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Trigger marketing is part of marketing automation. Its principle? Automatically trigger a marketing action from the company, based on the behavior of a customer or prospect. But do you know why and how to use triggers? What types of marketing triggers should you set up to increase your conversions and your performance? Follow the guide.
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What is trigger marketing?

The goal of trigger marketing is to trigger a marketing action in response to a customer or prospect behavior. In B2B, trigger marketing generally concerns the sending of e-mails, following a predefined scenario.

For example, when a prospect downloads your latest white paper and automatically receives a personalized e-mail from you… This is called trigger marketing.

In other words, trigger marketing is the art of sending the right message, at the right time, to the right contact. And this, based on key events: the abandonment of a cart on an e-commerce site, a web page visit, etc.

This marketing automation brick allows marketing teams to become more efficient, while improving lead generation or the company’s turnover. But that’s not all!

The benefits of trigger marketing

A good trigger marketing strategy consists in identifying the right triggers to send the right personalized content. This method has several benefits, such as:

More relevant mailings

By relying on trigger marketing, your marketing team sends messages that are better adapted to the context and the recipient.

Automation allows you to reverse the trend: you don’t just send content when it’s convenient for you… but you program it to be sent at the most convenient time for the prospect or customer.

Better efficiency

If you define specific triggers, you will be able to deliver more effective content and messages. With this strategy, the level of personalization and customization is higher than other automated processes, such as mass email campaigns.

According to a recent Blueshift report, trigger-based email marketing is 497% more effective than mass emails. The click-through rate is 468% higher, while the conversion rate is 525% higher. Not bad, right?

And the good news is that this method is not only effective in addressing your leads. The effectiveness of trigger marketing can also be measured internally: your teams can focus on other high value-added tasks.

For example, forget the hours spent segmenting your lists, updating your campaigns, pressing the “send” button… Marketing automation impacts productivity. With such a time saving, marketing teams can focus on the creative part of the campaigns, without thinking about time consuming missions.

Personalized campaigns

Today, personalized marketing is at the heart of customer expectations. 72% of consumers will only engage with marketing messages that match their interests, according to Webmarketing. And if, like 80% of digital marketing managers, you believe that personalization will be the key to the success of various initiatives in the next two years… You know which lever to use: trigger marketing!

Trigger marketing is based on data provided by your prospects or customers. They agree to share their information with you, in order to receive communications that correspond to them. According to CoMarketing News, 83% of people are willing to share their data with a company in order to access a personalized customer experience.

With marketing automation, you can leverage your database, both on personal information (last name, first name, date of birth, etc.) and on data recorded on the customer journey (purchase history, location, etc.). The right use of this data helps you personalize the delivered experience. What more can you ask for?

Nurture prospects at each stage of the customer journey

With trigger marketing, each message received is triggered by a specific action. And this, regardless of the contact’s position in the customer journey.

A trigger marketing strategy is therefore particularly useful in the Discovery, Evaluation or Purchase phases… To accompany potential customers, and feed them with relevant content. Until conversion.

At each stage of the customer journey, leads can receive informative notifications, educational content, or personalized recommendations. Unlike mass campaigns or one-shot emails, you are sure to deliver the right information, to the right person, at the right time.

Increase conversions

Trigger marketing is a golden opportunity to increase your revenue. This strategy boosts your growth: since campaigns are relevant, timely, personalized and adapted to each step of the customer journey, the opportunities to convert and increase sales are multiplied!

Trigger marketing also impacts retention. If your active customers trigger an action, such as a new purchase or the upgrade of a subscription to one of your solutions… Think about sending them a personalized communication, to strengthen the relationship.

You’ve got it: this marketing automation brick is a real virtuous circle for your performance, since the message is better targeted, better delivered, and allows for better conversion or loyalty.

Stand out from the competition

Thanks to trigger marketing, you reinforce customer knowledge. At the same time, you also offer a constant, instant and personalized relationship. Results: by using trigger marketing effectively and efficiently, you increase engagement and brand loyalty… which is a real competitive advantage!

According to Webmarketing, 2 out of 3 customers would prefer to buy from brands that know their purchase history. With this data, you not only know your customers or prospects inside and out… but you can also offer them an unparalleled, proactive experience that they won’t find elsewhere.

The different possible triggers

A trigger can take different forms, and be used on various channels.

For example, some triggers are linked to the prospect’s or customer’s actions: clicking on a CTA in a newsletter, subscribing to the newsletter, downloading content, opening an email, visiting a page on the website, confirming a purchase, etc.

Other triggers are linked to the profile of the prospect or customer: a certain level of lead scoring reached, new information entered (position, sector, budget, etc.), etc.

We distinguish between behavioral and functional triggers (linked to an action) and personal triggers (linked to the profile).

Following the trigger, the company can then send an automatic message, using different channels: SMS, e-mailing, mobile push notifications, chatbot, etc.

According to BlueShift, the most effective type of trigger marketing campaign is automated onboarding emails. When a lead turns into a customer, these personalized onboarding campaigns are 800% more effective than mass emails. The click-through rate is 826% higher!
taux de conversion

6 examples of trigger marketing

A user downloads a content

Trigger: a web user visits your website and downloads one of your contents, like a B2B customer case.

Marketing action: you immediately send him the requested content through a personalized e-mail. Don’t forget to mention the first name of the user, or information like the name of the downloaded content. Then think about the call-to-action (CTA) to be integrated in your e-mail (request for a demonstration, suggestion of another content, etc.).

This example of trigger marketing is one of the most basic. Its objective is simple: to provide a smooth and quick experience through an automatic follow-up email.

A prospect visited your product page without converting

Trigger: A prospect visits your product page… Without converting. Don’t let it go!

