7 Impactful Trigger Email Examples – InboxArmy

Written by: Scott Cohen

Published on: 09-04-2024

Scott is the CEO at InboxArmy and has more than 20 years of experience in email marketing.

A Triggered email Campaign plays a vital role in maintaining relevance with and greasing the wheels of the journey for your customers. But what exactly are triggered emails?

In this article, we’ll peel the layers of the onion that is triggered email marketing and provide you with both an understanding of their role and complexity as well as trigger email examples you can use as inspiration for your next triggered email build.

What are triggered emails?

Triggered emails are automated emails sent to customers based on actions taken (or not taken) or events within your defined customer lifecycle. Ideally, at least one email is triggered automatically after said action is performed–with a series to follow, if appropriate. Each message in a triggered email series is meticulously designed to resonate with its recipient and be relevant to the action taken.

These emails, when done right, can operate like precision-guided missiles, targeting specific actions. A great example of a trigger email is a Browse Abandon email. Let’s say you’ve been eyeing a particular jacket online for quite some time. Then, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, an email appears in your inbox. The subject line reads, “We know you want this jacket — Grab it for half the price!”

The best part about this? It’s set to run automatically. You just need to define the triggers and build the emails. (I know, easier said than done.)

Triggers can be anything from filling out a pop-up form, downloading an ebook, or celebrating a birthday to confirming an order or showing a product has been shipped. Once you’ve got the triggers locked in, you can build your custom emails to deliver the right messaging.

The ideal: Your trigger emails do the heavy lifting at all times while you sleep, work on other things, heck, even take a vacation.

Why Should You Use Trigger Emails?

Why should you use trigger emails

Would you rather do all the work manually each time? I hope you’re answering no.

Trigger emails are just savvy marketing–they’re essential to great customer service as well. Let’s take a look at some reasons why trigger emails are so vital:

Personalization perfected

In my two decades in this game, I’ve seen trends come and go, but one thing remains constant — people crave personalization. So much so that a survey revealed that 58% of revenue is generated through segmented and personalized emails.

Triggered email marketing makes this happen by sending emails that feel handcrafted for each recipient — addressing their interests, preferences, and past interactions with your brand.

Timing and relevance

If you have an email address and sign up for email marketing, you’ve likely received an email that seemed to respond to and anticipate your every move or thought. That’s no coincidence — that’s the beauty of trigger emails.

Whether it’s a welcoming message upon signing up or a gentle reminder about an abandoned cart, trigger emails excel at hitting the mark at precisely the right moment. In this game, timing is everything.

Automation, automation, automation

Trigger emails are tailor made for marketing automation. You set up the triggers, journeys, and email creative, and emails get sent like clockwork without having to lift a finger after the initial build. It saves time, conserves resources, and keeps your sanity intact. It’s a wonder only 87% of B2C markets leverage automation in their email strategies—this number should be 100%!

Engagement on steroids

Your best performing emails will be your trigger emails. They’re like catnip for engagement. When your recipients receive an email that directly addresses their needs or interests, they’re not just casually opening it up.

They’re diving in, clicking through, and maybe even hitting that “buy now” button. That’s the kind of engagement that takes you straight to the top.

Customers love attention

It’s plain and simple, really. Trigger emails are all about giving your customers a little extra attention and love. Whether it’s a personalized recommendation, a helpful tip, or just a friendly hello, these emails are your secret weapon for building stronger relationships that keep customers coming back for more.

Trigger Email Examples

Let’s examine some curated triggered email examples from known brands that can give you some great insight into what to include in the various types of emails.

Welcome emails

Triggered email example from warby parker


Outside of your order and shipping confirmation emails, your first welcome email will have the highest engagement of any email you send. So make sure you make a killer first impression.

Welcome emails are typically sent right after someone signs up or subscribes to your service. It helps set the tone for your relationship with your new subscriber or customer.

A welcome email should introduce your brand or company, express gratitude for the new subscriber’s interest, and provide a glimpse of what they can expect from being part of your community.

It’s not just about saying “hello” but also about making them feel like they’ve made the right choice by signing up to receive emails from your brand. It’s also a great opportunity to share useful resources or include a special offer or incentive to entice recipients to take action.

This welcome email from Warby Parker offers an instant shopping experience — a virtual try-on via their app. With the highlighted call-to-action ‘Find your frames,’ it’s essentially saying, “Hey, thanks for joining us — here’s a little something to get you started.”

Free trial conversion emails

Free trial conversion emails from Dropbox


Ever signed up for a free trial or product and found yourself greeted by that friendly email encouraging you to explore further? That’s a free trial conversion email – they’re like your digital tour guide, guiding you through the initial stages of your journey with a platform.

