• Brooke Thompson

That Magic Moment: The Importance of Trigger Data



In life and in direct marketing, it’s all about the timing. It’s important to utilize what you can gather about a prospect or customer’s behaviors to determine the optimal time to act.

I liken it to determining if you’re going to ask your crush to dance in middle school. You are less likely to strike out if you’ve gathered the data points you need in advance – are they newly “single”? Have they hit you up on AIM? Are they making eye contact? Have you asked their friends if they’re into you? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, I’d say it’s time to take the long walk across the gymnasium and make the move. If you’re just going off the fact that they’re your type, it’s worth a shot but definitely a bit riskier.

Currently, you can gather key behavioral trigger data points that make for good indicators that a person is a prime target for your product or service.

At Pragmatic, we’ve seen behavioral triggers perform well for our clients. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business trying to attract new customers or interact with existing customers, finding that “magic moment” can help lift response – sometimes 2-3x. The key is knowing the right triggers and nailing the timing before someone else swoops in…and you end up in the “friend zone”.

Trigger data comes in many forms. If you’re getting outside intel, that’s commonly called 3rd party trigger data.

It is data you can purchase from another source to acquire new customers. Examples of common 3rd party triggers:

  • New business

  • Growing business

  • New movers

  • Purchase history

  • Life events

  • Event attendance

  • Credit inquiries

  • Browsing behavior

Just as important is using your own 1st party data to ensure you are triggering communications to your existing customers at the right time in their customer lifecycle based on their behaviors.

You’ve done a lot of heavy lifting to attract these customers, now it’s important to keep them. To keep the analogy going, you got that first dance, now you’ve got to read the cues to ensure the initial flame doesn’t burn out – continuing to get to know each other without coming on too strong and making “romantic gestures” at opportune times are important to avoid that “we need to talk” moment by the lockers. Common examples of 1st party trigger data are:

  • Becoming a new customer

  • Making a payment or purchase

  • Renewing their membership or agreement

  • Redeeming rewards

  • Referring a friend

  • Hitting a threshold in an at risk model

  • Canceling their account or membership

These kinds of triggers are commonly used in industries that are trying to attract long term customers such as financial services, HR/Payroll, security, electricity and insurance, since it takes some orchestration, testing and optimizing to get it right. That is where we come in. Pragmatic has seen it really pay off for our clients. For example, for one client, triggering an offer based on “new movers” lifted response 3x over the standard modeled audience.

Once it looks like the stars are aligning, moving quickly is key.

Leveraging automated platforms for direct mail and onboarding platforms for digital will help you get in front of the right contacts faster. It’s important to focus on the workflow and process to ensure speedy delivery…before the DJ starts playing “Closing Time” and Mr. Arthur turns the blinding florescent gym lights on, you need to make your move, or you might miss the opportunity.