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The Ultimate Guide to Successful Trigger Marketing Campaigns

Trigger campaigns have become a crucial tool in marketing - and for good reason. The benefits of trigger campaigns include: 

  • Helping increase user engagement, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.
  • Improving the user experience.
  • Increasing customer retention.

But what exactly is a trigger campaign, and how can it be used in B2B marketing?

Below, we detail what a trigger campaign is, types of trigger campaigns, and how to use them in B2B situations to nurture leads. 

What is a trigger campaign?

A trigger campaign is a type of marketing message that follows a when this, send that formula. If a user performs a specific action, a response will be “triggered” and sent to the user. You can use trigger campaigns at any stage of the consumer journey, from sending a welcome message to reporting milestones as a retention strategy. 

Picture this: 

Your landing page converted a new user or prospect, which triggered a welcome message. Perhaps your landing page targeted a specific product, service, or vertical. You now have the opportunity to go into more depth and detail about your value proposition or maybe introduce another point of value. 

What are the benefits of trigger campaigns?

Firstly, they save you a lot of time through outbound sales automation. Think how long it would take to manually send a welcome email to each new subscriber! It allows you to spend your time on more impactful work.

And just as important, trigger-based marketing provides greater personalisation. This helps increase engagement and ultimately spark action for the user. 

Triggered marketing has another big plus - relevance. Trigger marketing software only sends messages when the user meets specific conditions. This allows you to stay top-of-mind without bombarding them with irrelevant messaging. 

Types of trigger campaigns

Whether you’ve just acquired a new customer or are trying to move an existing customer closer to purchase, trigger campaigns are a handy tool in all stages of the customer journey. 

Here are some types of trigger campaigns that can be particularly helpful at different stages in the B2B customer journey:

1. Welcoming and onboarding

Your welcome message is your first chance to make an impression on your customers and tell them what your company is about. 

In B2B marketing, welcome and onboarding messages can help the customer understand your company - but be careful not to overwhelm them with messages, or you’ll be at risk of having them unsubscribe. 

2. Drip campaigns

Drip campaigns are typically done through email and are particularly effective with B2B companies. Drip campaigns send a sequence of pre-written messages to the customer over time, helping them follow a specific customer journey. They’re typically automated and are usually triggered by an email sign-up. 

You can also personalise drip campaigns based on the specific trigger. For example:

A customer entering their email address to get past an information gate could lead to a different drip campaign than a current subscriber who clicked on a link in an email.

The drip campaign should reflect the stage of the journey the customer is perceived to be at.

3. Time-sensitive triggers

Triggered campaigns can be particularly helpful in sparking action in a time-sensitive situation. For example: 

Sending out a trigger for a special limited-time promotion can be valuable to pushing customers towards purchase.

4. Re-engagement campaigns

Customer inactivity for a specific period is the trigger for a re-engagement campaign.

What do they achieve?

They help to bring back customers to engage with your company and products.

For example:

If a customer hasn’t visited your website in a few months, a re-engagement campaign can remind them of you and encourage them to take action.

5. Upsell campaigns

The trigger for an upsell campaign is a customer purchase or a specific action, such as a free trial sign-up.

These trigger campaigns highlight additional products or services. The purpose is to encourage the customer to make an extra purchase.

6. Event-based campaigns

The trigger for event-based campaigns is a specific event or action, for example, attending a webinar. 

The follow-up could provide additional value-led resources or encourage further action.

How to use trigger campaigns in B2B

Triggered marketing can be extremely valuable for B2B marketers. From lead generation and prospecting to data usage, trigger campaigns can help elevate your marketing efforts and make your brand stand out. 

1. B2B lead generation

Trigger campaigns are beneficial in B2B lead generation because the leads that come in are already pre-qualified. Specifically, trigger campaigns in content and ABM can be useful in determining the health and quality of your leads. 

And if the website content is behind a gate requiring a prospect’s email address, you can generate inbound leads to send out further trigger campaigns, such as real-time and time-sensitive ones. 

When using trigger campaigns for lead generation, it’s important to follow the user journey map. Customers are likely to be near the beginning of their journey, so trigger campaigns should focus on moving the customer beyond awareness and closer to purchase. 

2. B2B prospecting 

Trigger campaigns are a critical part of B2B prospecting, but many companies are unable to capitalise on them correctly. To effectively use trigger campaigns, it’s crucial to reach out to the prospect at the right stage in their customer journey: when they’re ready to buy. 