Free trial conversion emails are more than just gentle reminders — they’re strategic tools to amplify your potential customer experience and extract maximum value from the platform.

These emails play a crucial role in the onboarding journey. It helps users overcome any initial hurdles and seamlessly transition into active, engaged users. And for businesses, it’s the key to fostering long-term relationships and ensuring success down the road.

Take inspiration from Dropbox’s free trial conversion email. After you sign up for a free account, they’ll send you an email nudging you to install their desktop app for seamless file syncing. It’s like saying, “Hey, you’re doing awesome — here’s how you can kick it up a notch.”

Transactional emails

Transactional emails from Paypal


Transactional emails are the backbone of any e-commerce operation, diligently handling essential tasks to ensure seamless transactions. From confirming purchases to updating account details, these emails have got it covered.

Unlike their flashy counterparts — promotional emails — transactional emails are all about delivering the facts. They’re triggered by specific actions, like hitting that “buy now” button or updating your shipping address.

And when they land in your inbox, you know it’s serious business — they’re full of crucial details like Purchase confirmation, payment receipts, and shipping updates.

But here’s the real kicker: transactional emails aren’t just about logistics. They’re about building trust and credibility. By providing customers with clear, timely information, businesses can show that they’re reliable and accountable. And in the fierce world of e-commerce, trust is everything.

Let’s look at PayPal’s email. Whenever you use their platform to make a payment, receive money, or even get a payment request, PayPal sends you a transactional email packed with all the important details.

It’s a seamless and efficient way to keep users informed and reassured throughout the transaction process.

Cart abandon emails

Cart abandon emails from Amazon


Anyone who’s ever done a little online shopping is familiar with the scenario of cart abandonment. One thing that every e-commerce business dreads is an abandoned cart.

If you run ecommerce store, you need Cart abandon emails. They can help recover potentially lost sales and improve boost conversion rates by a whopping 3X compared to regular automated emails.

These emails are triggered when customers add items to their cart but disappear without placing the final order. They’re like a friendly tap on the shoulder, gently reminding customers of the treasures awaiting them in their abandoned carts.

Amazon offers a straightforward example of how a cart abandon email could look.

Personal event or milestone emails

Personal event or milestone emails


Special moments can make you feel appreciated — and can be celebrated via personal events or milestone emails. They’re like a virtual high-five, acknowledging your loyalty and celebrating the journey you’ve shared with a brand.

These emails are triggered by specific events or milestones in the customer’s journey, whether it’s anniversaries, birthdays, or reaching a certain level of engagement. They can even be company milestones–provided you reference the customers’ place in your success story.

Surveys show that over half of customers appreciate receiving personalized emails during special occasions or for local events/offers. It’s like the brand is saying, “Hey, we see you, and we appreciate you.

These emails allow businesses to express appreciation, strengthen customer relationships, and enhance brand loyalty by building emotional connections with customers. Plus, they create memorable experiences that resonate deeply with their audience.

Take Casper’s triggered email example: As a member, imagine receiving a heartfelt email on their 5th anniversary, expressing gratitude for your continued loyalty and offering exclusive deals as a token of appreciation. It’s like having a close friend say, “Thank you for being awesome – here’s a little something to show our gratitude.” And that is the magic of personal events or milestone emails.

Subscription renewal emails

Subscription renewal emails from barametrics


Much like transactional emails, subscription renewal emails aren’t exactly the highlight of anyone’s day. They can be like the digital version of paying bills, in some cases. But, done right, the process can be reasonably painless.

When your subscription is about to expire or auto-renew, these emails sweep in with a clear call-to-action, reminding you to renew. And, they might even throw in a little something extra — a discount code or an incentive — to sweeten the pot.

For example, your favorite tool–in this case, Baremetrics–is ready for auto-renewal. And you may not be aware. A friendly reminder email lands in your inbox. This little courtesy reminder (with an option to change payment options) is a nice way of saying “We see you, and we hope you’re still enjoying the service.”

Yes, sending this email could create a cancellation scenario, but the pros outweigh the cons. In the end, subscription renewal emails aren’t just about payments. They ensure that your customers get all the benefits of continued access to your valuable products or services. Businesses can increase customer retention and drive recurring revenue by providing a seamless renewal process and gentle encouragement.

Re-engagement emails

Re-engagement emails from kate spade


Let’s tackle a common challenge hurdle we all face: Dealing with inactive subscribers who seem to have vanished into thin air.

We’ve all got them, but how do we bring them back into the fold? That’s where re-engagement emails or reactivation emails come into play.

