The more relevant your email is to a recipient, the more likely the person is to open it. This may seem pretty obvious. With so many emails cluttering our inboxes, why would we waste our time on anything we don’t care about? Sending triggered emails is one great way to ensure your emails are relevant.

If you take a quick look through your inbox, you’ll likely find at least one example of the most popular type of triggered email: an e-commerce abandonment email.

I did just that — took a quick look through my inbox — and found a bunch. For example, yesterday I browsed through one of my favorite retail sites and left without making a purchase. Later that day, I received an email reminding me of a pair of earrings I had looked at (and really liked). This email wouldn’t have been sent to me if I hadn’t been on the site earlier that day — it was triggered by my engagement with that specific product. I opened the email because the content was relevant to me, and the email kept the earrings top-of-mind for me (I haven’t actually purchased them yet, but I’m considering it!)

triggered email criteria

E-commerce abandonment emails aren’t the only kind of triggered email, though. B2C and B2B companies alike can benefit significantly from this email tactic.

What makes a triggered email different from any other type of email? While a “batch and blast” email is sent to a large group of people at a time determined by the marketer, a triggered email isn’t sent to an individual until specific criteria is met. What kind of “criteria” am I talking about? I’ll explore some of the most common in this blog post.


The email I received about the earrings is an example of a behaviorally driven triggered email. My behavior browsing the site and showing interest in that one pair of earrings is what triggered the email. Another common behaviorally driven triggered email used by B2C companies is the cart abandonment email — where an email is triggered to remind a shopper of items she has left in her cart.

B2B companies use triggered emails too. Companies that aim to drive engagement with their content can use browse abandonment triggered emails. For example, if a known prospect qualified for a segment of visitors who interacted with a specific topic for over three minutes, an email can be triggered to her containing suggestions for related content she hasn’t already consumed.

triggered email criteria

Triggered emails don’t need to be used just externally either. B2B companies may find numerous reasons to trigger emails to their employees to alert them to some behaviorally driven events. For example, an email can be triggered to a customer success manager to alert him that one of his customers hasn’t logged into the SaaS application for several weeks. Or, an email can be triggered to a salesperson to let her know that one of her target account prospects was on the company site so she knows now may be a good time to reach out — as in the example below.

triggered email criteria

External conditions

Customer or prospect behavior isn’t the only thing that can trigger an email. You can also set emails to send based on any external conditions, such as the weather. Clothing retailers can send emails triggered by rain in certain locations to promote raincoats or rain boots. Insurance companies can send content about how to file storm-damage claims during a big storm. Travel companies can send emails recommending beach vacations during a blizzard. It just depends on what makes sense for your business.

Catalog or content updates

Finally, any updates to your product or content catalog can trigger an email when it’s relevant to the specific individual.

For example, if a shopper has previously shown interest in a product and its price drops, he can be notified of that change with a triggered email. Or, if a few new products have been added to his favorite category, he can be notified about that with a triggered email. In each case, the email lets him know that now is the best time for him to act if he wants that product.

New content can also trigger emails. Instead of sending a regular blog newsletter to each subscriber, a content site or B2B blog can trigger one-off emails to individual subscribers only when there are newly published articles that are relevant to the recipients’ interests.

Final Thoughts

While the impact of your triggered emails will vary, one study has found that triggered emails can drive up to 624% higher conversion responses compared to classic “batch and blast” emails. Consider how you can trigger emails to your customers, prospects or even internal employees based on behavior, external conditions, and catalog or content updates.

Evergage for Email allows you to completely control how and when your emails are triggered. You can set the duration that a person needs to engage with a product or a piece of content before an email is triggered, you can set a minimum price level for products that will be promoted through triggered emails, and much more. Learn more in this blog post.