Many new marketing techniques have been given life in the internet era. Whether it was supposed to be affiliate marketing or mobile, we have certainly seen our fair share of the “next big” promotional tactics over the last couple of years. And while the craze behind many of them has come and gone, email marketing is just as hot today as it ever was, still highly preferred by both companies and the consumers they target.

According to research conducted by Redwood City, California-based ESP StrongMail, 46% of companies across the globe are utilizing email to deploy “lifecycle campaigns,” which are essentially precisely timed, automated email marketing campaigns. The firm’s research shows that 75% of respondents feel these types of programs outperform traditional programs such as those relying on the batch and blast approach. Additionally, 54% of respondents cited an increase in customer satisfaction and retention, while 67% reported a boost in subscriber engagement.

If lifecycle email campaigns sound familiar, it’s because they are built around the simple concept of trigger-based marketing. Here are some ways you can use them to improve the relationships with your audience.

Predefine Your Triggers

There are various types of triggers that can be used to drive your lifecycle campaigns. A perfect example can be seen in the introductory message you send out to new subscribers to welcome them to your list. StrongMail’s findings show that 78% of marketers utilize new signups as triggers to drive their welcome programs. Other potentially good triggers may include birthdays, membership renewals or even purchases.

Keep It Relevant

Lifecycle campaigns can be easily personalized and optimized to make them more relevant to the user. However, your ability to do this effectively will depend on how well you know your subscribers. The basics may be sufficient for your welcome programs, but more information will be required the further you aim to travel with trigger-based marketing. Collect as much data as you can on your subscribers, track all the interactions they have with your brand and use those insights to create the most relevant experiences possible.

Follow Up Accordingly

Although lifecycle campaigns enable you to put your email marketing on cruise control through the power of automation, you must still portray the human element of your business by following up in a timely manner, with the right tone. Ideally you want to approach the subscriber in a tone that is friendly, personal and illustrates quality customer service. The automated nature of trigger-based email can make it difficult to maintain that essential human element, but you get your chance to make up for it in the followup.

The proper execution of lifecycle campaigns can help you strengthen the bond with your audience, and start seeing better results in the process. As you have learned, the key to using them effectively is finding the right triggers, maintaining relevance and following up with precision. Get these three points down and you can take your email marketing up a notch