Inbox Mailers’ Blueprint for Triggered Sends: 4 Workflow Strategies to Generate Higher Opens, Clicks, and Revenue

email deliverability optimization

This Blueprint will teach you how to implement our most successful triggered campaigns using InboxMailers. You’ll learn some of our best-kept strategies to generate higher open rates, click rates, and (hopefully) revenue. 

Before we get started, make sure you have completed the following: 

  • Attended your complimentary White Glove Setup
  • Connected your ESP to Inbox Mailers
  • Have a basic understanding of creating a trigger and pixel

Now, before we get into the strategies, know that ALL these strategies will help improve your overall engagement rates and improve your email deliverability. 

By using InboxMailers, you’ll be able to send emails at the ideal time – when someone is actively in their inbox.

That’s it! Let’s get started.


Q: Where Should You Place the Inbox Mailer Pixel?

A: We recommend placing the Inbox Mailers pixel in the footer or body of your email templates.

Q: Can I use the same pixel and trigger for all my email templates?

A: Yes, you can use one pixel and add it to all your email templates so that all your opens are firing triggers. As you see this work and want to get more advanced, then you can start separating out the triggers based on your trigger strategy.

Q: What metrics should I look at when measuring the success of each campaign?

A: We recommend looking at Total Sent, Open Percent, Unique Click to Open Rate, and Delivery to Click Rate. When you are comparing a “batch and blast” campaign to a workflow email, it may take some time for the Total Sent numbers to be comparable. It’s important to remember that workflow emails are sent based on the subscriber’s engagement with your other emails and are not time-sensitive. Any opens, clicks, or sales from the triggered sends will be easy to see “Net Add” of this strategy. 

Strategy #1 – Content and Promotional Triggered Sends

This is a very basic strategy that can deliver HUGE results. This strategy works best when you are sending 2-3 editorial sends. (As a reminder, an editorial send is content and value-driven.) 

These types of emails usually are full of stories, tips, or advice and have high open rates. You aren’t necessarily selling in these emails, just building trust and credibility. The strategy lets you send a sales-based promotional send immediately after someone has opened on your editorial email. 

Content Email → Sales Promo = $$$

The Situation:

You have good email metrics for your editorial sends. You have a good offer and sales campaigns, but know you could be generating more revenue from your campaigns.

Here’s the plan:

You’ll want to create some nurture, editorial-type sends. These emails should be “warming’ them up for the sale. For example, if you are selling an education-based product, you may want to talk about a common problem your subscriber may be having. Maybe you link them to a blog article that gives them 5 free tips. 

Once you have your email ready, start by logging into InboxMailers. 

 First Create a Trigger to fire when a subscriber opens one or any of these emails. 

Then Create a Pixel. Add this custom pixel to your editorial email campaigns. 

Now, log into your Email Service Platform. 

Create a new workflow. Set your workflow start trigger to fire when it receives your IM Pixel. 

Add your Sales Promotional Email(s). If your ESP allows, We recommend adding 2-3 emails that will be selected by your ESP to send at this step. This will prevent the same email from being sent every time it sees a trigger. 

Set up your exit conditions to exclude subscribers you have purchased the product/service item. 

Start your workflow. 

Monitor the results from this trigger/pixel campaign. 

That’s it! 

Why This Works: Batch and blast sales emails may not deliver the results you want either due to deliverability, the person’s interests, or just bad timing of the email send where it gets lost or buried in the inbox. 

By sending your sales promotional emails to your subscriber when they have just shown an interest by opening your previous editorial send, you have a better chance of getting the sales email to be opened. Getting the email open is sometimes the hardest part of email marketing, and this simple, yet highly effective strategy solves that problem from you. 

Strategy #2 – Multiple Sales-Promotion Offers for Mega Mailers or Affiliate Marketers 

There are many mega mailers or affiliate marketers that may be sending different promotional offers to their list. Maybe you have an email newsletter where you advertise other companies’ products and get paid-per-click. You also offer sponsored sends. The problem is that you have multiple offers/campaigns you can promote, but don’t want to oversend and hurt your engagement rates. You are looking for a way to increase overall click volume and still maintain good email deliverability. 

This strategy is similar to Strategy #1 with a few exceptions.

