Trigger Based Campaigns Done Right: Ideas & Examples

Natalya Ustymenko

Every business aims to pique the interest of potential buyers in their products and win over the competition. For that, you need a marketing budget and a high speed of processing the buyer’s interest: you can invest thousands into ads, but if the attracted buyers are left without a reply, that money will be gone with the wind.

To optimize marketing, test out trigger-based campaigns.

What is a Triggered Campaign?

Sending emails or notifications in response to an action at a certain time is known as trigger marketing (or event-based marketing). It is perfect for marketing initiatives that demand quick and exact targeting based on particular consumer habits.

Different user activities require different trigger messages. To maximize personalization, you can define and set triggers for any stage of the client journey.

Triggers (predefined events) can be anything that can be “caught” by the automation software or CRM you employ, such as completing a form, abandoning a cart, subscribing to a newsletter, setting up a new account, or even just staying on a specific page of your website for longer than the allotted time length.

In trigger campaigns, there are different channels like email, SMS, in-app messages, push notifications, and others that you can use separately or in the omnichannel campaign. 

Why a Triggered Campaign is a Powerful Tool for User Engagement

Trigger marketing not only helps automate a lot of processes, but it (if done correctly) actually makes customers feel valued.

For example, according to Reteno research, a triggered email campaign has a 22% higher open rate and a 7% higher click-through rate, unlike standard marketing trigger messages. Other advantages:

Increases brand awareness

At every point of the buying cycle, you should keep your leads satisfied and work with their needs. In return, they come back to buy more and sometimes even bring friends, relatives, or colleagues with them. Trigger marketing assists clients with personalized messages, like suggestions, offers, discounts, etc.  

Saves time and resources for marketing and sales teams

Your campaign can be more accurate and efficient with automation. You won't miss an opportunity to connect with your consumers or leads if predetermined triggers start activities or communications on autopilot.

Increases customer loyalty and retains more customers

This increases the chances of converting sales, re-engaging disinterested customers, and retargeting clients for bigger repeat sales. Trust, customer experience, contentment, and loyalty can all be improved through trigger marketing. Customers won't feel left out if they receive discounts on the goods they genuinely desire, and when they receive assistance once it's needed.

How to Create an Effective Trigger-Based Campaign

Each potential buyer approaches it differently in real life. In this chaotic world, a well-set-up trigger-based campaign will be of assistance to keep up through the whole customer journey.

Adopt campaigns triggered by events to automate your marketing.

Learn your buyer persona

It's crucial to fully comprehend your consumer persona when using automated marketing campaigns because there is no room for a ‘play it by ear’  strategy in these situations.

You need to examine the client's main information: pain points, motives, and problems at every stage of their journey if you want to have a precise and thorough customer or buyer persona.

This is how you discover the best approaches to tailor your communications and services at each point of the trip, increasing conversions. Event-based campaigns then react to triggers with the right words to the right segmented audiences.

Plan according to the if/then statements

For an action to be started by a triggering event, trigger marketing relies on software, which demands a precisely specified "if/then" statement. Any variable that your software can track can serve as a trigger. An action or series of actions is then started as a result of that trackable "event" or "trigger."

The information you have in your system and your marketing automation capabilities are the only trigger event limitations. 

Start with simple equations. Examples of triggers:

  • If a user clicks “Sign in” on the website when setting up the account for the first time, then... 
  • If a user closes a website page with a full cart, then…

Determine the actions to be performed after triggers hit

Now you know what trigger examples can be, and then you can choose what happens next. The "then" component of the equation is this.


  • If a user clicks “Sign in” on the website when setting up the account for the first time, then the user gets a confirmation email and a welcome message. 
  • If a user closes a website page with a full cart, then the user gets an email and app push notification to remind them about the abandoned cart.

Build a personalized message

Knowing your buyer persona and their predefined actions, you can create unique messaging strategies to build strong long-term relations. Use trigger-based marketing to use personalization to the fullest: your offers and interactions with contacts should be relevant at various points in their journeys.

Set up repetitive marketing tasks

If you're still unsure about where to start with marketing automation, make a list of your most repeated (routine) tasks. For instance, employ automation to remove the repetitive chore of sending the same email to several audience segments.

Analyze data at every stage

Once your trigger campaigns are in motion, keep tabs on what attracts clients the most effective and where you are still losing them. Concentrate on improving your winning offers, bolstering the weak places, and adding triggers where you need them. The more current and pertinent your offerings are, the better.

