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In the run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday, Email marketing service Campaigner, which offers an automated, trigger-based template for various customer thank-you outreach opportunities, last week issued a list of five trigger points for sending emails to customers.

Trigger No. 1: Signup. Thank new subscribers to your list. Use an email template that includes information about when customers will be contacted via email (new products, sale opportunities, discounts, etc.) and how often (monthly, bi-monthly, yearly). Also include instructions for adding your company's email address to the user's email address book or safe list to ensure delivery of emails.

Trigger No. 2: Click-through. When an email reader clicks through from an email call-to-action to a specific page on your website, track page visits to determine which campaigns and offers customers find most interesting. Update customer profiles accordingly and send follow-up emails regarding related products, new inventory, or even new website content when it's updated.

Trigger No. 3: Purchase. Develop a short thank-you template for sales. Ask customers whether everything was delivered correctly and completed to their satisfaction. This is also a good time to ask for additional customer information to help you segment lists. Segmenting allow specific sub-groups of contacts to be defined based on demographic or other information.

Trigger No. 4: Comment and Review. When customers share product reviews or otherwise comment on your website, Facebook page, or other social media site, use a template email to show appreciation for their views and comments. Ratings and reviews are a form of social media content that attracts prospects and supports purchase research.

Trigger No. 5: Abandoned Shopping Cart. When a shopper leaves a retail store, a good sales clerk will say "thank you for visiting." Why not do the same via your website? Have an email template at the ready for follow up, as a way to say "Thank you for visiting our site. If there is anything we can do to better serve you, please let us know."

"A timely 'thank you' can have a tremendous impact on building a customer relationship," said Mike Pugh, vice-president of marketing at j2 Global Communications Inc., which owns the Campaigner brand.

"Creating a sequence of messages to show appreciation lets the customer know that a business truly values that relationship, regardless of whether a purchase was made. When a customer feels appreciated they are more likely to return, more likely to purchase, and more likely to recommend."

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