Four Key Takeaways from #CNX19 Every Regulated Marketer Needs to Know


It was an unbelievable Connections for regulated industries marketers. With over 30 dedicated sessions for health and financial services and life style there were opportunities to share best practices, network with peers, and engage with specialists than ever.

In the event that you missed a couple of sessions, or were not able to make it to Chicago, we’ve compiled a list of our top takeaways which can help you up your electronic marketing game.

Data. Data. Data.

In the keynote touting a 360 degree view of your customers to the regulated businesses session where panelists discussed the challenges of maintaining data compliance, the importance of data-driven advertising was front and centre. 

The message was clear: it’s no longer an option for marketers in regulated businesses to use regulation as an excuse for bad marketing. 

Personalization is key along with the path to personalization is paved with first-, second-, and third-party data.

In Wunderman Thompson Health, third party data plays an integral role. According to managing director at the agency, William Martino, third party information is mainly utilized to enhance existing data. 

By way of example, the bureau will use first-party location data, paired with third party weather information to make predictions about influenza outbreaks or allergy vulnerability and adjust their offers accordingly.

Making sure you are using clean data is also crucial. In the panel discussion, Constructing a Lifeline with Patients and Providers, CRM Program Manager at Indiana University Health, Oliva Goh Kidder, implored the audience to”not construct the airplane while you fly .” That was a major lesson learned for the IU Health team and Goh Kidder. “We were constructing journeys while we were attempting to incorporate data,” she said. 

“If I could have done it over again, I’d have taken more time for discovery prior to implementation, which would have reduced shift on the way.” 

Click here to see how companies like Farmers Insurance are using data to increase personalization and drive marketing results.

Change Management is Critical

Let’s face it, change is hard for any industry, but it can sometimes feel nearly impossible for associations unaccustomed to the pace of electronic innovation. At the session Partnership is the Prescription for Success, Claire Loran from Otsuka described how her team implemented Marketing Cloud and pulled data from several desperate systems using Mulesoft in only four weeks by partnering with Intouch B2D

Initially daunted by the scale and pace of the job, B2D jumped in focusing on stakeholder alignment, a technical assessment, and street mapping. They went through an execution phase where they worked to mitigate risk through a transparent approach that helped quell some.

“That degree of transparency is critical to maintaining belief that the project will be prosperous,” said Paul Pierce, Senior Vice President of Development Services at Intouch.

Mike Sorice, Executive Director of Consumer Analytics and CRM at Mercy, felt similar pressures when moving the large hospital system toward a patient-focused digital advertising effort. “As much as we tried to anticipate the challenges, we underestimated the impact of everyone having their’cheese’ moved,” he said. 

Sorice recommends spending substantial time”reverse engineering the process” to better understand the downstream impacts of the changes you’re implementing.  

ABM is the strategy of choice

Based on Constellation Research, 92% of businesses have a plan to begin an ABM program, but only 19 percent are confident in their ability to execute. At the session B2B Marketing in HLS: Grow HCP Relationships with Pardot, Danielle Freedman, a Product Marketing Manager at New England Biolabs, shared her staff scales personalized customer outreach with a small sales team.   

The company’s sales process frequently starts with a request for a sample, but the sales teams found it hard to balance reaching out to key accounts and following up on the lot of samples distributed. 

To fix the issue, Freedman and her team made a simple nurture program that generated a set of automated follow-up emails that appeared like they were sent from a sales rep. whether a prospect responded to offer feedback on their free trial, the sales rep would get that response and have full visibility to how the prospect liked (or didn’t like) the trial. Now 100% of sample requests are being followed up with while also continuing to manage strategic account relationships and these tasks can balance. 

 “We chose Pardot for the tight integration with Salesforce,” she said. “It has allowed us to reevaluate our procedures and get extremely efficient. Sales reps can now prioritize their follow up and our clients always feel connected.”

Looking to Begin with an ABM strategy? Download our account-based marketing manual . If you’re in health and life sciences organization, we have a brand new ebook especially for you.