For prospecting, the three main trigger points are: 

1. Change indicators

Identify significant changes within a prospect’s organisation or industry that may present new business opportunities or challenges.

Example

If you notice that a prospect’s organisation recently announced a merger or acquisition, this could indicate a serious business opportunity.

What’s the next step?

Contact them and highlight how you can streamline the integration process. 

2. Problem indicators

Recognise signs that a prospect is facing a specific pain point your product or service can solve.

Example

When you come across a prospect’s LinkedIn post expressing frustration about a pain, such as inefficient lead generation. In your outreach, explain how you can solve their challenges with lead generation.

3. Opportunity indicators

Identify favourable circumstances that offer an opportunity for your product or service to meet a need.

Example

A prospect’s industry is experiencing a rapid growth boom. You can approach the prospect and demonstrate how you can help them capitalise on the circumstances. 

If you reach out at the points above, you can offer the prospect a timely solution that will likely result in far more goal completions. 

It’s crucial to understand the sales cycle of your product or service; this will impact how you use your reactivation trigger campaign. In B2B sales, the cycle could be months or even years, which is why you won’t want to send reactivation campaigns after your prospect goes dark for a week.

3. B2B data

You can use trigger campaigns to gather valuable B2B data, allowing you to further personalise your communication with that customer. With more extensive customer knowledge, you can tailor your messages to better fit their needs and increase the number of high-quality leads you convert. 

A successful example of this in the B2C space is Spotify’s #spotifywrapped campaign, which gives users a summary of their listening activity over the past year. It’s proven to be a highly shareable form of earned media. 

How to build an effective trigger campaign 

1. Know your buyer persona inside out

It’s critical to develop a deep understanding of your ICP. You should take the time to deep dive into their desires and challenges; listening to customer calls is a must.

This knowledge empowers you to create sales trigger campaigns that align with their needs, making a sale more likely.

2. Identify specific triggering events

You can boil trigger campaigns down to if/then statements. If you meet X criteria, then do Y. 

The first step is to identify the “if” criteria - which is the trigger!

An example is filling out a demo form on your website.

3. Decide on the actions 

Once you’ve settled on your trigger criteria, decide on the actions you want your campaign to take, such as sending an email.

This is the “then” of the if/then statement.

4. Personalise your messaging

Don’t be generic and boring! 

Personalised messages help convert leads into customers.

What makes good personalisation?

Determine where the prospect is in their journey, and consider how you can provide value. This gives you the best chance of nudging them onto the next step.

5. Embrace automation

Automating monotonous tasks boosts productivity and allows you to use your energy more effectively.

If you’re unsure where to start, put together a list of your repetitive tasks. These are prime targets for marketing automation. 

KPIs for analysing trigger campaign data

How do you know whether a trigger campaign is successful?

You need to dig into the data - there’s no room for guesswork!

KPIs are a vital yardstick when answering this question. Let’s take a look at the most important ones 👇

1. Conversion rate

This metric tracks the percentage of users who take the desired action, such as signing up for your newsletter. By understanding the conversion rate, you can gauge the campaign’s success and make improvements. 

You might need to adjust the messaging or timing if you have a low conversion rate. 

2. Click-through rate

Another critical KPI for trigger campaigns is the click-through rate (CTR). It measures the percentage of users who click on a link within the campaign. 

Why is this useful?

A high CTR indicates that your message resonates. However, if the CTR is low, you may need to revise the campaign’s content.

3. Open rate

The open rate measures the percentage of users who open the email or message in the trigger campaign.

This KPI provides insight into the effectiveness of the campaign’s subject line. 

If you have a low open rate, your subject line likely needs to be more compelling.

Trigger campaigns: final thoughts

Triggered campaigns are an extremely effective strategy for B2B lead nurturing. From welcoming and onboarding newly acquired leads to helping you seal the deal, trigger campaigns are a tried-and-true marketing method. 

By allowing you to personalise your marketing messages and automate responses, trigger campaigns can help you increase engagement, CTRs, and customer retention. 

Check out the infographic below for more information on types of trigger-based marketing. 


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Author bio

This is a guest article by Drew Page, a content marketing lead from San Diego, where he helps create epic content for companies like CleverTap. He loves learning, writing and playing music. When not surfing the web, you can find him actually surfing, in the kitchen or in a book.

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