How to refine your triggered emails in the age of personalization

Triggered email, defined as email delivered when a person takes an action or meets a condition set by the sender, has been around since the early 2000s.

In addition to adopting this strategy, marketers should consider segmenting their audiences to deliver an engagement-driven experience to each user.

Marketers who use segmented campaigns see sales increases of up to 760% (Campaign Monitor, 2019). This is a great opportunity to create an even more effective triggered email program that has a heavy focus on personalization and micro-segmentation.

With email, personalization is a method of targeting that appears to have created an email for a single subscriber. It is widely recognized that audiences prefer personalized messages, and personalization has been shown to increase open rates and engagement.

Personalization techniques include

  • Add a subscriber’s name to the subject line or body of the message
  • Create user segments based on previous purchases or demographic data
  • Use a subscriber’s location to compose email content for their region


Microsegmentation is a relatively new concept that email marketers are starting to implement for their programs.

Beyond traditional segments like active, loyal, disengaged, and so on, microsegments use complex data and demographics to create extremely nuanced groups and improve the performance of your email programs. Behavioral data includes interaction with email, actions taken on the website or social media, and much more. Demographics can include age, location, and relationship status.

In terms of these concepts, the more data that is collected from your subscribers, the better. Many senders only collect e-mail addresses from their subscribers or have the result that conversion is less hindered. However, more and more companies are pursuing a different strategy.

They were able to identify opportunities to gradually profile their customers and create more robust data profiles, which resulted in better opportunities for segmentation and conversion. They can do this because it gives customers a clear picture of why providing more information is beneficial for them and leads to a better subscriber experience.



A common strategy among B2C brands that have struggled with a lengthy opt-in process in the past is to offer their audience a more personal approach right from the start. This enables better product recommendations and usually involves some kind of survey or filling out forms that promise to offer their subscribers a tailored experience.

For example, HUM Nutrition begins its subscriber relationships at an incredibly detailed level with an in-depth 13 question quiz.

HUM takes advantage of this willingness by offering each subscriber a personalized journey from the start. Your follow-up email leads users to a personalized profile with verified reviews from actual customers and access to a nutritionist. This complex triggered program sets up HUM to convert subscribers from the very first email. This includes a voucher that users can get started with. This is a fantastic example of how brands can take advantage of the personalization dynamic in their triggered emails.

Stitch Fix takes a simple approach with a three-question quiz that helps identify each subscriber’s personal style.

After users provide their email address, the quiz continues. This route might be a little tastier for brands who are afraid of giving their subscribers too many chances to abandon a quiz before they send their email address.


The approach is different for B2B senders. In the past, closed forms provided companies with the opportunity to get more information from their subscribers in order to receive more or better rewards. However, when a company requests too much information, conversion rates usually go down. HubSpot makes up for these issues in its resource center.

It does a great job of identifying what content on its website warrants tagged fields. The more information HubSpot offers, the more information users have to provide in order to gain access. Most of the content on the website only requires one email address. However, HubSpot does offer the ability to gradually profile its subscribers by requesting various information for subsequent assets.

Transactional email

For personalization, transactional emails can come from previous purchases to provide more relevant email experiences. A good example of personalized transactional email is from Lego:

This email is tailored to the buyer’s cart and prompts the buyer to return to complete the purchase. The template has a branded look and feel, but the dynamic elements (abandoned cart items) are still bespoke.

Many brands offer a voucher for people who leave their carts as an incentive to return them. While this has historically been an effective strategy, many buyers have become familiar with the tactic. If your brand is able to compose an email of abandoned multitouch carts, it is best to save a coupon or discount offer to the finishing touches in order to avoid shoppers strategically abandoning their carts, to save money. Sneaky.

You may be wondering how brands collect some data after the first subscription without using an in-depth quiz. Progressive profiling and preference centers offer the possibility of adding the element of personalization to your triggered e-mail program. A good example comes from prose:

This email gives subscribers a variety of ways to update their information. However, it does contain personalized elements that the brand has already collected through the subscriber (e.g. location).

Important to note

With all of the different ways that personalization can be applied to your program, there are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • Privacy Policy: When collecting data from your subscribers, it is important that you adhere to all relevant data guidelines such as CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR. More guidelines are introduced every year. So check your email program and data collection points regularly to make sure they are up to date.
  • Regular checking of e-mail programs: Even the best automated trip needs to be updated from time to time. So, be sure to regularly review your automated trips to make sure your information is current and relevant to your subscribers. Also, double-check your templates, subject lines, and other important elements to make sure they keep working at a high level.
  • Attention to current events: The world is unpredictable, which means you need to adjust your program right away. The ability to pause or change your triggered program is crucial.
  • Check the data: It is important to keep an eye on the trends in your data. Inbox placement rates, open rates, and engagement signals are important to understanding how well your triggered email programs are performing.

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Hopefully, you can incorporate these various tips and tactics into your triggered email campaigns to create more engaging, more personal emails for better engagement.

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