Afterward, join us for our free webinar, Successful ABM Starts with Being Account-First, on July 16 at 1 p.m. ET. 

Sales and Marketing Alignment are Key to Success

At the end of the day your advertising efforts are supposed to do one thing: bring in business, but if your sales and promotion are siloed, it’s very tricky to understand the real return on your investment. 

“Visibility across marketing and sales is critical,” said David Gore, Manager of CRM at Assurant, during the session Pardot for Financial Services: Relationship Marketing on the World’s #1 CRM

Aligning on a single platform as the single source of truth is critical to these efforts. It is the only way to enable sales with the marketing insights and ability to conduct their own campaigns.

In the session 7 Ways Financial Services Marketers can Lead Digital Transformation, President of DBS, Lisa Nicholas highlighted the importance of creating the backend processes to handle incoming form submissions, phone calls, and chats. 

You may be crushing the direct funnel, but if you don’t have the procedures in place to convert those leads, your job will stop short of the finish line.

Learn how Piedmont Healthcare increased the volume and quality of communications while enabling more personalized targeting, forcing increased open rates and click throughs with a single source of truth on their consumer, patient and physician interactions. According to an independent ROI study, the supplier recognized an 83% ROI with a payback of just 1.8 years.

Learn more in our upcoming webinar, Top 10 Takeaways from Connections 2019.

Prime Day Is a Prime Day for Retailers — And Not Just Amazon


Summer has just begun and the calendar shows plenty of time before the holidays, but marketers understand better. Retailers have to think about the holidays earlier and earlier, in response to consumers doing that. According to a National Retail Federation survey, 40 percent of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping 12 percent […]

The post Prime Day Is a Prime Day for Retailers — Not Just Amazon appeared on Sailthru.

Cleaning unwanted traffic from Google Analytics


You’re getting great traffic on your website. You seeing an uptick in sales. But there’s that feeling in the back of your mind that there should be more conversions, right? I mean, most of it’s helpful, and after all, there’s a lot of traffic coming in, but could there be something else […]

The article Cleaning unwanted traffic from Google Analytics appeared first on Pure360.

Reduce Spam Signups on website forms


In the world of messaging and email marketing, a “honeypot” is a tool used to discover if automated bots are trying to add subscribers to your client list or subscribe for your product. It’s a way to help ensure only and interested customers subscribe to receive your messages, protecting customers’ solitude and your organization ’s reputation.

The expression derives from the world of cybersecurity. A “rdquo & honeypot; is a computer security mechanism. It’s a decoy that looks and operates like the target system you’re trying to protect but has been set up purely to attract and detect potential attackers. By tracking the decoy, the owner of the machine can detect if they’re being targeted by cyber threats.

A honeypot is an easy and effective way to make certain you only send messages to real subscribers.

In this tutorial, we will show you how you can use HTML forms and sections in Vero to set up a honeypot that prevents spam signups and bad actors from subscribing to your mailing list.

In this example, we’ll use a blog subscription form but you can use this approach for many online forms, including trial signup forms or surveys.

The most common way to allow users to subscribe to your messages is to provide a form on your site. Utilizing our Vero HTML forms, you can add subscribers directly to your accounts.

To create a form in Vero, select Types > New Form and insert the fields for the information you want to collect. In Vero, we call these fields ‘User attributes ’. The value entered for every user property is stored on the customer profile in Vero.

In this case, we keep things simple and simply ask our new subscribers for their ‘First name’.

honeypots tutorial gif 1

Notice: if you have previously created a user property in Vero, you may simply pick the property on the left-hand side to add it to the form.

When a user submits a form, their information will be automatically added to your Vero account. The form will also activate an ‘occasion ’, describing the action the user just took. In the case above, we named our event “Subscribed to blog”.

‘Events’ are a powerful way of tracking user behaviour. Vero’s forms and APIs use events to enable you to track important customer action. These events can be used to automate workflows and the messages your customers see.

Learn more about event tracking.

Before you pick ‘Create Form’, you need to add a ‘concealed area ’ to discover bad actors.