Marketing action: you automatically send them a customer case or reassurance content. The goal is to move the lead through the buying funnel, leading to conversion. This lead shows interest in your company, but did not follow through.

Maybe they didn’t want to fill out one of your forms? Maybe they needed help to better understand your offer? It’s up to you to identify the reason behind this lack of conversion. Then seduce the prospect, while remaining subtle in your approach, so as not to scare him away.

To achieve this, always personalize your emails, as if a member of your team had just written and sent them. Marketing automation should not prevent HtoH (Human to Human) relationships from being established!

A prospect has just read many articles

Trigger: a prospect has just spent a long time on your blog, reading several of your articles. But how can you establish a more direct connection with him?

Marketing action: send this prospect content related to the topics of the articles they have read, to contextualize the contact. Also offer them a contact, to take the time to get to know them and discuss their needs. The objective is to keep the potential customer engaged and interested. All this, thanks to relevant content, in line with their history or their interests. Every piece of behavioral data is a goldmine for adapting marketing messages.

A prospect’s score has just passed a decisive threshold

Trigger: Bingo! A prospect’s score has just passed a decisive threshold in your lead scoring system.

Marketing action: propose to the prospect to get in touch, by putting forward reassuring elements. The goal is to activate the exchange with him, now considered mature and ready to buy. By pushing him to make an appointment, you prepare the ground for the sales team… In order to increase conversions.

Bonus: as part of a lead scoring strategy, trigger marketing can also be internal. When a prospect’s commitment and maturity are detected, an automatic message can be sent to the sales person in charge. He will then take over more quickly, to convert the prospect.

A prospect has just filled in his sector

Trigger: a user tells you his sector of activity. You get to know him better… And you must act accordingly!

Marketing action: send this prospect a content, a page of your site dedicated to his sector, or a series of articles specific to his activity. The goal is to personalize the proposed experience, based on information provided by the prospect. By showing them that you understand them, and that you care about them… You score points against the competition.

A prospect has chosen a competing solution

Trigger: a prospect has made his decision. He chooses to trust your main competitor. But is this really the end of your relationship?

Marketing action: In this situation, wait several months before contacting this prospect again. Follow up with content such as a comparison guide, which analyzes your company’s and the competition’s solutions.

This pre-planned trigger marketing allows you to re-engage lost prospects. By coming back to them a few months later with high value-added content, you can remove their initial obstacles and objections… And try to win them back.

How to launch your first trigger marketing?

Know your personas well

A good trigger marketing strategy is based on a solid foundation: the knowledge of your personas! The first step is to collect enough information about your leads and customers, before setting up relevant scenarios.

For example, find out about your personas’ typical profile, their motivations, their obstacles, their goals and their challenges at each stage of the buying cycle. You will then be able to personalize your communication efficiently, and target your messages correctly.

But be careful not to go overboard! Some confidential information will not be necessary. Don’t become intrusive, by asking for a personal address if you are marketing software to large companies… Unjustified requests for data will lower the conversion rate, but also the trust that is given to you.

List your different triggers

Depending on your target and its needs, different triggers are possible. Start listing the main criteria that would be worth triggering: from behavioral actions, to filled-in socio-demographic data… It all depends on your strategy.

At Plezi, we’re particularly fond of emails triggered after downloading content. Or registering for a webinar. Your prospects’ reactions to your Inbound Marketing strategy are good triggers.

In order to refine your trigger marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to combine several criteria to create specific messages. For example, you can send an automatic email to prospects over 45 who have just downloaded your latest content… And a slightly different automatic email to prospects under 45 who have performed the same action.

Create your scenarios via a marketing automation tool

After defining the strategy, it’s time to implement it. The third step is to create your scenarios, via a marketing automation tool like Plezi!

We advise you to add your triggers and induced actions by creating different scenarios. The goal is to map out all the paths your (future) customers could follow, and the content that could be sent to them. At this stage, however, be careful to control the marketing pressure, so as not to harass the contacts.

From your marketing automation tool, you can program your content by setting certain solicitation rules. Then let the technology do its job: marketing automation works in perfect autonomy.

Track the performance of your triggers

You can trust your trigger marketing strategy. But trust does not exclude control! It is important to regularly monitor the performance of your triggers.

For example, check the open rate, the click rate or the conversion rate of your different emails. Measuring and monitoring these indicators will allow you to determine the relevance and effectiveness of your scenarios.

Demonstrate continuous improvement

Depending on the performance of your different triggers, don’t hesitate to set up action plans. For example, if an e-mail shows limited results… Ask yourself about the quality of the copywriting, or the context of the sending. Is it the content that is the problem? Or the relevance of the trigger?

The implementation of your first trigger (and the following ones!) must be based on Test & Learn. Act, analyze, learn… Then adapt, to perform better!

To conclude: 3 figures to remember about trigger marketing

Action, reaction: that’s how to summarize the principle of trigger marketing. The actions of your prospects and customers can trigger a reaction from your company, such as the instantaneous sending of a personalized email.

In B2B, this marketing automation brick has been proving itself for many years. The figures confirm it:

  • Email trigger marketing campaigns are nearly 500% more effective than mass emailing campaigns (BlueShift).
  • To get started, don’t hesitate to create a welcome trigger. Automated onboarding campaigns increase conversion rates by 775% compared to mass emails (BlueShift).
  • This marketing strategy is based on strong personalization… And your prospects/customers love it! 59% of French people want to be treated in an individualized and personalized way (CIO Online).

More personalization and automation, for better performance and conversions. Ready to switch to trigger mode forever?

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Paul-Louis Valat

Paul-Louis is an Acquisition Manager at Plezi. His role is to implement the different levers of lead generation on digital.