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Content Marketing & Triggered Email: A Beautiful Friendship

By Bluecore Marketing | November 17, 2016

Over the past few years, content has become an incredibly important part of marketing strategy. Depending on your brand, content marketing can serve a variety of different purposes. For some, it can inspire people to use your product. For others, it can help reinforce your brand values. Or at the most fundamental level, it can simply educate your audience and help guide them through the buyer journey.

Whatever your content marketing purpose may be, all marketers face the same challenge of figuring out how to best distribute content to their audiences at the right time. Social media, paid advertising and regular newsletters are all great channels to help do this, but they all lack the timely component of serving the right content at the optimal moment.

A few innovative retailers have a found triggered email to be a great distribution method for serving relevant content to their audience. Here’s how Sur La Table, DermStore and all approach incorporating content marketing into their triggered email programs:

Sur La Table Ties Inspiration Directly to Product

With the mission of “helping people do more in the kitchen and do it better,” Sur La Table’s A Sharp Knife & Salt blog offers culinary inspiration through recipes, interviews, product reviews, tips and tricks and more. For Sur La Table, offering recipes serves two types of shoppers:

For those who are beginning their shopping at the product level, the vast variety of appliances and tools can be a bit overwhelming. Recipes help provide context to how someone may use certain products and inspire them to purchase.

For others shoppers starting out at the inspiration level, they may find a new recipe they’re interested in making but unsure of what products they’ll need. Sur La Table can then guide that shopper down to recommended products.

Sur La Table’s Recipe Content triggered emails are sent to the latter – readers who have viewed a recipe in the past 7 days. As you can see below, these emails include the recipe viewed as the hero image, with recommended products that are needed to make the recipe. They also include related recipes in case that one isn’t quite what the reader was looking for. This new program averages a 56.85% open rate and $0.22 in revenue per email.

DermStore Reinforces Its Brand with Lifestyle Content

DermStore is a multi-brand beauty retailer with a vast collection of products for skin, hair and body. Although DermStore’s customers may have an affinity for certain brands DermStore carries, it’s important for these customers to also build an affinity for DermStore as their retailer.

To help do this, DermStore created Glow, a blog that takes a lifestyle approach to skincare and beauty. Expert interviews, tutorials (“The Right Way to Clean Your Beauty Tools”) and new products are discussed on the blog. For DermStore, providing this type of content is incredibly important to the brand’s strategy. Jessica Navas, chief planning officer at DermStore’s agency, Erwin Penland, explains the content marketing initiative, “When it comes to an independent brand, understanding its story is important with something as critical and personal as skincare.”

To further the reach and distribution of Glow’s content, select articles are strategically intertwined in DermStore’s Cart Abandonment and Search Abandonment triggered emails. This is done by dynamically pulling in articles that are tagged with the same category as products viewed or carted. After performing an A/B test of including content, DermStore found a 7% lift in click throughs and an increase of $0.14 in revenue per email. Shares Expertise with Educational Content

If you think of a typical shopper looking to make his or her first fine jewelry purchase, chances are they aren’t a gemstone expert and aren’t totally sure where to start their research. Knowing this, realized there was a huge opportunity to become a trusted resource for shoppers and decided to share their expertise.

Today,’s Category Abandonment triggered emails incorporate educational content in addition to personalized product recommendations. Proactively providing this information not only helps build trust with the customer, but also instills confidence when the shopper is ready to make the purchase. This content-driven program averages a 45.03% open rate and contributes $2.13 in revenue per email.

Pro Tip: How to Partner with Content Marketing

For email marketers looking to do this, the good news is that their company’s content marketing team should be thrilled. Incorporating content into triggered email is a great way to solve one of the biggest challenges they face: measuring return on investment. As DermStore did, marketers should A/B test the impact of including content within triggered email campaigns to see any lift in engagement or revenue per email. If purchases fall within a given attribution window, that can be seen as a direct tie to content marketing.

Bluecore Marketing

Bluecore Marketing