Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

7 Triggered Emails You Need to Be Using for Your Business

Email marketing automation is key for improvement and advancement of your overall marketing efforts. It helps save time on repetitive routine like segment building, email content optimization, manual scheduling, etc.

And triggered emails, in their turn, make an important part of email automation that enables to get more of your contact base – nurture leads, engage existing customers, and reactivate inactive ones. The more types of triggered campaigns you use in automated workflows, the better your marketing performance will be.

What Is a Triggered Email?

A triggered email is a well-established term in digital marketing, and we’ll be using it throughout the article. However, mind that any type of commercial messages you use for customer communication can be triggered. SMS, mobile pushes, or web push notifications can also be incorporated in a workflow and launched by a certain trigger you set. Actually, for a better result, it's recommended to use several channels to reach as much of the target audience.

As for the definition itself, a triggered email is an automated email that is initiated by specified conditions or events. Triggered campaigns are behavior-oriented and are sent in response to a person’s action. Any contact behavior or related info can be set as a trigger:

  • profile details (birth date, location);
  • preferential patterns;
  • user’s actions (registration, click, abandoned browse on the website, etc.);
  • user’s inaction (absence of website visits and email opens) can be a trigger as well.

In contrast to bulk messages that are and sent to all contacts, the recipient of triggered emails is likely to expect or even want to receive them.

This might explain the better results of trigger-based email marketing in comparison to bulk sending. According to The New Age of Email Marketing by Yes Marketing, click rates of triggered messages outperform those by regular mailing.

Performance of triggered emails

Types of Triggered Emails

There is a number of triggered emails used to fulfill different goals: confirm registration, send important order or operation-related information, prolong customer lifecycle, etc. You don’t necessarily include all of them in your marketing communication plan, but the more, the better.

In general terms, there are the following triggered campaigns:

  • Confirmation emails. Triggered by subscription or registration. Since nowadays Double Opt-In (double confirmation of subscription to your commercial emails) is an official requirement by the GDPR and a number or other customer privacy laws, a confirmation email is the first thing you need to automate and include in a workflow.
  • Welcome emails. Triggered by confirmation of subscription or registration. After a person clicks the confirmation link in the corresponding email, they officially become your subscribers or users, and it’s a common courtesy to greet new audience members with a short welcome note. Such good manners can make a good start, as welcome emails have 58% open rate.
  • Onboarding emails. Can be triggered by a registration, demo tour, event attendance, free trial, minor purchase, etc. Such emails are used to encourage a person, generally interested in your product, to make the first moves or begin using your service or platform at its full functionality.
  • Reactivation emails. Can be triggered by recent abandoned carts or browses or by the long absence of interaction (website visits, email opens, purchases, social media activity) with your brand. Reactivation messages serve to make people complete the purchase cycle and to drive inactive customers back.
  • Transactional emails. Can be triggered by a purchase, event registration, booking, review, etc. Such messages include order confirmation, shipping progress, payment status, return or refund info. Unlike other emails, transactional emails can be sent to all of your customers even if they aren’t your subscribers.
  • Service emails. Can be triggered by any change in the customer account or operation of your service: changes in the personal profile, password updates, changes in the terms of use, customer policy, working hours, refund policy, etc. Such emails are also sent to all customers who have their account in your system or have made at least one purchase from you.
  • Personal event emails. Can be triggered by a birth date, any kind of anniversary you’re aware of, personal milestones with your brand. These are typically congratulations campaigns that serve to strengthen the link with your audience and boost brand loyalty.

You can name more groups, and the above types can also be split into more specific subgroups like early reactivation, remarketing, account changes, local events etc. The purpose, however, remains the same – react to any customer activity, provide the necessary information and improve retention.

Triggered emails for marketing automation

Benefits of Triggered Marketing

With the above said, you might have already got an idea of why triggered emails should take their place among marketing solutions. Here is more proof to support this claim.

  • Automated email marketing. You create triggers and set them for a certain workflow only once. The system then runs on its own, and those customers that perform the specified action (for example, make a booking, leave a review) automatically receive a corresponding message.
  • All-round customer engagement. Trigger-based marketing enables to work with all customers and on each stage of their lifecycle. New users are encouraged with onboarding emails, inactive users are driven back with abandoned carts, and loyal customers are retained with personal event messages.
  • Targeted marketing. You send campaigns to “warm” recipients who are familiar with your service and therefore are more likely to go straight to offers, without additional research.
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7 Basic Triggered Emails for eCommerce

You can set up unlimited triggers for your campaigns, but below we'll take a look at 7 basic workflows with triggered emails necessary for any business. You can use them in the eSputnik system straight after registration. Note that to use such workflows as Abandoned Cart and Abandoned Browse, you need to activate a corresponding pricing plan.

