Triggered email campaigns and types of trigger emails

In this blog, we walk you through the different types of trigger emails after establishing the definition and nature of triggered email campaigns. Triggered emails are the most impactful way of using email marketing automation. Its value to engage and retain customers has been proven time and time again. Yet many have failed to see its potential. Only a fraction of the business world use it, and many do not.

It comes as a surprise because, on the other hand, those who use it have reported open rates and click-through rates of more than 50% with a purchase completion rate of almost 45%. Experts have encouraged marketers to use triggered emails in the process of onboarding and lead nurturing. They have opined that it helps in optimising the conversion process and helps in mapping micro-level knowledge of each customer or customer group. It, in turn, leads to increased impact with less number of emails sent.


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What are triggered email campaigns ?

Trigger-based email campaigns are campaigns initiated based on the person’s profile, preferences and behaviour. The time and date of these emails are usually fixed in advance by the brand and sent out automatically. These emails have the potential to raise your chances of retention, acquisition, engagement, and up-sell.

what is triggered email campaign

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How is it different from marketing emails ?

The primary aim of trigger emails is to provide information to its recipients. Selling goals are only secondary. It ensures that a recipient walks through a process to begin or finish a task. In contrast, in marketing emails, the primary goal is to promote products or services. Some examples of marketing emails are as follows-

  •         Welcome emails/email series
  •         Newsletters
  •         Sales campaigns and Promotionals

These emails are sent to the recipient with an intent to make a sale. These emails contain a lot of information about the brand.

As for trigger emails, the following will trigger by a user’s interaction with the app or website.

  •         Order Confirmations.
  •         Email Receipts.
  •         Password Reset.

Generally, businesses use a combination of both types of emails with specific intents and aims.

How does trigger email campaigns works ?

Trigger email campaigns are personalised emails which are sent to a variety of customers on your email list. These customers are identified based on some automation triggers. These triggers can be based on demography (age, gender, etc.) or dates, internal or external factors, preferences and behaviour or non-behaviour. The automation triggers aim to keep the customer engaged to the brand and to invoke regular responses from them.

how trigger emails work

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What are the types of trigger emails ?

There are quite a few types of trigger emails which businesses- small and big alike, use in a strategic combination for customer retention. Out of them, the most popular ones are as follows-

  • Welcome Emails
  • Onboarding Emails
  • Early Activation Emails
  • Reactivation Emails
  • Re-marketing Emails
  • Transactional Emails

types of trigger campaigns

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Welcome Email

As you have heard before that “the first impression is always the best”, this type of Email is significant if you are handling customers. To retain and maintain a robust customer base, you must be able to bring forth a perfect first impression.

The best way to put this forward is through a welcome mail. The quality of your welcome mail is purely dependent on how you design these emails.  You can also give them a hint of what to expect in the future.

 A welcome mail directly addressed by the CEO of the company is a great way to cultivate trust among the subscribers. Make sure you add who you are and the target of your brand.

Onboarding Emails

In the beginning, when a user has signed up for your product or service, they will be longing to hear from you and may post some queries about utilising your services. It is where onboarding emails come into action.

 It is the best way to tempt your user to engage. These emails can help you engage your prospects, find value in your product, and get them into action. This type of campaign could become your launch pads, give your subscribers that tiny itch to engage more.

Early Activation Emails

Early activation emails motivate those subscribers who are activated but not immediately engaged. The core ability of these emails is to entice marketers into being proactive. The early activation campaigns can also identify lost customers and tempt them to re-engage. Capable marketing experts can skilfully use it to generate engagement and recurring revenue from customers.

Reactivation Emails

As the name suggests, reactivation emails re-engage inactive customers. They enable the highest ROI opportunities in marketing at a reasonably low cost. In comparison to non-buyers, early buyers usually click, open, and transact at much higher rates. Also, the transaction rate is twice that of the non-buyers. Hence it is always recommended to retain the existing customers than going after new ones. There is a variety of reactivating tactics marketers use today to grab attention from amidst all the noise.

Re-marketing Emails

You are required to engage in Email remarketing if you want to get back visitors who initiated an order—these types of emails have the power to attract customers or users back onto a website. Thus, you gather the information you already have about your customers and utilise the same to send relevant emails. You can understand the way a customer has made an initial purchase, or how they have browsed your site, this will help you deliver relevant emails by understanding what gets your customer going.

Transactional Emails

 Emails sent after transactions such as order confirmation, password reset, delivery notification, etc. are known as transactional emails. The customers eagerly await these types of emails, therefore get the highest open and click-through rate. Today transactional Email has become critical for application-based businesses. It is the interpreter by which they interact with their subscribers to develop their customer base, and bring forth revenue.

