What are Marketing Triggers: definition, types, uses and examples

What is a trigger? - Definition and examples

Informational technologies use special commands that initiate different actions automatically. These event-driven procedures are called triggers

Triggers are used for different purposes and are in particular demand in online marketing campaigns (email triggers, lead generation triggers). Trigger-based solutions help to create innovative automated processes for a range of activities.

The term “trigger” is associated with the DBMS (Database Management System) activities. It is worth noting that triggers cannot be changed, deleted, executed or managed without DBMS permission. Database Management System is responsible for the triggers as the special SQL procedures

In simple terms, triggers are specific versions of different actions that happen in response to an occurred event. Triggers help automate specific predictable actions and make reactions faster and more targeted. 

A classic example of a trigger would be a link click: when an email campaign recipient clicks a link in an email, they activate a trigger and will now receive a follow-up specific to their trigger action that will be different from the one they’d receive if they ignored the email.

email drip campaigns

Database triggers: classification and features

The concept behind all triggers is the same – to launch some outlined action in reaction to a specific event. Each database has a range of tables that makes it possible to attach triggers there. According to the type of event, triggers can have different logic of information modification. The main operations that triggers respond to are: Insert, Update, and Delete.

According to IBM research, the principal classification of database triggers is based on the timing aspect. Here are three main groups of triggers:

BEFORE triggers: used for data modification and information checkout procedures.

AFTER triggers: are responsible for data transformation (when the Insert, Update or Delete operations take place).

INSTEAD OF triggers: a special form of notifications when some events pointed out in the table occur.

Considering all the performance features triggers facilitate, they can be explained as a special filter for planned transactions (with the help of triggers it’s possible to launch actions or cancel any forbidden operations). That is why trigger-based solutions are a great option for business representatives and marketers.

What can be achieved using triggers?

The main area of trigger application is database management. Using these special SQL procedures, various database operations can be performed quickly and easily. For example, some commercial projects or banking applications can use a triggered program to implement new business rules, create an audit trail and realize other important solutions and plans.

As we’ve mentioned, another popular range of trigger use is online marketing. Trigger-based solutions make sales activity more effective and access to relevant data easier, resulting in improved KPI. Triggers are widely used for lead generation and email marketing. The main idea is to automate key business activities and get better results via triggered messages and trigger-based email marketing automation.

Lead generation triggers: definition, motivations, advantages  

Lead generation triggers are special commands that initiate sending of automated messages to potential customers

Often cold and hot leads are still not ready to order goods or services. In this case, a range of triggers is created to convert all the leads into consumers. These special SQL procedures are used for:

  • Pop-out windows – a trigger can fire a pop-out window right after the lead opened a page or added some new position to their wish list.
  • Chatting – an automated message may be sent in reaction to any specific question the website visitor asked in the online chat window.
  • Push-notifications – triggers can initiate web push notification sending after any new opt-in procedure on the site. For example, new visitors can get a short informative message as a part of a lead generation campaign.
  • Email – one of the most efficient marketing tools with an incredible ROI also uses triggers; trigger-based email messages help convert qualified leads into paying customers.

Triggers make the lead generation process easier if the marketers decide to count on automated trigger-based solutions for online marketing. However, it’s important to monitor trigger performance – for example, If the triggered messages end up in spam, it will harm the lead generation process.

This talk gives a great explanation on why some triggered messages work and some don’t, and how to use data to create good triggered messages that improve your KPI:

Triggered email marketing: automation and triggered mailouts

In 2020, most companies try to automate most of their marketing processes to improve efficiency and efficacy. One of the ways to accelerate email marketing and improve its efficiency is to use triggered email marketing solutions – according to Webfx research, companies using automated mailouts earn 53% more conversions. Other positive aspects are shown in the following infographic:

Triggered emails statistics
Triggered emailing statistics (Source: Webfx)

As triggers are event-driven actions, it’s not a surprise they are widely used for digitally-driven email marketing campaigns. Email marketing automation is built on trigger usage and allows to provide potential and existing customers with helpful information in a timely manner. Moreover, the possibility to add a touch of personalization makes triggered messages look personal, individually crafted, and special-made.

Triggers in behavioral marketing automation

Marketers are also successfully using triggers for behavioral marketing automation. 

First comes the website visitors’ behavioral research during which marketers create a list of common actions on the website. Next, marketers decide which triggers will be used for each category of leads:

New visitors who passed the opt-in procedure can receive newsletters with valuable information about special offers for new clients, announcements, educational content etc.

Lukewarm leads should be tended to with triggered messages that show a personal approach. Additionally, it is possible to add these users to an automated drip campaign about discounts and offer nurturing content.

Hot leads (almost ready-to-buy leads) should receive emails that can live up to their expectations and address their barriers – behavioral marketing automation allows suggesting appropriate goods, reasonably priced to induce a purchase. For example, a potential buyer likes a silver chain in the online jewelry shop but the item has been on their wish list for more than 3 months; that shows that the website visitor has some barriers.

As you can see, the content offered through triggered messages depends heavily on the lead’s position in the sales funnel. To find out more, check out our guide on what content to use to convert at each stage.

Other meanings of triggers

Triggers can also refer to words that induce a psychological or emotional reaction. In marketing, they are commonly used in copywriting to create a copy that expresses an idea, describes a product, or calls for purchase most effectively. Check out this list of emotional trigger words for examples and deeper explanations behind how trigger words work.

women - free template

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