What’s your trigger? 12 triggers worth pressing

Each of us has a trigger, a kind of soft spot that can be pressed.  Just figure out what your customers’ triggers are and how to use them effectively, and your work is done.


An excellent email marketing system is one that works on triggers.  The emails that reach your recipients at exactly the right time, just when they want them, just when they need them, just when…these are the emails that work best and that will turn you into an email marketing expert.

Emails that are sent based on a trigger may be part of an automation system, part of a series of emails, or a separate email that is sent the moment your designated trigger is activated.

Further on we’ll tell you how to set triggers as part of the automation layout in our new innovative automation system, but even now you can embed them as autoresponders, as a registration/removal campaign, as an ActiveCommerce  campaign (for online shops), as an event campaign, and more.

The List – which triggers can be set for emailing?

1. Joining the system/demo period

The ‘joining the system’ trigger is one of the most important and it’s mostly relevant for B2B companies and for small businesses.  The use of this trigger allows you to grant your new customers all the information about you that they need to receive, in an introductory email or in a series of autoresponders you send your new users during the introductory period, the trial period, or the beginning of the use in your system.   A join-up and introduction email welcomes the new customers or leads warmly and gives them all the information about you that they need to get.  This is an excellent and important opportunity to create engagement in your new customers, don’t miss it.

2. Joining the newsletter’s mailing list

Whether you’re a content platform or a clothing shop, you have a mailing list.  The moment a customer checks the option of getting emails from you or signs up for your emails with the sign-up form, don’t forget to say thank you.  If you’re a content website – send her previous articles, so she won’t miss out on your content.  Online shop? Send a discount coupon by way of saying ‘Welcome’.  With the same idea as joining the system, joining the mailing list is also a great opportunity to make the customers who came to visit – want to stay.

3. Registration for a webinar/event

When customers sign up for a webinar you’re running about your system or for another event you’ve invited them to, that’s also a trigger for an email or a group of emails.  Remember these customers before the webinar or event, send them a thank-you–for–signing-up email and reward them for inviting additional friends to the party.

4. Purchase of an item (up sale/cross-sale email)

When a customer purchases an item in your online shop, it’s a great opportunity to offer him additional items in a cross-sale email, items that will complete the purchase, or a discount on the next purchase!

You can also give him info about the item he bought, thus improving your service, and then offer the cross-sale or upsale in the same email.

5. Email open/not open

For each email you send, you have information about whether or not your customer opened it.  If the customer didn’t open your cross-sale email, for instance, send her an additional email with a 20% discount.  Make sure this email arrives with a tempting and inviting subject line, and you won’t miss out on the opportunity to turn a one-time customer into a regular customer.

6. Reading content

Another kind of trigger is reading/viewing content.  Prepare a White Paper, a research article about a topic in your field, a guide, or any other content that will be interesting and relevant to your customers.  Offer it in your email to anyone who wants to view it, and in that way you’ll gather new leads.  Use this sign-up as a trigger for sending mail to these leads with additional articles or content of yours.  If you offer products, send those who signed up a thank-you-for-signing-up coupon.

7. Abandoning a shopping cart

A classic trigger for ecommerce shop owners is a customer who started a purchase in your shop and in the middle went to make coffee and forgot all about it.  Using Active Commerce, you can create an automatic abandoned cart email, and if you don’t have that feature, you can create the same email with the help of your developers in our REST API.

The email you send to customers who abandoned a shopping cart shows the items the customer put into the cart, but didn’t purchase in the end.  In the same email you can offer them additional items.  Customers who abandon carts are like money on the floor, activate the trigger and pick it up.  It’s that simple.

8. Birthdays

The oldest trigger in the book, but it still works really well.  It doesn’t have to be an email, it can also be an SMS with ‘Happy Birthday’ and a discount, but either way, a birthday is cause for celebration.

9. Every day’s a holiday

Not only birthdays are celebrated, your customers have all kinds of other important events in their lives that you may want to celebrate for them.  It’s been a year since they signed up to your list?  That’s definitely an occasion.  Family day? Maybe that’s also a good reason to send mail and suggest that your customers buy a present for their families.  In short, there’s no lack of events during the year that you can, should, and would be wise to celebrate.  Choose a few such events per year that you want to note and send appropriate emails for them.

10. A trigger according to elapsed time (a month since xyz)

Any trigger that you set for sending mail can also be a trigger for sending mail a certain amount of time after it took place.  If, for instance, someone made a purchase in your shop half a year ago and hasn’t bought anything else since then, send an email to remind them of your existence, with the new collection.  Another example is, let’s say, two months after they participated in an event or a webinar that you created.  Remember the participants for being there and enjoying it, and invite them to participate in your next event.  Don’t hesitate to use every trigger and every action as a trigger for your next email, even if that email will be sent half a year from now.

11. A change in personal data

If a customer changed his personal info, whether it’s a geographical address or a workplace change, your services might once again be relevant for him.  Create a special automation series in honor of the move, congratulate him, and offer him assistance with your services.  That way you’ll give your customers the feeling that you’re there for them wherever they go.

12. Cancellation/unsubscribe

Unsubscribing isn’t always because your customers don’t want to hear from you anymore.  Of course, remove the customers who ask to be removed from your list, but send them one last email, the kind that tells them you’ll be sad that they no longer want to hear from you, and maybe even contains a survey, asking them why they requested to unsubscribe from the list.  That way you’ll be able to get additional feedback about your newsletter, and that may also help you reduce the number of unsubscribes from your list.  Sometimes people unsubscribe by mistake, like for instance when an email was forwarded to a friend who removed them from the list without realizing they were doing it.

Each trigger is a world in itself.  You’ll need to prepare these emails in advance, investing a little time and effort ahead of time, but when the time comes they’ll be well worth it and will turn your emails into a totally automatic marketing system.

Want to know what series of autoresponders you can create?  Read more about your automatic pilot

Visit our blog for more tips