customer who has completed a form, such as a registration or a contact form, providing any relevant information or next steps.

Clicking a link in an email: A triggered email can be sent to a customer who has clicked a link in an email, providing additional information or offering related products or services.

When should triggered emails be used?

Triggered emails can be used for many purposes. They can be used to check up on users who haven’t logged in to their accounts for 15 or 20 days. They can be used to send cart abandonment emails and Birthday emails.

Also, triggered emails can send welcome emails to new users and onboarding checklists.

Author Bio

Ammar Mazhar

Ammar Mazhar

Content writer by day and a book nerd by night, Ammar Mazhar has been writing for 3 years for B2B and B2C businesses. As a wordsmith, Ammar knows how to write SEO-optimized content that your users will find insightful, igniting results for your business.

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