Now that you’ve configured your form, it’s time to add an extra field to detect if a subscriber is a genuine person or an automated bot.

To do this, we rely on the premise that an automated bot or script will finish every field in our form. We can, therefore, assume that when that area is finished, the user created in Vero is a terrible actor, fake or spam accounts.

Attackers are constantly improving their strategy so to help increase the effectiveness of your honeypot, we recommend choosing a name for your decoy area that is realistic — but not a data field you intend to monitor anywhere else. Some examples you might use:

  • fax_number
  • second_name
  • pets_name
  • first_school

Add this field to your Vero form and select ‘Generate form’.

 Honeypots tutorial gif 3

Now you’re ready to add the form to your website.

When adding the HTML form to your site, you will need to make a final adjustment to the code created by Vero.

By making your hidden field a checkbox, instead of a normal text field — the value will either be set to “1” if completed by a bot (instead of random values set by automated bots in text fields) or will not exist on the user at all (i.e. it will be blank).

Ensure the checkbox is concealed so that humans can’t see it, and for that reason not able to complete it. This way, only attackers using automated tools can finish this field.To do so, you need to alter the HTML generated by Vero (example below).

You need to edit this HTML so that your decoy field is a “checkbox” (see below). Learn more about HTML checkboxes.

Next, add the CSS style "display: none! Important" to produce the area is hidden, followed by tabindex="-1" autocomplete="false" — this ensures that the field is empty by default and cannot be tabbed to, by the user (see below).

Pro tip. If you would like to put the CSS style on your main CSS style file that will work good also. There is not any particular reason to add the style right on the element.

At this point, you can add the HTML to your website. For most people, this means adding the HTML to your blog template in WordPress, Squarespace or a similar platform, or using a popular form manager that accepts HTML forms.

Once your form is set up, the simplest way to test it is to complete the form with your details and hit ‘Submit’. This will include a test user to your Vero account and enable you to check that the hidden decoy area you’ve added isn’t being recorded (this value should only be present if the checkbox is ticked).

In your Vero account, navigate to Clients and search for the email address of the test user. By viewing their client profile in Vero, you can check that the field isn’t set.

To test more thoroughly, eliminate the "display: none! Important" in the checkbox in the form HTML. Then, tick the checkbox and submit the form using a test user. View the test user in Vero, and confirm that the honeypot value is set to “1”.

Honeypots tutorial

If so, everything is functioning as expected. Don’forget to re-add "display: none! Important" into the decoy field in your HTML form.

Now that you’re able to detect attackers using your concealed, decoy field, it is vital to make sure you only message or email valid subscribers.

To do so create a new segment in Vero and include a state ‘has property [decoy field] does not exist’.

Vero Segments allow you to create custom groups of clients with similar properties so that you can provide a more relevant and personalized customer experience.

Honeypots tutorial gif 4

In this segment, we’ve included just those users who have this property not set. Any person with this field set must, by nature of our honeypot, be an automatic bot or invalid signup.

The final step is to include this condition in your Newsletter sections and Workflow filters to make sure you deliver messages to valid subscribers.

Get started today — Try Vero for free.

The article Reduce Spam Signups on website forms appeared initially on Vero.

New in Litmus: Seamless Integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive


Does your team rely on cloud storage solutions to store and organize your email code? You’ll love our newest integrations with OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

Say goodbye to copy and paste errors

Each email team is unique, and so are the resources and workflows they rely on to get email campaigns out the door. No matter which tools your team uses, we want to be certain that you can utilize Litmus to improve your campaigns.

But we also know that manually getting your code into Litmus can open up the opportunity for mistakes. Why we are set to integrate seamlessly that ’ s your team relies on the most. There’s an entire collection of integrations available with Litmus–each of them designed to automate manual steps that slow down your workflow and eliminate the risk of errors. Today, we’re excited to introduce our newest addition to Litmus’ suite of integrations: direct connections to your favorite cloud storage tools–Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Import HTML files from your cloud storage tools into Litmus with the touch of a button

Connect Litmus into Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive and import your HTML files into Litmus in just minutes. Tedious manual steps and get your emails outside the door. 

