Newsletter automation: trigger emails

The secrets of a targeted data-driven email marketing strategy

Lisa Pletzer | © punkt & komma
Lisa Pletzer
Pull the trigger!

How and why automated email marketing can lead your business to success

Is your email inbox overflowing and your spam folder bursting at the seams? An all too familiar scenario – for you and also for your customers. But what if, in the future, they would receive newsletters and emails that genuinely interested them? Trigger emails jam-packed with tailored content for your specific target audience? A nice bonus: With every email you send, you streamline the automation process. Sounds too good to be true? Keep reading now – and we’ll tell you exactly how to achieve that!

Let’s start with the basics!

What are trigger emails?

The short version: Trigger emails are personalised messages that go out automatically whenever specific behaviours or events, known as “triggers”, take place. The outcome? Bespoke content precisely catering to the needs and interests of the recipients. The foundation for this is an extensive dataset on your target audience. Once the newsletter flow is established, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the (automated) show!

Go with the flow

What is behind the newsletter automation buzzword?

The “flow” essentially represents your trigger strategy. It revolves around defining events – based on touchpoints – that automatically trigger personalised emails that are sent to your target group whenever these events occur. We recommend starting small: Initially, one or two automation strategies for distinct target groups are sufficient. As you accumulate more data over time, you can expand these strategies. However, remember that all beginnings can be somewhat hard, so it’s best to stick to the basics!


What types of automated emails are there?

A special event? A birthday or anniversary? Or perhaps an abandoned shopping cart in your online store? Each of these occurrences (“events”) can serve as a trigger for an email. The beauty of data-driven emails lies in their versatility; they can be employed across a diverse range of touchpoints.

Time-related emails, for example, are triggered by fixed points in time: 

  • Birthday emails: Whoop whoop – Your recipients have become one year wiser. Extend your congratulations and send them enticing offers and discounts!
  • Reactivation emails: Ignite inspiration among inactive customers and entice them back with bespoke offers!
  • Retention emails: Happy Anniversary – Reward your devoted customers with irresistible offers and discounts!

Action-based emails are based on specific actions of the recipients:

  • Welcome email: A warm “Welcome aboard!” lands in your recipient’s inbox, accompanied by important information that helps them get started.
  • Shopping cart abandonment emails: Your customers didn’t complete the checkout process? Send them a reminder about the items in their shopping cart – complete with discounts and promotions!
  • Upselling email: Your recipients are already happy customers, but your range has so much more to offer? Show them what you’ve got!
Fangirling hard!

Why we swear by trigger emails

At punkt & komma, we are convinced that trigger emails can yield extraordinary results. Here’s why you should give the trigger email strategy a try!

Less is more

Improved efficiency and effectiveness through newsletter automation

Efficiency and effectiveness – the ever-present buzzwords – particularly resonate in the marketing arena. In the realm of online marketing, these concepts hold significant importance, as targeted content invariably paves the path to outstanding results. Less effort and better outcomes – an unbeatable combination!

A phenomenon that can be easily explained: Leveraging existing data and automating email communications ensures that recipients consistently receive relevant content. When a recipient engages with the email by clicking on it, you gather additional valuable data that can be harnessed in subsequent trigger email processes. This iterative approach allows you to refine your trigger emails over time.

The ultimate gamechanger

User experience (UX)

Delivering the right content at the right time and in the right context: That’s the essence of cultivating customer loyalty. Personalised content makes customers feel understood and well taken care of, fostering their desire to repeatedly engage with and buy from your company.

The numbers speak for themselves

Increasing conversion rates

Numbers, numbers, numbers – we love those green numbers! Personalised content has the power to make your open and click-through rates soar through the roof. It also helps you verify whether and when your content is genuinely being seen and read.

Implementation guide

Step-by-step tutorial for a successful trigger email strategy

Much like Grandma’s tried and tested cake recipe, trigger emails are a step-by-step process. There are a few things to consider for successful implementation, and we’ve summarised the most important ones for you.

Step 1

Know your customers!

When it comes to trigger emails, you need one thing above all: a substantial amount of data. We recommend basing your strategy on the following datasets:

  • Customer information: age, gender, birthday, interests, behavioural data, previous purchases
  • Contextual data: weather, location, current events like Pride Month
  • Customer journey touchpoints: Where do customers come in contact with your brand? What are their expectations at each touchpoint?

Good news: “Go with the flow” is the motto here. Start simple and learn as you go! The data will accumulate over time. And if you need help, our experts at punkt & komma are here to support you – be it with the strategy or with copywriting.

Step 2

Zoom in on the target group!

Now, it’s time to turn your attention to your audience. You need to know exactly who your automated emails should target. Are you familiar with the concept of buyer personas? These personas will become your guiding lights when it comes to crafting optimally tailored trigger emails and content. By delivering precisely targeted emails, you can substantially improve your KPIs (key performance indicators) and connect with your recipients on a more personal level.

Step 3

Choose your triggers!

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: planning your trigger flow. Use the data you’ve collected: What specific conditions must be met to initiate the dispatch of your emails? Follow the customer journey and contemplate the junctures where your customers would most appreciate feeling valued and encouraged to take action. Only with carefully selected triggers your recipients will respond with enthusiasm.

Step 4

Formulate and optimise your content!

Moving on to the fun part: crafting unique content. Personalised emails convey to recipients that you understand and respect their needs and interests. Drawing upon the data, you select the appropriate content and present it in a clearly structured email with a meaningful subject line. Also important: Make sure that your content gets optimally displayed on all devices!

And: Always keep data protection regulations in mind! Your target audience places their trust in you – and you want to keep it that way. Trigger emails should only be sent to individuals who have explicitly consented to receive them via the double opt-in process. Handle the collected data with utmost care and sensibility!

Step 5

Run A/B tests!

A/B testing reveals the most effective strategies for your trigger emails. Experiment and analyse various iterations of your email flows to ensure optimum performance!

Is the content resonating as expected? Is the call-to-action genuinely irresistible? Are there any preferred phrases emerging? Armed with these valuable insights, you can transform your trigger emails into true UX masterpieces.

Step 6

Track and analyse your trigger emails!

Stay on top of things and keep a vigilant eye on your trigger emails! Continuously track open and click-through rates to gauge the effectiveness of your automated messages. By doing so, you can intervene in time and fine-tune your strategy for maximum impact.

Ready – (data) set – go!

Engage your target group at the right touchpoints with newsletter automation!

Trigger emails are the secret ingredient that can catapult your online marketing to the next level. By delivering personalised messages that align perfectly with your customers’ needs and interests, you can achieve superior results with less effort.

Need help implementing your trigger email strategy? We’re here to support you every step of the way. From strategic planning to automation concepts and copywriting, we offer tailored solutions designed to captivate your audience and boost your conversion rates.

Recommended articles