Triggers in Marketing: Use Them to Improve Sales - Maku Seun

Triggers in Marketing: Use Them to Improve Sales

Triggers in Marketing

Triggers in marketing make us – both humans and animals – do certain things without even thinking about them.

That is why marketers and copywriters are liberal with the use of psychological triggers in their marketing materials.


If you want to improve your marketing, if you want everything you put out there to be gobbled up by the reader, then you should add some psychological triggers in your marketing materials.

Whether it is an email, a sales copy, or even an ad.

The experiment

“Excuse me, can I please cut in front of you because I am in a hurry?”

This was the reason that 94% of the people in a queue let someone cut in front of them to make photocopies.

This experiment was made to demonstrate how certain triggers make us do some things without thinking about them.

And that’s what you should do as a marketer.

There are specific triggers that make us humans do certain things without thinking about them.

Intelligent marketers worldwide have used these triggers to make prospects do their bidding.

Therefore, as a copywriter, you too should be able to use these triggers to persuade your readers to buy from you.

Psychological triggers

Here are a few psychological triggers you can add to your marketing materials (emails, sales copies, and ads) to boost conversion.

  • Curiosity
  • Urgency.
  • Social proof
  • Reciprocity
  • Liking
  • Scarcity
  • Explaining why (Just like the example given above)
  • New
  • Storytelling, etc.

There are many more you can use.

Try it out and notice the difference in your business and career.

A note of warning

I wouldn’t be a good person if I did not warn you about these psychological triggers.

Whatever you do, could you not use them to ruin people’s lives?

Human beings are the most skeptical on the planet.

Therefore, to move them to action and do something that will benefit them will take some doing.

That is why researchers like Robert Cialdini have given us marketers the tool to make people better themselves in the most ethical way possible.

Don’t use it for evil.

What Are Triggers in Marketing?

In marketing, triggers are like little buttons that make people want to buy something.

They are things that happen or are shown to customers to spark their interest and encourage them to make a purchase.

Triggers can be special deals, ads, or even emotions that make people feel like they really need a product or service.

When marketers use triggers effectively, they can get more people to buy what they’re selling.

Triggers work by making customers feel a certain way, like excited or curious, and that feeling makes them want to buy.

For example, a limited-time discount on a product is a trigger that makes people feel like they need to buy it now before the deal goes away.

Marketers use triggers to create a sense of urgency or desire, which helps sell more products and make customers happy.

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Examples of Triggers in Marketing

Marketing is a dynamic field that uses many strategies to grab the attention of potential customers and drive sales.

One of the essential elements in marketing is the use of triggers – tactics, messages, or strategies designed to prompt a specific response or action from consumers.

Triggers are deployed to influence consumer behavior, create a sense of urgency, and stimulate interest in products or services.

In this discussion, we’ll explore various examples of triggers in marketing and how they are employed to generate the desired responses from consumers.

1. Limited-Time Offers

Limited-time offers are powerful triggers that create a sense of urgency and scarcity.

When customers see that a product or service is available at a discounted price for a limited duration, it motivates them to make a purchase promptly.

For example, “50% off for the next 24 hours” or “Flash sale ends today” triggers a fear of missing out (FOMO) and compels consumers to take advantage of the time-limited offer.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a versatile tool for deploying triggers.

Marketers often use personalized email campaigns to target specific customer behaviors or preferences.

For instance, sending a follow-up email to a customer who abandoned their shopping cart can trigger them to return and complete the purchase.

Similarly, recommending products based on a customer’s previous purchases can trigger interest in complementary items.

3. Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological trigger that relies on the power of testimonials, customer reviews, and ratings.

When consumers see positive feedback and experiences from others, it triggers trust and confidence.

E-commerce platforms often display customer reviews to provide social proof, influencing potential buyers by demonstrating that others have had a positive experience with the product or service.

4. Scarcity

Scarcity is a trigger that capitalizes on the fear of missing out.

When marketers communicate that a product is running out of stock or available in limited quantities, it triggers a sense of urgency and compels customers to act quickly.

Phrases like “Only two left” or “Limited stock available” play on this trigger.

5. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

FOMO marketing triggers the fear of missing valuable opportunities or experiences.

By creating the impression that a limited-time offer or event is a one-time opportunity, marketers stimulate customers to act promptly.

Phrases like “Join now before it’s too late” or “Last chance to save” make customers feel that they might miss out on something valuable.

6. Personalization

Personalization is a trigger that tailors marketing messages, product recommendations, and content to an individual’s preferences, behaviors, and past interactions.

When customers receive messages that are relevant to their interests and needs, it triggers their interest and engagement.

Personalized product recommendations, like those on Amazon or Netflix, use this trigger effectively.

7. Social Media Contests

Running contests and giveaways on social media platforms is a trigger for user engagement.

Customers are encouraged to participate, share content, and interact with a brand.