  • Publish your code to Builder to quickly and easily edit and test your email. 
  • Upload an email to Proof to kick off email reviews quicker than ever before.
  • Upload your email directly to Checklist for a guided pre-send check of the critical elements that affect email functionality. 

Quit wasting time switching back and forth between tools and free up more time for what really matters: Creating awesome email experiences for your subscribers.

Connect Litmus with your preferred cloud storage tool now

Litmus’ integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are available on all Litmus plans. So if you are a Litmus client, you can go ahead and join your cloud storage service and Litmus now. We can not wait to hear what you think!

Here’s the way to get started →

The post New in Litmus: Seamless Integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive appeared first on Litmus Software, Inc.. .

Don’t be too quick to dismiss established best practices for email


I’m noticing a tendency among some email speakers recently — when they want to promote a new idea, they slap down the best practice that relates to it.

This disturbs me because most of today’s best practices evolved from a longing for guidelines and innovation in email’s Wild West early days, when we had been writing and rewriting the rules almost every day as expectations and technology evolved.

Here we are, 25 years later, and we’re rethinking a number of the practices that, for better or worse, helped us build email into the machine it is today. I agree that some best practices have either outlived their usefulness or didn’t stand the test of time, but I wish we wouldn’t be in such a hurry to move past the ones who still hold true.

Best practices grew from email’s early days

This ’s why I’m not prepared to discard everything we’ve built up.

From email’s early no-holds-barred environment, we started to see repercussions, like pushback from customers and subscribers, spammers and fraudsters polluting the distance, ISPs and blacklists keeping us out of the inbox.

We also saw customers respond favorably when we worked them with to show them how to use this new electronic world.

This accelerated development wasn’t all bad in those days before CAN-SPAM, CASL and another national and state laws began regulating email. In case you haven’t been in the industry all that long, here’s what it was like:

  • We were mad. People tried whatever they could, emailing or even over-mailing. We developed send-time optimization since we were locked into emailing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. That’s when people checked their email more often, from their work desktop computers in which they’d faster, more reliable internet connections.
  • Testing was minimal because most email platforms didn’t let it or limited you to simple A/B testing with long wait times to get results.
  • We didn’t have widely accessible platforms for sharing thoughts, like blogs or email-specific conferences, organizations or meet-ups. So, we innovated separately and aggressively.

Knowledge base begins to form

The email space began to formalize in the late 1990s. Enterprise-level and mid-market ESPs began to pop up. Individuals who were early leaders in the space signed on with the ESPs as strategists and account directors and began sharing their experiences and advice.

They aggressively implemented strategies and tactics that drove email innovation on a scale unmatched now. We were literally analyzing every new idea on hundreds of clients at a time  across verticals.

Industry newsletters, blogs, conferences, white papers — all of the things we rely on today for education and thought leadership bloomed immediately after that. We began to develop a knowledge base of acceptable and unacceptable practices and shared our wins and losses.

Our clients and subscribers were learning at the same rapid pace. We were teaching as well as learning on an immense scale.

Best practices evolved as a starting point

Brand marketers, agency specialists and customers were looking for assistance with email in those early days. That’s how best practices evolved — from personal experiences refined over a short time. Best practices gave us a leg up, less the sole means to execute on acquisition, engagement, retention or development.

These helped us move into the next era of email development. By way of instance, we knew enough that if we emailed customers who abandoned shopping carts, we stood a good chance of getting them to come back and purchase.

A best practice created — once you get your nightly file of abandoners’ email addresses from your web analytics provider, you take out an abandoned-cart reminder email.

Afterward, a CRM company challenged this belief. The strategy is right, the company said, but the timing is off. The platform had the technology to send the email within an hour after abandonment and study demonstrating that sending as soon as possible following the abandonment would get better yields.

Voila! A new best practice.

