Email Marketing

Lead Nurture Emails Vs. Trigger Emails: Which are best?

Over the past several years many marketers — especially in the B2B world have been investing heavily in marketing automation solutions (see graph below) as a way of increasing personalisation through automated nurture campaigns. Crazy and pretty ironic to think that you can achieve new levels of personalisation through robotic automation, but hey, it works, just look at these stats…


Lead nurturing statistics

  • According to the Annuitas Group, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads and nurtured leads make 47% larger  purchases than non-nurtured leads. 
  • DemandGen Report found that lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.
  • According to Gartner Research, lead nurturing can bring a 10% or greater increase in revenue over 6-9 months.
  • 57% of marketers say lead
    nurturing is the most valuable feature of automation software.

Okay so theres clearly value in implementing a lead nurturing strategy and marketers everywhere are either already doing it or looking to do it as a way of increasing sales. But is there a better way?

Trigger emails perform 3X better than any other email type

Marketo’s data institute shares fact-based insights pulled from their 3500—large customer base. Email performance data showed that on average, trigger emails perform 3x better than any other email type!

When you stop and think about it, this isn’t too surprising. Imagine looking at a gorgeous new winter coat online. You add it to your bag but then decide not to buy it. The next day you receive an email for 10% off that exact coat! Serendipity calling? Nope, that’s just intelligent marketing. A personalised message based on your recent behaviour is a powerful thing.

Examples of effective trigger emails

There are a number of fairly obvious trigger emails that you may already be using such as welcome emails, event or webinar emails or customer service survey emails. But what about some slightly less obvious trigger emails?

IDEA #1: Triggered based on behaviour

Your prospect just downloaded an eBook. So you probably already have a transactional trigger email set up to confirm and thank them for their download request along with a link to the resource. But you can do one better than that. In a separate email (ideally a day or two later) ask them what they thought about the resource they downloaded and invite them to attend a webinar. Offer them a demo, or perhaps encourage them to share the downloaded resource with their network. Think about that ideal next step, and include a call-to-action for that in your follow up email. And be sure to make your email personal.

IDEA #2: Trigger based on lack of behaviour

What about all the occasions where your prospect didn’t quite convert? Just because someone visits your landing page but doesn’t complete the form, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not worth following up with. A good prospect is one that’s interacting with your brand. That means email opens, email clicks and landing page views are all possible conversion opportunities.

Did you know that a 1 second delay in your site speed could result in a 7% reduction in conversions?! And a change in colour for that all important call-to-action button, has been shown to increase conversions by as much as 34%! It could be any combination of small details that are negatively impacting your conversions and a trigger email could be all it takes to change that!

You might want to consider setting up emails to trigger if a subscriber hasn’t engaged with any emails or website content for an extended period. Your email might include an offer that re-engages the contact or even a short survey that asks the contact what type of information interests them and how they like to digest it. For those who engage with your landing page or email but don’t take you up on your offer, you could set up an email trigger that hints at the topic of the iniial offer but presents it in an even easier way. For example, if someone visits your free trial or demo request landing page but doesn’t submit the form, why not send them a link to a short product demo video. Think about what offer makes the most sense based on the particular action your prospect didn’t take.

IDEA #3: Set up some date-based or time-based triggers

Time-based email triggers are becoming more popular especially with eCommerce brands. Sending a short congratulations or thank you message after a 6-month or 1 year milestone is a great way to show your appreciation for engaged subscribers or customers. Perhaps even offer a special discount on their birthday. This can be used in B2B too!

In summary…

If you don’t have a marketing automation system already, then invest in one. Start thinking about the interactions prospects have with you and the types of trigger emails that could have the most impact in pushing people to the next stage in the buying cycle. This blog post is not to say you should write off traditional lead nurturing streams / email drip programs. It’s simply encouraging you to think beyond that.  Of course, creating a trigger campaign for EVERY possible prospect interaction is impractical (unless you’re Amazon…or have the budget of Amazon), so just focus on the important ones.

Hopefully some of these examples result in more marketing qualified leads for you! Let me know what triggers you’re finding most effective!

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