Picture this: you’ve signed up for a bunch of newsletters. But life gets busy, and you stop opening their emails.

Like a friendly nudge, you receive an email from them, acknowledging your absence and warmly inviting you back into the fold. Perhaps you get asked to take a survey, like the below example from Saturday.com.

Triggered re-engagement emails (reactivation emails) aren’t just about reminding subscribers that you exist. They aim to rekindle interest and encourage users to re-engage with the brand.

Trigger Email Vs. Marketing Email : Tabular Comparison

Triggered emails are the swift responders that jump into action based on certain pre-defined triggers, such as user actions or events. They’re all about that personalized touch, tailored to the user behavior.

Traditional marketing emails are more like the broad strokes of an email campaign, manually sent out to a wider target audience for promotional purposes. They’re your go-to for spreading the word about products, services, or special deals.

Check out this table to see these differences laid out clearly. It’ll help you understand when and how to deploy each type of email for maximum impact.

Aspect Triggered Emails Traditional Marketing Emails
Targeting and personalization Highly targeted and personalized, tailored to individual recipient’s actions or behaviors. Can cast a wider net, reaching a broad audience with a more generalized message.
Timing and relevance Sent in response to specific events or actions, ensuring relevance and timeliness. Operate on a predefined schedule and serve as valuable touchpoints to engage with a larger audience.
Response mechanism Triggered by specific actions or events the recipient takes, such as signing up, making a purchase, or abandoning a cart. Typically initiated by the sender according to a predetermined schedule or email campaign calendar without direct input from the recipient.
  • Increased effectiveness, engagement, and conversion rates.
  • Automation reduces manual effort and ensures consistent communication and customer retention.
  • Raising brand awareness and fostering customer loyalty.
  • Strategic planning and execution of email marketing campaigns.
  • Over-reliance on automation may lead to missed opportunities for human connection and genuine engagement.
  • It could be perceived as generic or spammy if not carefully targeted or tailored to recipient interests.
  • Limited ability to respond in real-time to customer actions or events, potentially resulting in less relevant messaging.

Trigger Email Best Practices 

Identify your triggers 

First things first, know what events or actions of your users will trigger your email. You have to define your triggers based on your goals. Whether you’re trying to recover lost sales, generate leads, or onboard a new user, pinpointing these triggers is the key to delivering timely and relevant messages.

Make friends with segmentation

One size doesn’t fit all. Take the time to segment your audience based on demographics, purchase history, or engagement level. 

This way, you can send targeted, triggered emails that speak directly to each group’s interests and needs. Trust me, it pays off. Segmented emails drive 30% more opens and 50% more CTRs than unsegmented ones.

Get personalized beyond first names

Dig deep into your customer data and deliver content that feels tailor-made just for them. Whether referencing past purchases, recommending products based on their browsing history, or acknowledging special occasions, personalized, triggered emails are the key to building lasting relationships with your audience.

Use clear calls to action (CTAs) for better conversions

Don’t leave your recipients guessing — make sure your triggered emails have a clear and compelling CTA button that tells them precisely what you want them to do next.

Whether purchasing, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a resource, your CTA should be prominent, action-oriented, and easy to click.

Note: Personalized CTAs drive 202% better conversions than standard ones.

Optimize for mobile

The year 2023 saw 55% of emails opened on mobile devices. Ensuring your triggered emails look and perform flawlessly on all devices, especially smartphones, is essential.

Make sure your emails are mobile responsive, with clear and concise content that’s easy to read and interact with on small screens. Test your emails across various devices and email clients to ensure a seamless experience for all recipients.

Test and improvise

Whatever strategy you play, the magic happens in testing and optimization. Experiment with different subject lines, CTAs, or content variations to see what resonates best with your audience. 

And don’t just set it and forget it — keep testing, tweaking, and optimizing your triggered email campaigns to ensure they deliver the best possible results. Trust me, your bottom line will thank you.

Final Thoughts

Triggered emails aren’t average — they’re personalized messages designed to grab attention and engage your audience in ways traditional marketing emails can only dream of.

It’s time to brainstorm, strategize, and unleash the full potential of this game-changing tool.

Take stock and ask yourself:

How do I envision leveraging triggered emails to supercharge my email marketing efforts?

You can also get in touch with InboxArmy, one of the top email marketing agencies in the US.

About Author

Winner of the ANA Email Experience Council’s 2021 Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year Award, Scott Cohen is a proven email marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience as both a brand-side marketer and an email marketing agency executive. He brings to our clients a unique blend of experience building and managing larger CRM and retention teams, sending millions of emails and SMS per week, and award-winning copywriting chops. For more information, follow him on Linkedin

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