It’s been a long time coming, writes Dylan Boyd at Email Wars, but with “new systems of marketing automation we are finally gaining ground to creating trigger-based campaigns on actions, behavior and timing.” Boyd provides a thorough rundown on various trigger-based campaigns you might employ.

Here are a few highlights to help spur your creativity:

Time-Based Triggers. “When someone comes to your site and does something, you can actually start a clock that sends out emails based upon a ‘day plus X’ factor,” Boyd notes. The idea is to continue the conversation while giving subscribers some breathing room between messages. There isn’t a magic formula, he cautions, and you’ll need to fine-tune your program to see what works best. But Boyd has found success working with multiples of three: “By using a 3 day spread you can move them back and forth allowing the frequency to have enough room so as to not overwhelm your subscribers with so many emails that they unsubscribe.”

Behavior-Based Triggers. “Let’s say you came into an ecommerce site, looked at a shirt and a hat, compared some features, or read some product reviews,” he explains. “Armed with this knowledge, [a marketer] could send [an email that features] that product.”

Transaction-Based Triggers. Frequently, these strengthen your customer relationship by responding to a purchase they made, Boyd notes. The message might contain a special offer on their next visit, a suggestion that they review a product or service, or a survey requesting feedback.

Don’t let that trigger finger get rusty. “These types of emails need to be continuously monitored, measured and changed up,” says Boyd. “If you get into the rut of just letting it go, eventually the impact will wear off.”

Source: The Email Wars.