The Situation: 

You want to send promotional emails on the behalf of others to your list. You have several campaigns that you can choose from. Rather than scheduling several batch and blast sales emails to your list, you create a workflow that randomly sends 1 of 4 emails to your subscriber after they engage with an editorial type of campaign such as a daily newsletter or RSS feed for your blog. 

Here’s the plan: 

Create a Trigger within InboxMailers for your newsletter or editorial content-based sends.

Next, Create a Pixel

Then inside your ESP, create a new workflow.

Set your workflow start trigger to fire when it receives your IM Pixel. 

Add multiple sales-campaign templates to your workflow. If your ESP allows, you can also split-test different campaigns. 

If you want to get more complex, you can add additional conditions to send more campaigns based off of engagement factors. Here are some examples:

  1. Did they open email #1?
    1. No – resend email #1 with a different subject line
    2. Yes – send a different sales-campaign
  2. Did they click on email #1, but didn’t buy?
    1. Yes – send another sales promo for that product 

Continue to add steps and additional email campaigns in this workflow to get your desired results. 

Why This Works: This is a great way to ensure your subscribers are not getting the same message over and over again. By using engagement criteria to send promotional sends, you should see an increase in overall click volume without damaging your deliverability.

Strategy 3 – Upsell(s) Triggered Email Sends 

This email strategy is ideal for optimizing your upsell products or services. You can use this strategy in alignment with your sales funnel, onboarding email series, and or transactional-based sends. 

The Situation: 

Your subscriber has just purchased your product/service. You have additional products or services that you can offer. Perhaps they didn’t take any of the offers on your sales funnel or your sales funnel is incomplete. Using InboxMailers triggered sends, set up your workflow to highlight additional offers or services and increase your overall sales conversion goals. 

Here’s the plan: 

In InboxMailers, Create a Trigger

Next, Create a Pixel.

Add your new pixel to your upsell email templates. (Some ideas to consider: transactional confirmation emails, receipt emails, or onboarding series.)

Create a new workflow in your ESP. 

Set the Pixel as the trigger to start the workflow.

Add your email templates. 

Adjust your exit criteria or consider using “If/Else” branches to exclude subscribers as needed. 

That’s it! Test it out and let us know the results

Why This Works: This strategy helps to increase your sales and improve your overall deliverability. Your subscribers who have purchased something from you are more likely to open and click on your emails. Their high engagement will help improve or fix your sender score, domain reputation, and IP health. It’s also a great way to upsell your products and services.

Strategy 4 – Re-engagement Triggered Email Campaigns for Low Engagement Email Addresses

At some point, your subscriber will stop engaging with your emails. If you are following email best practices, then you should have different segments created of your list, including an unengaged segment. (For more on this subject, check out article: Why Engagement Segmentation is Critcial to Your Email Deliverability.)

This strategy is designed to reengage with your unegaged email addresses again and improve your deliverability. By tapping into our secured and safe, Network, you can send triggers to your subscribers when they open an email from someone in our Network.

For example, let’s say there is a dentist who is also an Inbox Mailer client. Let’s say your subscriber also happens to be on this dentist’s list. The dentist sends them a pixeled email about an upcoming cleaning appointment. They open it. Inbox Mailers sees this trigger and sees that they are also on your uploaded list, so it sends a trigger that notifies your ESP that the client is in their inbox. Your workflow sends an email immediately to the subscriber. Your chances of getting the open (aka engagement) have greatly increased (usually around 50%-70%). 

The Situation: 

You have a list of email addresses that you have declared as “unengaged”. Sending another re-engagement email will not generate the results you want. But, if you tap into The Inbox Mailers Network, you may increase your chances of re-engagement.

The Plan:

First, upload your list of unengaged subscribers to the Network. (This is 100% safe. We will not share, steal, or sell your leads. You can also upload an encrypted list if that puts your mind at ease.)

Next Create a Pixel and then Create a Trigger

Add the new pixel to your selected email templates.

Create a new workflow in your ESP.

Add selected email templates and set up your trigger.

That’s it!

Why This Works: This strategy taps into the user’s behavior and sends triggered emails at the ideal time. It takes the guesswork out of sending re-engagement emails and increases the probability of engagement.

Picture of John Gardner

John Gardner

John Gardner is an expert email marketer and co-founder of Inbox Mailers. He specializes in email segmentation and improving overall deliverability, helping top brands and businesses optimize their email marketing strategy.