Why Email Triggers & Automations Are Essential For Ecommerce

Email is a proven channel for generating revenue. For every $1 you invest in an email campaign, the average returns can be as high as $42. If you have an eCommerce presence, then it’s essential to conduct email marketing – By 2022, 333 billion emails are expected to be sent each day. Despite such huge numbers, not every email that gets sent out is equal. There’s a huge gap between the effectiveness of the two main types of emails that exist in the world.

Two Types Of Marketing Emails

The first type of email we can call the “campaign” email. This type of email could include your typical email newsletter, a holiday promotion, or announcements on new products you’ve added to your shop. You can think of any email that is sent at one time, to everyone, or a segment of your list, as a campaign email. These emails are one-off emails that you create depending on the goal of the campaign.

On the other hand, we have “trigger” emails. These are very different for one specific reason – a trigger email is sent out in response to a trigger condition set-off by something your subscribers or customers did. This trigger condition can be as simple as subscribing or for abandoning a product before check out and is set by you. Since it is a reaction to an action taken by your recipients, it is much more relevant & timely than any campaign email. These trigger campaigns are automated to send commonly used email series such as welcome emails, order placed emails, shipping details, etc.

On average, trigger emails produce 24x more revenue per send when compared to campaign emails. Wow!

Not sold on trigger emails yet?

Why Is Email Trigger Essential?

Trigger emails also beat campaign emails on efficiency. An automated trigger only needs to be set up once. Once you enable it, it will continue to generate revenue until you turn it off. Let’s use the Welcome Email Series as an example.

A Welcome Email Series is a very common and profitable automated trigger email flow. It starts whenever a new person subscribes to your email marketing. Generally, this type of email series will contain 2-5 emails spread out over a few days or weeks. You can think of it as an opportunity to automatically introduce people to your brand and entice them to make that first purchase.

Merchants see success with this email when they share valuable content such as tutorials on how to use products, user-generated content, promotions, or curated recommendations based on the subscribers’ interests.

Once you’ve set up your Welcome Email Series flow, your email service provider will send the welcome emails on your behalf every time someone subscribes. Contrast that with the typical newsletter email, which takes time to put together and is often only sent out once.

And then there’s also the open rate difference. The average open rate for a welcome email is 91.43% which is 76.6% higher when compared to standard newsletters (21.33%). This makes sense – remember, your customers taking a specific action sends a trigger email. In many cases, customers expect to receive these trigger emails from you and will check their inbox for them.

Increasing your open rate will have a big impact on your conversions because doing so will bring more people into the top of your funnel. More opens will naturally result in more clicks, and most importantly; it will lead to more conversions.


  • Two types of marketing emails: (i) Campaign Emails (ii) Triggered Emails
  • Campaign emails are ideal for making announcements and sending custom promotions
  • Triggered emails are only sent automatically when the prospect has taken a pre-defined action
  • Welcome emails have an average open rate of 91.43% and Email newsletter have an open rate of 21.33%
  • The time invested in creating a triggered email might be greater than for marketing email, but in the longer run, triggered emails are more efficient.

Wrapping Up

Automated trigger emails are the secret weapon in a merchant’s digital marketing arsenal. They’re proven to generate more revenue per email than newsletters, product announcements, holiday promos, and any other type of campaign email. Because they’re based on your customer’s specific actions, they result in higher open rates. And you only need to set them up once to see increased conversions and revenue, which means less time building emails and more time communicating with your best customers.

Author Bio

Patrick Heer is Customer Success Manager for RareLogic Division in Coherent Path. Rare.io is a predictive email marketing solution for eCommerce with features such as Recommendation engine, Smart Timing, Customer segmentation, and Automated emails. Check them out here.

Related Articles

  1. Email Automation for beginners
  2. Role of Transactional email in Ecommerce
  3. Tips to create a welcome email series