3 Event-Triggered Messages to Incorporate Into Your Campaign Management Strategy

Ben Tepfer

[Posted by Ben Tepfer, Product Marketing Specialist, Neolane, Inc.]

As a digital consumer, when I make a purchase online, I expect a confirmation email in my inbox immediately upon clicking “Submit.” As a marketer, it is my job to make sure those messages get there. This is a classic example of event-triggered messaging, which is one of the ways brands can start to leverage real-time marketing. Event-triggered messages generate open rates up to 70.5% higher and click-through rates 101.8% higher than regular email messages (Epsilon, 2013). Yet, 20% of marketing organizations today aren’t doing it right (Adam Sarner, Gartner, 2013)

What we as marketers need to do is identify the right events to trigger these messages, and then incorporate them into our campaign management strategy. Specifically, we must focus on events that are significant drivers of the relationship between brands and customers—those that driver higher engagement, revenue, and ROI.

Below are three types of event-triggered messages that marketers can incorporate into their campaign management strategy:

1. Transactional Messages

Transactional messages are perhaps the most common type of event-triggered messaging. These are messages customers expect, so timing is everything. Examples of transactional messages include order confirmations, shipping and delivery notifications, welcome emails, and password rest links. Customers expect these messages because they come from events they themselves generated.

Marketers need to be ready to receive the signal to send the customer what they expect immediately (I don’t know about you, but few things frustrate me more than wondering if my order actually went through). They must also leverage campaign management tools to intelligently manage overall frequency, balancing transactional and promotional messages so as not to fatigue their customers.

2. Remarketing

There are many other events you can use as triggers depending on your business. For instance, many retailers and e-commerce brands send cart abandonment messages, offering some form of incentive or simply a reminder to complete an online purchase. Businesses like Amazon.com have taken it a step further by incorporating browse abandonment messages into their campaign management strategy.

While both types of messages typically contain information about specific products, one best practice we’ve seen is to also include secondary messaging or offers related to the product category. Particularly in the case of browse abandonment, this information can facilitate additional browsing that drives purchases. The key is to focus on the information customers need at the particular stage of their buying cycle. Timing is also important, as marketers must achieve a fine line between being timely enough to optimize results but allowing enough time so that messages aren’t perceived as creepy.

3. Non-Customer Generated Events

While event-triggered messaging tends to focus on explicit user behavior, it can also be driven by other external events. Think, for instance, of reaching a new level or status within a loyalty program, a birthday, or receiving a notification when a product’s warranty is about to expire. Furthermore, consider the lack of user events. A reactivation campaign based on how long it has been since a user visited your website or opened an email—coupled with an exclusive offer—can lead to greater action from your recipients.

Everything I have talked about has been centered on email as the channel to deliver event-triggered messages. To take your messages to the next level, consider a cross-channel approach. I love that when I make a payment with PayPal on my desktop computer, moments later I get a confirmation push notification on my phone. Similarly, the way my Starbucks card in Passbook updates moments after I make an in-store purchase. By leveraging multiple channels for your event-triggered messages, you are building a rich dialogue with your customers.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned how much better event-triggered messages perform than traditional marketing messages. This is a great opportunity for marketers. We can use these messages as places to put personalized offers. For this reason, event-triggered messages have an extremely important place within the overall campaign management strategy, and are powerful steps in sustaining a conversation.