Just 2.3% of emails sent last year were triggered emails as opposed to business as usual (BAU) emails, but this small fraction of messages accounted for an outsized 9% of clicks and 9.7% of all email-driven revenues, per a Yes Lifecycle Marketing analysis [download page] of 24 billion emails deployed using the Yesmail360 platform.
The above-average performance for triggered emails has been shown repeatedly in quarterly Epsilon studies that have identified high open and click rates for these emails. For its part, the Yesmail study examines the use of various triggered campaigns by brands, as well as the response rates generated by those emails.
By far the most commonly-used triggered campaign type is the welcome email, implemented by more than 7 in 10 brands in 2015. Compared to BAU messages, these emails achieved more than double the average open rate (29.9% vs. 14.5%), more than triple the average click-to-open rate (35.4% vs. 11.1%) and more than 6 times the average click rate (10.6% vs. 1.6%).
Among other triggered email types, order/shipping confirmation emails generated the highest average open rate (66.2%), followed by backorder emails (59.8%) and account update emails (52.2%). Account update emails enjoyed the highest average click-to-open rate (44.4%), followed by activation emails (38.8%), while the top click rates belonged to order/shipping confirmation (24.8%) and account update (23.1%) emails. The report analysts note that while account update emails are “unassuming,” they present “a great opportunity for marketers to show off their brand’s personality and build engagement with customers.” However, they also caution that brands not include too much promotional material lest they be in violation of CAN-SPAM guidelines.
And as for those cart abandonment emails that retailers are using more often these days? Those saw strong response rates more than double those of BAU emails across open (29.9%), click (8.1%) and click-to-open (24.1%) metrics.
The full list of triggered campaigns and associated benchmarks are shown in the chart above, while descriptions of these campaign types and recommendations for their use are included in the Yes Lifecycle Marketing report, available for download here.
Finally, in an analysis of automated emails based on triggers of customer behavior, a recent study from Econsultancy and Adestra found that agencies were more likely than in-house marketers to use a variety of triggers, ranging from content downloaded (35% of agencies, 18% of in-house marketers) to cross-sells (29% and 15%, respectively) and date notifications (26% and 17%, respectively).