I recently attended a webinar on building and using relevant marketing segments. One of the key points of this webinar was utilizing automation to create triggered e-mail programs that run themselves after the initial setup.  Triggered messages can be a powerful marketing tool, but if not developed correctly they can quickly become a nightmare. Here are some tips to make sure your automated programs work the way you want them to:

  • Focus on entry AND exit points– Many marketers spend a large amount of time identifying key segments and the criteria that enters a contact into a triggered program. However, it is just as important to spend time on the criteria that removes a contact from a program. A contact’s status can change quickly and you want to make sure that if the message is no longer relevant that the contact is removed from the program.
  • Clearly map out the “next step”– Whether your automated program is setup to send one message or a series of messages, it is key to make sure action is taken once a contact has received all of the messages in a program. It could be something as complex as having the end of the current program move a contact to another relevant program or something as simple as adding a contact to a list for marketing reps to call and further qualify, but the end of the program should always mark the beginning of a follow-up action.
  • Keep e-mail frequency in mind– You can use triggered programs to send highly customized messages to contacts but you may also want them to still receive your baseline communications (major promotions, newsletters) as well. It’s always important to design your programs with frequency in mind as sending too many messages can quickly lead to your contacts ignoring your e-mails or unsubscribing. For contacts that will receive baseline and triggered messages a good practice is to build a delay into the program that checks if the contact has received one of your baseline e-mails recently. If so, you could build a delay into the program that holds delivery and slows down the frequency of e-mails the contact receives.

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