Best practices like this and others covered welcome emails, opt-down pages to mitigate the opt-out page, permission in acquisition, managing inactives and other needs. They helped give everybody — newcomers as well as veterans shifting their direct-marketing backgrounds to electronic — a leg up.

Best practices are a template, not the last word

As useful as best practices can be, they’re not supposed to be the final word. Rather, they’re something you use to establish a program, and then you develop the practice that is most appropriate for your brand, company and clients.

Take the win-back program. The best practice that evolved over many years of trial, testing and error is sending a three-email program spaced at different intervals with escalating offers, all aimed to bring inactive customers back.

That’s the ideal. But your brand might need only a couple of emails. A B2B company, especially one with long consideration cycles, might need five or more.

The best practice is the template. It gives you a place to begin planning. Then, you accommodate that template for your needs.

Why I’m not rushing to abandon best practices

In every vertical, space and aspect of marketing, we know certain things work, whether through our own experiences or what we’ve learned and adapted from our peers. We spent a lot of time testing to see what works and what doesn’t on a scale that’s hard to match today.

If we revisit and revise this body of generally accepted best practices? You bet. We do that every time we get together to discuss, debate, educate and experimentation. What worked 10 or 15 years ago — anybody want to revive the pre-checked boxes debate? — might not work now thanks to changes in laws, regulations, technology and customer expectations.

We’ve also been able to establish track records for long-term analysis of outcomes. To advocate discarding 20 years’ worth of the work seems more like a fast way to create a name for yourself, not something which ’s necessarily in the best interest of your clients or company.

This means for entrepreneurs

Email is one of the only channels in which you can do an internet search and find answers to your toughest questions from the very best minds in our business. And your voice is just as important once you have information to share that comes from your own testing and experience.

Write a white paper. Come up with a guest article where you share the results of a new testing program, a case study or something else which attests to your success. Ask questions on blog posts, during webinars and at professional conferences. Pretty soon it’ll be your turn to speak up and share your knowledge. And that will help shape the new generation of best practices.

It’s the responsibility of marketing people like you — yes, you. Really. You. — to share the knowledge that results in better-informed best practice and advancing our collective knowledge base. The best way to do that is through collaboration.

That yearning for knowledge and innovation is just as powerful now as it was 20 years ago. What can you do to respond?

The article Don’t be too quick to dismiss established best practices for email appeared first on Marketing Land.

How to choose the best triggered email provider


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A thriving triggered email programme could very well be the most engaging tactic in your marketing toolkit. But how to begin and select the best triggered email provider? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of different email trigger solutions, and the questions you should ask when deciding on a vendor.

Why is triggered email so common?

Triggered emails treat customers as individuals, sending them messages based on an action they’ve just taken. They meet marketers’ ultimate objective of getting content in front of customers at the moment when they are most likely to engage. That’s the reason they work so well.

Sales uplift from shopping recovery emails alone can exceed 10%:

Uplift from real time emails

(Source: Fresh Relevance Real-Time Advertising Report Q4 2018)

The above figures are for shopping recovery mails, but triggered messages can take a range of forms.

Here are some types of triggered emails:

  • Browse abandonment emails
  • Post-purchase mails
  • Wishlist emails
  • Back-in-stock emails
  • Price-drop emails

Price Drop triggered email example

How do I want my triggered emails to work?

Before you decide on an approach, let’s look at the moving parts of triggered emails.

Triggered emails automatically serve relevant advertising and marketing messages to customers, based on their (inter)actions. Customers who raise a certain signal (such as abandoning a shopping cart) are put into a trigger programme. Trigger programmes perform actions, such as sending the user an email or collection of emails.
Email trigger definition
Here are some activities that could trigger an email programme:

Trigger Signal
Trigger programme
Customer abandons cart without buying
Cart abandonment series
Customer browses a certain product without carting or buying
Browse abandonment mails
Customer views a wishlist they created
Wishlist reminder email
Customer completes a purchase
Post-purchase email series
Customer browsed an out-of-stock product that’s now back in stock
Back-in-stock email alert
Customer browsed a product that has now dropped in price
Price drop email alert

Looks simple so far!

