Triggers are a GREAT way to generate a customer response. “What’s a trigger?” you ask. A trigger is a specific reason to contact a prospect or customer in response to their having shared certain information with you. This could be something like:
- A birthday message — A personalized card or an email with a special offer sent in honor of a customer’s birthday
- A follow-up message — A reminder message sent a certain number of days after a quote has been delivered or a sale has been made
Triggers are nearly always based on a customer-initiated action — a customer provides you with his or her birthday, email address, or other demographic information, or a customer inquires about your product or service.
Because the customer is the one who started the interaction with your company, it’s far more likely that he or she will open, read, and then act on a trigger message than on an unsolicited email or direct mail piece.
Your triggered direct mail piece can easily be followed up with a responsive email to remind your prospects and customers about your offer or incentive. Now you’re using a cross-media approach to your marketing! The key to your trigger messages is to use personalization. You must demonstrate to your recipients that you know all about them and that you want to connect with them personally. At the same time, you want to be sure your personalized marketing doesn’t cross a line and end up creeping your customers out. You want them to feel LOVED, not WATCHED. Having good data for your trigger messages is critical. Besides email and street address information, your company should also work to collect:
- Product or service preferences
- Timeline on decision or cycle of service
- Something fun or personal about the customer or prospect
If you develop a trigger strategy early on as part of your overall marketing plan, you can have your customer service reps seamlessly collect this data as part of the normal course of any inquiry or transaction. Think how responsive you can be with your trigger messages if you collect such data at — or even BEFORE — the point of sale. Gathering all this data is work, but the value to you and to your business is immense.
PS: What’s with the cat picture? Since 2011, cats have received almost four times the amount of viral views as dogs. This morning the business tech site Mashable.com article Grumpy Cat Lands Movie Role, Stays Unimpressed got 1.2K shares upon publishing. Why Do Cats Dominate the Internet? Check out this amusing short article.