Sending the Right Emails at the Right Time

Sending the correct type of email at the right time is crucial to having a successful relationship with subscribers.  Emails can expedite the customer value journey, if done correctly. Sending an email with a great offer to a customer who is ready for it will incentivise them to make the leap to the next step in their journey.  But, if you send an email with an offer they aren’t ready for, it can deter them from progressing in theirs. There are five different types of email campaigns that help your customers move through their customer value journey, which focus on moving the subscriber through in different ways.

1. Introduction Campaign

The introduction campaign is a triggered campaign that begins immediately after someone signs up for your email subscription.  The purpose here is to welcome the new subscriber, explain what they can expect from your emails, and give them something to do next.  This can be a list of articles to read on your site, whitelisting your emails so they don’t go into their spam folder, or some other similar task.  Remember, first impressions are vital. Put your best foot forward. Including a “best of” list of articles, or articles that other subscribers have found helpful is a great way to get them engaged and excited for things to come.

2. Engagement Campaign

An engagement campaign is an interest-based, triggered campaign that makes a relevant offer to your subscriber immediately after subscriber makes a predetermined action.  The goal of this kind of campaign is to turn your subscribers into customers. You already know, based on the action(s) they just took that they are interested in certain things, so make them a relevant offer based on that.  In the email, acknowledge the action they just took (“Based on [action]….”), address any apprehensions they may have with moving forward, give them the next steps (“You might also like [thing]”), and ask them to buy. Keep them excited the whole time, and be encouraging so they’re more likely to buy.

3. Ascension Campaign

The ascension campaign is an interest-based, triggered campaign that makes a relevant offer to your subscriber immediately following their triggering behavior, usually a purchase of some kind.  By prescribing your prospect a next step to take after the triggered action, you can turn new buyers into multi-buyers. To do this, reference the action they just took, and congratulate them.  Let them know you are as excited as they are, and build on that positive energy. Address any apprehensions they might have making the next step, and offer solutions. Clearly spelling out what they should do next is key.

4. Segmentation Campaign

A segmentation campaign is unique for a few reasons.  First, it’s sent to your entire subscriber list. Second, it isn’t triggered to be sent by any action on the part of your subscribers.  The point of a segmentation campaign is to pique the interest of your subscribers in different ways so you can put them into the segments they belong in, and determine if any of your subscribers are stuck along their customer value journey.  The end-goal is to send out more emails to the people who respond, and less to those who don’t. Examples of these campaigns are special offers such as flash-sales and coupon codes, new content (blogs, videos, etc.), upcoming events, etc.

5. Re-Engagement Campaign

Sometimes a subscriber will stop engaging with your emails.  That’s okay, it happens. After a 30-60 day time period of non-engagement, they’ll trigger re-engagement campaign, which is designed to get them excited about your brand again. To do this, first you have to identify your inactive subscribers. Send out an email that gives them a reason to re-engage, asking if everything’s okay. Remind them of all the benefits they get from being a subscriber. Tell them what they’ve missed, similar to the “best of” list from the introduction campaign–your goal is to reintroduce them to your brand. Above all, don’t keep emailing them if they don’t respond.  You’re wasting time on a lost cause.

Valuable Metrics

As with every facet of marketing, email marketing has certain metrics that are important to monitor for the effectiveness of your campaigns.

  • List Growth:  How many new subscribers are you getting versus how many are you losing?
  • Delivery Rate:  Percentage of emails delivered to subscribers’ inboxes relative to number sent.  Aim for around 95%+.
  • Open Rate:  Percentage of emails opened by recipient versus number sent.
  • Unsubscribe Rate:  Is there a pattern as to which email(s) people unsubscribe after?
  • Complaint Rate:  Percent of emails marked as spam versus number sent.

Email marketing is an extremely valuable tool to have in your arsenal.  It can reach a wide range of people while still feeling personal. Done right, it’s a cheap way to increase sales.  It will take trial and error to get campaigns that work, but in the end it will be worth it.

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Sending the Right Emails at the Right Time

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