Triggered Emails Secure Higher Open Rates, Engagement

Although it has historically made up a small share of all marketing emails, “triggered” messaging is on the rise -- and it’s no mystery why.
Triggered emails -- including welcome messages, order confirmations, and the like -- yielded 70.5% higher open rates and 101.8% higher click rates compared to Business As Usual (BAU) messages in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to new data from Epsilon.
As a result, the use of triggered messaging was up 73% year-over-year in 2012, the email marketing specialist reports.
“Utilizing triggered messages is a proven strategy to maintain subscriber engagement,” said Judy Loschen, vice president of digital analytics at Epsilon.
“However, more is required to predict and meet the needs of [clients’] customers and subscribers,” Loschen added. For starters, she suggested shooting for greater personalization of marketing messages.

Industrywide, triggered messages still only accounted for 5% of total volume, according to Epsilon.
In addition, the report’s so-called email activity segmentation evaluation revealed that for the third consecutive quarter, over 50% of the average brand’s opt-in email list had no activity.
“In Q4 2012, 63% of the average email file was unengaged with marketers’ email programs,” said Loschen. “Marketers cannot assume that their task is complete after they receive an opt-in to their email program.”
Epsilon’s quarterly analysis was compiled from some 7.3 billion emails sent in the later months of 2012.
Among Business As Usual messaging, open rates increased both quarter-over-quarter -- by 0.6% -- and year-over-year -- by 10.6% -- resulting in an overall open rate of 27.4%, according to Epsilon.

4 comments about "Triggered Emails Secure Higher Open Rates, Engagement".
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  1. Amy Weissfeld from 4-Tell, March 18, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.

    I knew these messages yielded higher open and click through rates, just didn't realize how much! Wow! Great to see a plug for personalization. My company,, now serves personalized recommendations into abandoned cart, shipping and order confirmation email. Seems to be helping!

  2. A marketer from BrightTALK, March 19, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

    Do we have any data that hones in on specific types of emails? It's great to know these increases for emails as a whole, and would be even more helpful to understand the effects for specific categories.

    For instance, do open/click rates increase for automated 'sales' emails signed by sales reps? What about "thanks for downloading/viewing — here are some related pieces of content" emails? If these rates do increase, then by how much?

  3. Michael Shepherd from The Shepherd Group, Inc., March 19, 2013 at 4:42 p.m.

    The interesting takeaway here revolves around the 63% unengagement rate for average email file. What's the point of committing dollars to acquisition campaigns - which typically outstrip cultivation or retention efforts - only to ignore the customer after conversion?

  4. A marketer from BrightTALK, March 19, 2013 at 5:31 p.m.

    I totally agree — maintaining engagement throughout the revenue cycle is imperative, and post-conversion engagement is not to be devalued. With regard to this article, I'm curious to understand which types of emails are impacted most. For instance, maybe click rates shoot up 200% for triggered "order confirmation" emails but the click rate remains unchanged for "download this whitepaper" emails. And what about B2B vs B2C? I guess the questions could go on and on, but it can't hurt to ask :D

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