Note. To send and manage automated campaigns, you need to set API integration.

Subscription Confirmation

Subscription confirmation example

How it works:

A contact fills in a subscription form on the website and receives a confirmation email. You can send one confirmation email or opt for 2-3 to ensure the growth of confirmed email addresses. The workflow will stop as soon as the contact confirms the subscription, meaning if they confirm it in the first email, all other emails won’t be sent.

Welcome Email

Welcome email examle

How it works:

A contact confirms their email address which launches a welcome workflow that may consist of one email or of several drip emails.

If you send drip emails, make sure you optimize the annoyance level, so that the subscriber doesn’t receive several campaigns on one day (for example, second welcome email, regular promo, purchase confirmation, holiday greeting, etc.).

Typically, it’s advisable to compose each email of the series so that its meaning is clear to the recipient who didn’t open the previous emails. But if the content of your drips emails are interrelated, add to the workflow the condition opened/not opened. Those subscribers who didn’t open a particular email won’t receive further ones from the workflow.

Birthday Congratulation

Birhday congratulation email

How it works:

In the eSputnik system you can set up a birthday campaign in two ways: send it to a segment or include it in a workflow. See the guide on both ways.

The easiest method is to create a dynamic segment Birthday Today and schedule a daily launch of congratulations email. The contacts in the segment will be updated automatically based on personal info from customer profiles. However, if you plan an email series or want to employ several communication channels, build a workflow and add there as many messages and conditions.

Abandoned Browse

Abandoned browse email

How it works:

In the eSputnik system, you can use ready-made abandoned browse and abandoned cart workflows, provided you’re subscribed to a corresponding pricing plan. Also note that you need to install on your website a generated script to pass the necessary data to the system.

Configure the settings (number, period of browse) for the products viewed by the website visitors based on which they will be grouped in a separate block in the email. Subscribers who didn’t view anything receive the email without such a block.

Abandoned Cart

Abandoned cart email

How it works:

Similar to an abandoned browse, usage of an abandoned cart workflow requires a corresponding pricing plan subscription and script installation.

If a website visitor added some products to the cart but didn’t complete the purchase and left the website, they are sent an email with the added products, offering to reconsider the purchase.

Reactivation Email

Reactivation triggered email

How it works:

Regular reactivation campaigns help maintain the hygiene of your contact base, driving back inactive customers and discarding those no longer interested in your service. If a customer doesn’t respond to your reactivation campaigns (and hasn’t visited your website for a long time), it’s better to exclude them from your email list. Thus, you’ll save money on sending to no longer potential clients and improve the bounce rate of your campaigns.

Post-Purchase Review

Trigger email marketing

How it works:

The data on the purchase is passed to the system, and the customer is sent an email offering to leave a feedback or review. If you ask to rate both the shopping experience and the product quality, give people time to test the product. Set a timer and send such an email several days after the purchase.

Ready workflows for triggered campaigns

Triggered Email Examples

And now let’s move from workflows to actually triggered emails to see how major brands deliver the right content to the target recipient.

You don’t have to copy the below campaigns: just think what practices might be worth including in your own marketing strategy:

  • Email confirmation by Pret

Triggered email campaigns

Following a good practice of double confirmation, Pret offers to click the confirmation link to become an official subscriber.

  • Welcome email by Patagonia

Welcome series email examples

This email not only thanks for subscription and greets a new family member but also tells about the company history, shares its values, and introduces the team. Not much text, nice images, clever block layout, and smart usage of white space make this otherwise long piece quite digestible.

  • Birthday email by Best Swim Wear

Automate welcome email

Wishes, flowers, cakes, promo as a gift - what else you need to congrat on Big Day.

  • Abandoned browse series by Tarte

Shopping cart abandonment

Tarte has a series of drip emails to drive people back to the once viewed products, offering complementing products at the same time.

  • Abandoned cart by Old Navy

Abandoned cart

Another friendly reminder to drive people back to their cart.

  • Reactivation email by Grammarly

Reactivation email

Grammarly wakes the sleeping contacts with the re-engaging campaign.

  • Post-purchase review by Casper

Post-purchase review

Casper asks to leave a feedback in a friendly manner. 


Well-planned triggered marketing will save you time and ensure your customers receive the right content at the right time. Make them a compulsory part of your automated campaigns to drive more sales from email marketing.

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

A technical (but still very creative) writer at eSputnik with a strong focus on design, current digital marketing trends, and new solutions for email automation.

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