But you won’t need to send a one-size-fits-all email to every customer who completes an action. For example, it may be more effective to send browse abandonment emails only to your engaged clients. Or you might prefer to run another trigger programme for high spenders versus low spenders. Conditions and principles can be set to ascertain which trigger programme a client should receive.

Imagine your aim is to increase the effectiveness of browse abandon campaigns. You could treat customers differently depending on if they’ve previously made a purchase:

Run trigger programme A for navigate abandoners who have previously purchased, and recently spent a lot of time on the website.

Run trigger programme B for browse abandoners who’ve made a purchase, but haven’t spent much time on the site recently.

Send no email to browse abandoners who have not previously made a purchase.

Trigger programme conditions

This means that to begin with triggered mails, your eCommerce system and ESP have to have the ability to speak to each other in real time.

Online brands have choices when it comes to setting up triggered email campaigns. You can:

  • Automate triggered mails using your existing Email Service Provider (ESP).
  • Adopt a purpose-built triggered email platform to do the heavy lifting.

Here, we’ll explore the business case for each strategy, and examine the questions you should ask when selecting a provider.

Setting up triggered mails using your ESP

set-up triggered emails in esp

To automate triggered emails using your existing email system, you’ll have to make an integration procedure to move eCommerce data into your ESP.

The system will have to collect, transfer and implement data in near-real-time so that activates do not misbehave. Where you allow multi-stage programmes, there must be conditions to ensure they get canceled if behavior changes. You won’t win shoppers’ loyalty by sending them a cart abandonment email after they have already made a purchase!

5 things to consider when sending triggered emails from your ESP

1. Can you read data from your eCommerce system in your ESP?

Emails containing product information should be up-to-date, and consistent with what the client browsed on site.

This means that your ESP will need access to the following information:

  • Client list (e.g. first name, last name)
  • Transactional events (e.g. cart events, purchases, returns)
  • Behavioral Info, (e.g. product browsed, view cart contents)
  • Merchandise data (text, image urls, costs )
  • Stock level, for in-stock products

There are a couple ways to connect the information with your ESP.

1. Use custom data extensions
Popular eCommerce providers like Magento can use custom-written extensions to pass data to an ESP or other platform. This can work well for transactional, product and stock information. However, behavioral information is generally only recorded when the shopper has logged to the eCommerce website.

Most shoppers don’t login until they’re prepared to buy, and non-purchasers never log in, so that you ’ll lose out on behavioral data for the majority of the shoppers. Bear in mind that plugging in an extension can interrupt your existing eCommerce system, so check with your eCommerce system supervisor.

2. Scrape information with JavaScript
Another approach is to scratch data from the front end via JavaScript. This works nicely for behavioral, transactional and merchandise information. But, stock levels and more confidential product information is usually not exposed to the front end, which means you’ll lose out on advertising opportunities like back-in-stock alarms and optimizing recommendations based on product margin.

This JavaScript scraping approach is simpler and more reliable if your eCommerce site uses a standard data layer format (such as the W3C Digital Data Layer) to expose data in machine-readable format online page for use by other providers.

Many eCommerce providers can use a normal Digital Data Layer to expose stock levels, product info, and user details. If you must re-implement a new data layer every time you add a new vendor (e.g. an email service provider), the execution time and server load increases, therefore it’s a fantastic idea to use a standards-based one such as the W3C version.

3. Use e-commerce data feeds
A third approach is to take a data feed from the eCommerce platform. Most platforms can send feeds of transactional / merchandise data to be used by other systems. This approach doesn’t usually try to take care of behavioral data.

Each one of these 3 approaches has a few constraints. The best approach to fill in the gaps would be to use a combination of the different methods, to make a seamless capture of all available data. By way of instance, capture behavioral and product information using JavaScript, and combine that with historical transactional and inventory level data from a data feed in the eCommerce platform.

2. Does your ESP let you set flexible business rules?

You’ll have to add conditions/rules to make certain that emails go to the perfect people. These rules should consider clients’ behaviour and your current business objectives.