Make conclusions, and adopt changes

The more thought-out tests you do, the more you learn about your targeted audience. The full-data overall picture can lead to numerous changes. It may even be necessary to change the whole strategy, not just separate campaigns. Do everything thoroughly, and the results won't be far behind.

Possible Types of Trigger Campaigns

There are four main categories of trigger-based marketing campaigns: based on customer behavior, engagement levels, events, and emotions. We’ve extended the list with five more, which are a combination of the main ones. We also added examples of triggers for better understanding:


This type has the biggest impact on the audience. You have the opportunity to fulfill customers' demands and satisfy their needs by gathering information about their behavior. The triggers for behavior-based campaigns include registration, website activity, conversions, downloads, abandoned carts, opt-ins, viewed products, comments, etc., and that's just a few examples. Special software helps to get data on every little step your audience does online. Though it sounds scary that everyone watches everyone, use it (according to law) and learn as much as you can.

Examples of such trigger messages: “You spent almost an hour on our site looking for a washing machine. Do you need any guidance?” “Looking for a perfect dog toy? Why choose? Buy one, get another for free.”


If visitors to your website don't show a high degree of involvement, you can encourage them by sending out email newsletters and messaging through other means of communication.

For example, send a welcome message when users register a new account and subscribe to an email newsletter. Or use short notifications like “Welcome! Thanks for buying our…” 


Black Friday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Independence Day, etc., can all be used as triggers. You can easily launch a campaign with Reteno and offer your customers enticing deals, savings, exclusive promotions, and more.

Examples: “Bought Valentine’s gift for your partner already? How about a treat for yourself? Get a 30% discount on wine selection.” “Black Friday is just a week away! Is your shopping list ready?”


Emotional triggers like trust, the fear of missing out, hunger, the need to express oneself, and recognition are just a few examples of how you might appeal to your target audience and persuade them to make a purchase.

Examples: “You joined us a year ago, and we are so glad you’re a part of our family.” “Happy marketer day! Here’s a 15% discount for the monthly subscription on our app…”

You can combine these triggers, test them out and discover new tips on how to work with your audience more effectively. Below are other popular trigger-based campaigns you need to consider in your work.


This trigger marketing campaign can be used with any type of trigger. 

Giving your customers coupons, deals, and suggestions on the products they are considering buying has a better likelihood of resulting in a sale. You can use emotional, behavioral, due to upcoming events, or a low-level-of-engagement campaign. 

Examples: "You recently searched fiction novels. Do you require suggestions?” or "Get 30% off when you buy 4 t-shirts at once!" 


Applications like food delivery, taxi, and car sharing depend on real-time updates to link couriers with customers and drivers with passengers. You can use SMS and/or push notifications to notify if the order is ready, taken by a delivery guy, if it’s somewhere close to the client's address, or if it got lost somewhere, etc. 


Trigger-based marketing campaigns are useful for getting people to take the desired action when there is a deadline associated with an event or an offer. Upcoming holiday discount, missed out event, or welcome offer — any of these campaigns can be combined with the promotional one to bring the best results.


Trigger tactics based on engagement and behavior data are used to reawaken inactive users. Do an RFM analysis to identify customers that are about to be gone or are already in sleeping mode.

Examples: “We’re sorry you’re leaving. Can we tempt you back?” “Care to get your 40% discount before leaving?”


Explain every detail of how your product works, but not in one message — you risk confusing them by giving too much information at once. With trigger campaigns, there is less chance of overburdening consumers with steps during the onboarding process.

How Can Trigger Strategies Help? 

This should be a wide strategy. Starting from the very first interaction with the company, potential buyers already decide whether they want to continue dealing with it. Then comes onboarding: Was it done right? Did users understand how to use the app? Maybe they got lost in a non-intuitive app and decided to quit during the trial period. Many reasons can cause churn, so review track data and make changes to decrease the churn rate.

Another example is involuntary churn. This actually happens unintentionally, when users’ payment fails, or they forget to update their subscription. Trigger strategies must be set up like a sequence of emails and in-app notifications when the payment fails, or if the user was inactive for some time with the unpaid subscription.


You've learned what it takes to create an effective triggered email campaign: the user's activity should cause a response, whether in the form of a push notification, an in-app message, or any other channel for communicating with the audience.

Start working on your test campaigns right now and see for yourself what benefits it brings to your business.

Alex Danchenko


November 29, 2022

Maya Skidanova


August 26, 2022

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