3 Multichannel Trigger Campaigns That Work

Originally published in Target Marketing’s Tipline E-Newsletter
Britt Brouse
Apr 9, 2008

Multichannel trigger marketing uses customer behaviors (internal triggers) and outside factors, such as seasons and life-cycle data (external triggers), to develop timely, relevant, one-to-one communications. Trigger marketing campaigns take advantage of both print and online vehicles to encourage a specific consumer response.

As 100 percent variable digital presses come online, and complete personalization becomes a reality, marketers are applying new technologies to proven direct marketing tactics and developing integrated trigger campaigns. Below, expert trigger marketers share their successful campaigns.

1. Affinity Mail and E-mail Programs
Using a recent purchase, online wish list or site’s browsing history, marketers can trigger an affinity campaign to cross-sell related products. In a Staples affinity program, if a customer buys a digital camera, future communications will offer memory cards, camera cases and other relevant accessories. “We have an e-mail-based campaign that looks at the item that the customer bought and within a week or so of them making that purchase … goes back out to them with a communication that asks if they want to enhance that purchase with add-ons,” says John Giusti, vice president of small business marketing at Staples.

2. Product and Service Reviews
Marketers use triggers not only to incite additional purchases, but also to bolster customer relationship management. “When a customer buys something, we will go back out there with a trigger-based campaign to ask them to rate that item,” Giusti says. This helps build customer ratings, which improves the value of Staples.com and engages the customer with the product and Staples brand. Another example is connecting with a customer after a service experience. “Some companies use that as an opportunity from a trigger-based perspective to recommunicate with the customer and in the case of a bad service experience, to make it right, and in the case of a good service experience, just to reiterate how pleased they are that they made the sale with that company,” Giusti says.

3. The Good, Old Three-Step Letter
The three-step sales letter is a direct mail standard of hitting an audience using three sequential letters with escalating offers. “It’s like a collection letter sequence, where you are able to turn the negatives into positives,” describes John P. Riley, president of Poway, Calif.-based Trigger Direct. He adds, “We’ve been able to take that theme and then overlay it on top of an event trigger, and we’ve gotten really good results.” Riley will mail to a group of individuals who, for example, recently filed for a building permit. “We’ll take this perfect audience of people and we hit them three times, ensuring that our message penetrates,” Riley says. Anyone who doesn’t respond to letter No. 1 will get a second letter with an even more enticing offer. “It’s almost like a Ginsu Knife commercial: ‘But wait; there’s more!’” Riley concludes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *