Why Trigger-based Messaging Yields Better Results

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Jan 30, 2015


Remember the last time you glanced through your email inbox and saw a long list of messages? You probably only spent a second evaluating each message because you are bombarded with offers, information and calls to action. The audience for your product does the same thing, and they will delete most of the messages they receive without ever reading them. So the question is: how is your messaging going to stand out in all of the noise? How will you make each person in your audience feel appreciated and help them to act? One great way to do this is to customize your messaging by making it event driven.

What do I mean by "event driven?" Instead of blasting messages to everyone at once, your visitors drive what messages they receive from you throughout their lifecycle depending on the actions they take in your product. It's great to get a visitor to sign up for your service for buy your product, but that's just the first step. You need to court them continuously because if you don't, you can be sure someone else is building a long-term relationship with that customer.

The best weapon you have to capture your customers' attention is already available to you: use the actions each customer has taken on your website or app and leverage those events to deliver the specific information that each customer can use. A timely message can remind them of the next step to take and why it's worth taking. Your visitors will feel valued as an individual, and will be more likely to engage more and remain loyal, if they feel like they are more than just a name on a mass distribution list.


Where should you start with triggered messages?

Creating these messages is easy once you realize how many occasions you have to say something helpful to your customer. Need some examples?

  • The most obvious triggered message is a welcome email sent when someone subscribes to an email or blog list or purchases your product. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce your company, see if they have any questions and explain the benefits they will receive if they continue. A simple yet informative welcome message acknowledges their action and lets you set the tone for your brand.
  • For customers who do convert, you can cross-sell complementary products/services and gather feedback.
  • For happy customers, you can send a message asking them to refer friends based on their positive experience.

On the flipside when you see your list subscriber, potential customer or customer has been inactive for a while or has left items in their cart, use their inactivity (lack of an event) as a trigger to reach out to them to tell them they are missed. You may want to offer incentives for them to return or explain the benefits of your product/service based on what you know about them. If you're noticing a pattern, you can even use the opportunity to learn where and why the drop-off is occurring. Sometimes it just takes a friendly reminder to help them reengage.

If your visitor has completed any forms, they may have identified their birthday, anniversary or other important event (note to self: include ways for them to provide this information), giving you the perfect opportunity to send them a personal message. Combining this with a related offer will greatly increase the chance that they will log in and take you up on the offer than if you merely sent a blanket email to your entire distribution list without any personalization. Event-based messages are a fantastic way to maintain customer loyalty.


How to access your data

So how do you tap into this wealth of customer data? You need tools that make accessing this data easy without requiring engineers to build each custom message for you. Once you have customer activity and personal data accessible, you need a way to measure the effectiveness of your messaging to know what is working and what isn't. The data should tell you how much each message you send affects the actions that customers take and which messages are resonating against a control group (people who don't get a message). If developing trigger-based messaging takes months to build, edit and test, you are likely missing out on opportunities and wasting resources.

As with any type of relationship, when you take the time to be personal with each individual who interacts with your company, the chance that each of them will have a positive experience is much greater. We built Outbound to help you easily and quickly send (and test) email, mobile push and SMS based on what your customers do and tell you about themselves so that you can nurture each relationship beyond the initial contact or sale. If you have questions or want to learn more about trigger-based messaging, let us know - we'd love to talk with you.


Topics: Triggered messages