Envision a marketer is using a simple navigate abandonment trigger programme, but wants to use a new programme for customers looking for bargains on holiday gifts. Rules need to be set so that regular clients receive the standard browse abandonment email, while clients who browsed lots of vacation deals get the brand new festive programme.
Triggered email software

3. Can you handle frequency and exclusion?

It’s crucial to place marketing rules to be sure abandoned and browse cart recovery emails are not sent too frequently, and customers do not get the same email twice.

For example, if you’re sending multiple kinds of cart abandonment emails, you need to be able to prioritise trigger programmes. Each client should receive only the most relevant email collection for them, and not get registered into multiple programmes concurrently.

Shoppers will be annoyed — and rightly so — if their inbox fills up with multiple, similar mails at exactly the exact same time.

4. How will the email series respond if the situation changes?

1 trigger programme can send a series of mails at different times. For instance, a cart abandonment email could be sent 30 minutes after abandonment, 24 hours later, and after one week.

If the customer makes a purchase prior to the email series is complete, the programme should stop sending mails. Otherwise, clients will be frustrated by an irrelevant email. This means that the rules you put on your ESP have to be educated in real time by purchase data from your eCommerce platform.

5. How will your ESP personalise the content?

For many sorts of triggered emails, you want to include personalised content about the context. For instance, the products which have dropped in price after being seen by the shopper.
For best results, you will need to go further. Are you able to boost the converting power of triggered emails by including smart content based on the individual’s history and tastes? ”

For instance, a personalised hero image based on the shopper’s preferences, or product recommendations filtered by the shopper’s favorite category.

recommendations triggered email example

When to use an ESP as triggered email software

Using a general-purpose tool like an ESP can work well if you are content with sending fundamental triggered messages like purchase complete emails. Cart abandonment may also work, but the conversion rates will be lower if you can not identify customers who weren’t logged in when they indulged or carted.

If your ESP is lacking navigate and form abandonment, or any sort of sophisticated personalisation, you are probably better off considering a purpose-built solution.

Find the best specialised triggered email applications

best triggered email software

There are numerous dedicated triggered messaging systems which help tie your ESP and eCommerce systems together. Some handle only cart abandonment, while more sophisticated systems manage more applications including email and website personalisation.

Here’s what you should consider when choosing a triggered messaging provider:

1. How much can the triggered email software price?

First, check the expense of integration of the triggered email solution with your eCommerce platform. Support for data layers may reduce this price tag. The W3C Digital Data Layer is a standard way of exposing eCommerce data such as cart contents to third party providers and partners on your site.

This makes installing plugins and tools considerably simpler. There is also less strain on your specialized teams, since there’s no need for lots of custom coding.

Also, consider how the solution is priced.

There are three main pricing models to choose from:

  • Affiliate pricing model: Some solutions are priced based on the earnings generated from the triggered programmes. This can work well if you’ll be sending emails on a small scale, as you’ll pay only for what performs. However, it will be difficult to predict prices and plan your budget if you’re sending mails at scale.
  • Basic/Pro/Premium pricing bands: Paying for functional packages makes it easier to predict costs and control your budget. However, you may end up missing out on some features out of your price range, or unnecessarily paying for functionality you don’t use. Often, there is an additional CPM price for email sends or other personalisation capabilities, making costs unpredictable.
  • All you can eat model: Some solutions allow you to take a subscription based on the size of your company (e.g. your website’s monthly page views), without any additional variable costs such as cpm or impressions. You get control of your marketing budget, and the cost scales as your company does. This model is largely fit for mid-market and business level users with a huge customer base.

Many triggered email providers offer a range of other email and web functionalities. Find out if you’re able to pick and choose from the available modules. This will prevent copying your existing functionality or paying for features you do not need.

2. Does the platform have access to sufficient data?

Make sure the triggered email tool can collect and organize data from several sources, like your site, ESP, and eCommerce system. Methods of data collection might include APIs, file transfer by FTP, or web scratching as appropriate.

