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3 Emails That Drive Engagement and Revenue

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by: Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald)
11 September 2013

One of the biggest challenges confronting digital marketers today is figuring out how they can make their email programs more engaging and drive more revenue with the same – or fewer – resources.

A smart way to move the needle is to incorporate more automated, or “triggered,” emails into your messaging mix. Recipients love these emails because of the value they provide and because they’re inherently relevant since they’re triggered by their own behaviors or interests rather than the company’s timetable. Marketers love them because they typically tally high conversion rates and – since they’re automated – deliver revenue for you every day while you focus on other areas of your program.

Here are three triggered emails you should start sending today to make the remainder of 2013 your most successful months yet:

1) Replenishment/Reminder/Reorder

We’re all guilty of it: sometimes we forget to purchase a gift for an important date (think fast: when’s your wedding anniversary?) or forget to reorder something that needs replenishing. To make your customers’ lives a little bit easier, send emails reminding them to purchase that gift or re-purchase a previously ordered item. These emails set you apart because you’re providing a friendly, personalized service for your customers on their terms. They can also be extremely successful. Silverpop client MudPie’s highest revenue-producing email (boasting a 31 percent click-through rate) is its important date reminder. 

In these emails, it’s important to adopt a friendly, service-oriented tone. Be sure to include a link to the product page or feature “top sellers” if it’s a gift purchase. It’s also a good idea to provide items related to the initial purchase – this not only provides additional resources for your customer, but also provides an additional revenue opportunity for you.

Take it up a notch: Consider using a CMS integration to serve up individualized reminders on your website or, where applicable, drive traffic to physical locations as well as online, using dynamic content to personalize the email with information on the closest brick and mortar store to the recipient.

2) Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is a big challenge for any ecommerce organization. To combat this, marketers should remarket to these abandoners, converting on those lost sales to drastically increase conversions. A general rule of thumb is to send cart remarketing emails as soon as possible, but typically not later than 24 hours after abandonment. Be sure to include a product description and a direct link to the abandoned cart, making it as simple as possible for the customer to complete his or her purchase.

It’s also important to take a friendly and service-oriented tone, incorporating a bit of your brand personality. Silverpop customer Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) implemented its cart abandonment program in 45 days, and realized a 12.7 percent conversion rate as a result.     

Take it up a notch: As with all email programs, timing, frequency and offer can make a big difference. So, try sending the initial cart recovery email within an hour, or even minutes, of abandonment while the items are still top-of-mind for your customer. Hightail moved its cart email up to within an hour and saw conversion rates increase to 15.3 percent.

If the buyer doesn’t complete the purchase after the initial email, consider sending a series of emails to maximize your chance of recovering the lost sale. Silverpop client DEMCO uses a three-email cart reminder series and sees off-the-chart conversion rates of 22 percent, 15 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Also, test different incentives based on the buyer – if it’s a loyal customer, for example, you might experiment with offering them an additional discount.


3) Product Review Requests

Today’s buyers like to consult their peers before they make a purchase – whether it’s a new pair of running shoes or new technology for your workplace, product reviews matter. So, why not send a triggered email requesting those reviews? Several weeks after a purchase (or months if it’s for a business solution), follow up with the customer to request a review. Not only do these emails generate additional conversions from other buyers, but also may drive follow-on purchases from the original customer. Silverpop client S&S Worldwide, for example, implemented a review request email program that resulted in a 14 percent of clickers placing another order.

Some things to keep in mind include making it as simple as possible for the customer to contribute the review or rating, including product photos and/or a description with a link directly to the review page and perhaps including an incentive to provide the review.

Take it up a notch: If you already have a product review program in place, consider sending a thank you or “Your review has been posted” follow-up email, incorporating posting of reviews into an engagement scoring system or loyalty rewards program, or placing reviewers into automated communication tracks depending on their review’s sentiment.

If you’d like more ideas for automated emails that drive revenue, check out Silverpop’s recent ebook, “Print Money Today: 7 Emails Marketers Should Automate to Drive Massive ROI.”

Related Resources

1) White Paper: “Creating Real-Time Individualized Campaigns Around Every Imaginable Buyer Behavior

2) Blog post: “7 Email Marketing Ideas You Should Implement Today

3) Blog post: “Leveraging Buyer Behavior and Automation: Keys to Retention Marketing Success


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