Besides, the types mentioned above, there are also some other types of trigger emails which we will glance through below.

  •  Account Email- These emails constitute password updates, profile changes, email changes and so on.
  •  Milestone Email: These emails mark milestones subscribers have reached with your brand.
  • Personal Email: These emails consist of congratulatory messages for birthdays, anniversaries and engagements. Sometimes they also consist of special offers for these special days.
  • Real-time Triggers: Based on real-time, these emails cover specific events like location, weather, social development etc. to better engage with the customer.

Use mailercloud  for your triggered email campaigns

What are the benefits of triggered campaigns ?

The following paragraphs list the main benefit of triggered email campaigns.

benefits of trigger campaigns

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Time Saving

This is one of the significant and most important benefits of automated trigger emails. You can pre-set trigger emails and reduce human intervention. Also you can potentially save more than 80% of the direct email budget.

Impressing Customers

When customers receive personalised emails at the right moments, they feel unique and valued. Welcome emails have been the most successful in doing so among all forms of triggered emails. It is an expectation on the part of the customer to receive an order confirmation and validation to process messages. It helps in customer relationship building and turn to customer retention.

Customers expect a welcome message like validation to a process, order confirmation, etc. It is the first step towards a relationship building with the customer and eventually leads to customer retention.

In industries like finance and banking, emails from financial institutions have very high open rates as customers want to be updated with the latest information.

Increasing chances of buying

It has been observed that two-thirds of all consumers have made purchases online based on email messages. Tracking and assessing various behavioural traits through triggered emails have helped motivate and direct customers into making a purchase.

Trigger email campaign checklist

You must make a checklist of the things you must tick off before sending your triggered email campaigns.

  • Customer Personas-  You must have an excellent idea about your target audience. You must segment your customers to design effective email campaigns for the individual emailing lists easily.
  • Customer Journey Tracking– Track the behaviour and understand the traits while analysing the customer data send more targeted emails.
  • Reuse the Most Effective Emails– Go through previous emails and their content and figure out what worked earlier with different customers at different stages. You can then reuse them for your prospects and achieve better results.
  • Best Practices- Learn from others or competitors and try to understand and reflect on what works best for them. Take a cue from them and experiment with your strategies.

Examples of triggered email campaigns

We have listed some examples of triggered email campaigns below to give you a better idea of what options you can choose from while preparing your campaigns.

Social Sharing

Nine out of ten customers will trust people that they know than an advertisement they come across. Therefore, referrals are a fantastic way to connect to prospective leads and gradually turn them into customers.

social sharing email sample

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Date Triggers

You can engage with a customer much before their special days and anniversaries and keep them connected and interested in your product. You can keep them informed about what they can expect on their special day. It is a great way to retain the loyalty of your customers.

date trigger emails

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Inactivity Reminders

As the name suggests, these emails are sent to those customers who have been inactive for some time. They include coupons or discounts to ask the customer to come back. These emails reflect how much your brand values its customers.

inactive customer emails

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Besides these, there are some other types of trigger emails that thousands of brands are using on a regular basis for their promotion, sales, customer conversion and retention. Some of them are listed below.

Abandonment Email

The abandonment cart email strategy is based on customer behaviour with relevant recommendations. It usually consists of a personalised subject line and images which takes the customer directly to the website, increasing sales conversion. This strategy helps in the higher purchase and excellent customer experience.

Thank You Email

 ‘Thank You’ emails based on the last purchase of customers are another genuine way of increasing the feel-good factor of the customer and also driving sales by urging subscribers to purchase with a discount and encourages a subscriber to make the next purchase with a discount deal.

Event Reminder Email

These emails updates the customer with a variety of information regarding an upcoming event. Sometimes these emails also highlight essential facts or developments to be taken note of, encouraging customers to download the app. It creates a sense of increased brand value in the mind of the customer.

Review Email

This automated message to customers within 2 to 3 days of purchase urges them to write reviews on the product sold. These designs on these emails are beautiful, and the interface to submit reviews is easy. Sometimes these emails are sent after a few weeks in case the first one was missed or overlooked.

Annual Summary Email

Annual summary emails of the customer are summaries about their past activities; typically through an exciting infographic. These emails help plan future activities besides thanking them for their business.


Triggered email campaigns have helped marketers in bringing in more conversions and engagement from customers. The best part of this type of email marketing is that they can be put on auto-pilot and also generate revenue. This method may require some initial investment. However, in the long run, it is very cost-effective and holds the potential to be highly profitable if you can strategise your campaigns smartly with the proper combinations of the various types of trigger campaigns based on your product. In the beginning, it is recommended to start the program on a single part of your business so that you can analyse changes in opens, clicks, and conversions. Once you have done your analysis, you can expand the scope of your campaigns and grow your business.

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