Digital marketing means marketers have more channels and more opportunities to reach consumers than ever before. Even better, it’s enabled a degree of trackability, enabling businesses to run everything from retargeting ads to complex back-end business processes.
But this has created a problem: there’s a lot of noise out there and it’s hard to stand out.
Enter event triggers. Event triggers are any tailored content or digital marketing initiative that is based on how a user actually uses your website or digital asset, rather than how that person fits into your customer demographics, regional distribution, or other marketing segmentation.
In this article, we’re going to explore the value of event triggers and ways you can incorporate them into your digital strategy.
What are event triggers?
Event triggers are any marketing activity that’s based on user behaviour. Basically, it’s applying some logic like “if a person does X, then we need to do Y”.
A simple example is a retargeting display ad campaign – “if a customer visits our website, we show them retargeted ads.”
That's just the start, but most event-based strategy arises from this basic concept.
What’s more, while this sort of strategic framework can send you down a rabbit hole of complexity, even unsophisticated tech stacks can deliver significant dividends. All it takes is Google Analytics and some UTM tags and you’re in business!
Why event response marketing drives results
There are a few benefits to this framework:
Users only see relevant information. Instead of irrelevant boilerplate messaging, people see things that are meaningful to them. This not only creates a better brand experience but is far more likely to drive the desired user behaviour (e.g. purchase).
Optimization over time. It’s difficult to optimize your digital platforms if you don’t know what you’re optimizing for. For example, if you have a single goal of increasing sales, it can be challenging to know exactly what combination of levers is going to get you there. But with events-based activities, you can focus on much smaller pieces, effectively letting you address the problem lever by lever, so to speak.
Reduces marketing/advertising costs. A more targeted approach will carry with it a more refined sales funnel and thus, a better return on your investment. You’re allocating your dollars where it’s going to do the most good, so you can see your costs fall accordingly.
Advanced event response actions
We’ve covered the basic idea of event response activity and a few of the core benefits, which collectively drive a better sales velocity, conversion rate, and ROI for marketing activity. But that’s just the start.
With events, you can target your visitors in all sorts of new and exciting ways.
For instance, you might implement some form of visitor scoring.
Visitor scoring is when every event on your digital properties (e.g. apps, websites, etc.) has an associated value, and when a visitor crosses a specific threshold regardless of how they got there, they are deemed “qualified” and a subsequent action can be triggered – e.g. prompts to convert the visitor into a customer.
For instance, let’s say the threshold is 100 points. Reading the pricing page might be 100 points — if someone is looking into the price, they’re getting prepared to buy.
But visiting more than 3+ pages could be 40 points, scrolling through 75% of a blog post might be 10 points, and subscribing to your newsletter might be 50 points.
That pushes them to the 100-point threshold so they’re now qualified.
When evaluating total event values, it doesn’t necessarily matter how the leads acquire the points. It’s just about getting them.
By tracking the events occurring on your digital platforms, you can track and score your users accurately and gauge their interest accordingly.
Another common tactic is to use event triggers to deliver more relevant content.
For instance, if you have a digital asset management and dynamic content, you can actually serve specific content on your website (e.g. “static” content).
Consider this example: someone visits your site and downloads a white paper, and one of the fields you ask the user for is the user’s industry. If the user indicates they are in the construction business, you could show them relevant case studies, change the pictures, and highlight industry-specific logos and past clients.
All of this comes from the fact that you automatically took the user’s industry and used it to power your user’s experience.
Alternatively, you might use a visitor-scoring approach to drive marketing activity as well.
For instance, if you notice that people who received an email after 40 points but before 60 points went from ‘lead’ to ‘closed’ in half the time, you might create a response that says “when people reach 50 points, send out this email.”
Optimizing user flows
Since all of your events are tracked, they can be analyzed in aggregate to make informed decisions about the content on your digital properties.
One example might be grouping activities to increase sales. If you notice that an asset or page is a key step for a shorter conversion path (e.g. everyone who reads this case study buys our product) you might start steering more traffic to that asset to drive a better conversion rate.
Over time, you can see the most efficient event flows and arrange your content to support these visitor paths.
It’s easy to see how you can use events to drive a more informed digital strategy. At the end of the day, it’s really about using data to drive decision making.
By looking at user behaviour directly, organizations can break down their sales process into a series of micro-conversions that make it easier to see what’s going on.
It also allows organizations to identify what’s working and what isn’t, and then to funnel users towards better-functioning assets and user-flows.
Most importantly, events allow companies to show users and visitors relevant and meaningful messages, at the right time, to the right person.
It makes your digital communication better — and that’s why it’s such a powerful tool.