Coordinated data ensures that the data displayed in triggered emails – like the current price and product picture – is up-to-date and matches what the customer will see when they click through to your website.

Only a platform that sits comfortably between your eCommerce platform and ESP will allow you to collect enough behavioural data to personalise and target emails effectively based on customers’ preferences and lifecycle stage.

As an example, you could run different variations of a triggered email programme based upon the customer’s level of engagement, or to get new visitors versus established customers. And when triggers are based on real-time information straight from your eCommerce site, there is no possibility of a client receiving a cart abandonment email when they’ve already made a purchase.

Also, check if there are any API or other use limitations which might prevent your solution from functioning properly or restrict the number of data available.

3. Will it work together with your existing (and new) technology?

For minimum friction when introducing the new system, adopt a platform that can work with, rather than replicate, the software that you already use. This includes:

  • ESP for designing and sending emails (e.g. SendGrid, MailChimp, Adestra, Copernica)
  • eCommerce platform for collecting behavioural and transactional data (e.g. Magento, Shopify, Salesforce Commerce Cloud)
  • Client Data Platform (CDP) for a holistic view of the client (e.g. BlueVenn)
  • Ratings and reviews provider to harness social evidence in your email content (e.g.Trustpilot, Feefo)

Implementation will be more disruptive if your marketing team must learn how to use a new ESP functionality. Ideally, your third party triggered messaging system should be able to easily switch with you if you decide to change ESP.

4. How are customers identified?

To reach the maximum number of shoppers with relevant emails, you’ll require a platform that helps you identify as many clients as possible. Logically, the more shoppers you have the ability to recognise, the better you are able to follow up with them when they interact with your company.

Taking earnings uplift from cart abandonment as an example, this graph shows a definite correlation between identification speed and sales uplift.

sales uplift cart abandonment identification rate
Data from Fresh Relevance customers deploying cart abandonment emails only.

It is not a straight line, because your loyal customers are also the easiest to identify. But if you can increase your visitor identification rate from, say, 20% to 50%, your sales uplift increases significantly.

All advertising platforms recognise shoppers who log in or register, and some recognise shoppers that have identified themselves in the past, for example using cookies. But what about visitors who normally use their desktop but that are using their mobile phone this time? They’ve never identified themselves on their current apparatus, can you identify them?

Look at a solution that allows you to identify shoppers on whichever device they are using and tie their surfing behavior back to their background, even if they have not identified themselves in this session.

5. Can you re-build a shopper’s cart across devices?

Suppose a shopper clicks a cart retrieval email on another device to the one they were using when they abandoned the cart. As it is a new device from earlier, your eCommerce system may start a new session with an empty shopping cart.

Some triggered email providers offer multi-device cart rebuild to automatically refill the cart on whatever device the customer is using. This significantly reduces friction in the customer travel.

5. How easy is it to personalise emails?

Over one in four customers is more likely to be loyal to a brand that sends emails tailored to their needs and interests. This includes a custom header image based on the shopper’s favourite category, and appropriate product recommendations based on previous searches or comparable products. It’s not as complicated as it seems: the excellent third party platform will collect the information and run the necessary analytics, while entrepreneurs focus on how the content should be displayed.

personalized trigger email content

6. Can the triggered email software manage complex triggers like price-drop and back-in-stock?

Sophisticated emails such as price-drop and back-in-stock require a system that may target shoppers who have viewed a product which has then dropped in price. Or who viewed an out-of-stock product that has since returned to stock.

These trigger types have even more moving parts and require data analysis, so check carefully that the provider handles them correctly.

Back In stock email

Conclusion: Getting started with triggered mails

The impressive ROI from triggered mails means it’s worth taking the time to weigh up all of the options available.

If you’re taking a look at adapting your existing ESP, consider how much resources will be necessary to get the system up and running and whether you will have the ability to deliver all the functionality you want to satisfy your business goals.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing. But if your aim is to send highly relevant, personalised emails to as many customers as possible, embracing a purpose-built solution may be the thing to do.

The post How to pick the best triggered email provider appeared initially on Email vendor selection.