By offering a prize or incentive, brands trigger user involvement, which can lead to increased brand awareness and product interest.

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8. Abandoned Cart Reminders

Abandoned cart reminders are effective triggers used in e-commerce.

When customers place items in their online shopping cart but leave without making a purchase, an automated email is sent to remind them of the items awaiting them.

This trigger encourages customers to return and complete the purchase, capitalizing on their initial interest.

9. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing leverages individuals with a substantial following on social media or other platforms to promote products or services.

The influencer’s endorsement triggers interest and trust among their followers.

When an influencer recommends a product, their audience is more likely to explore and purchase it.

10. Seasonal Marketing

Seasonal marketing uses triggers related to specific holidays, seasons, or events.

Brands create marketing campaigns and promotions that align with these occasions.

For example, holiday-themed products, back-to-school sales, or special discounts for summer vacations trigger consumers to make purchases associated with those specific times of the year.

Triggers in marketing are diverse and versatile tools employed by brands to influence consumer behavior, stimulate interest, and drive sales.

These triggers are designed to tap into the psychological and emotional aspects of consumers, creating a sense of urgency, trust, relevance, and desire.

Effective use of triggers can significantly impact a company’s marketing success and revenue generation.

Marketers must carefully consider the most appropriate triggers for their target audience and products to maximize their impact and effectiveness in achieving marketing objectives.

There are differences between triggers and psychological triggers. However, some of them can fit into the other.

Now let’s discuss psychological triggers and examples of some of these psychological triggers.

What Are Psychology Triggers?

Psychology triggers in marketing are tactics that use human behavior and emotions to encourage people to buy products or take specific actions.

Here are ten of these triggers, explained in simple terms, along with examples:

1. Scarcity

Explanation: Scarcity is when something is limited or in short supply. It makes people want it more because they fear missing out.

Example: “Only 3 left in stock!” or “Limited-time offer – ends soon!”

2. Urgency

Explanation: Urgency creates a feeling of needing to act quickly. People don’t want to miss a time-sensitive opportunity.

Example: “Sale ends in 24 hours!” or “Last chance to buy this weekend!”

3. Social Proof

Explanation: People tend to trust products or services when they see that others have had good experiences with them.

Example: “Join 10,000 satisfied customers” or displaying 5-star customer reviews.

4. Reciprocity

Explanation: Reciprocity is when people feel like they should give back when they receive something. Free gifts or resources trigger this feeling.

Example: “Get a free e-book with your purchase” or “Sign up now and receive a free trial.”

5. Emotional Appeal

Explanation: Emotions play a big role in decision-making. Marketing messages that make people feel something, like happiness or nostalgia, can be very effective.

Example: Ads that show heartwarming family moments for a holiday campaign.

6. Authority

Explanation: Authority means people trust experts or respected figures. When an expert recommends a product, it can trigger trust.

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Example: “Recommended by top dermatologists” for a skincare product.

7. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Explanation: FOMO is the fear of missing a great opportunity. People don’t want to miss out on a deal, so they act quickly.

Example: “Limited stock available” or “Don’t miss this exclusive offer.”

8. Personalization

Explanation: Personalization means tailoring something to an individual’s preferences. It makes people feel special and more likely to engage.

Example: An email that starts with “Hi [Your Name]” or personalized product recommendations on an online store.

9. Storytelling

Explanation: Stories trigger emotions and make products more relatable. They can connect people to a product on a personal level.

Example: A video ad that tells a touching story of how a product helped someone in need.

10. Authority

Explanation: Similar to authority figures, symbols of credibility can trigger trust. These could be awards, certifications, or industry recognitions.

Example: “Winner of the 2022 Best Product Award” displayed on product packaging.

These psychological triggers are cleverly used by marketers to make their products or messages more appealing and persuasive.

By understanding how these psychological triggers work, you can connect with customers on a deeper level and influence your prospect’s decision-making.

Can Triggers be Good?

Yes, triggers can be both good and beneficial when used ethically and responsibly in marketing.

When applied effectively, triggers can create a sense of urgency, trust, and engagement, encouraging customers to make informed purchasing decisions or take desired actions.

They can simplify decision-making for consumers by providing relevant information and guiding them towards products or services that meet their needs.

For example, limited-time offers can help customers seize valuable discounts, while personalized recommendations can enhance their shopping experience.

The use of triggers can improve communication between businesses and consumers, making marketing messages more engaging and relatable.

However, you must use triggers transparently and without manipulation.

When used inappropriately or deceptively, triggers can have negative consequences, killing trust and causing customers to feel cheated.

It’s essential that you strike a balance between using triggers to enhance customer experiences and respecting ethical boundaries to ensure that triggers remain a positive tool in the marketing arsenal.

Triggers in Marketing; Final Thoughts

In conclusion, triggers in marketing are like gentle nudges that help businesses communicate with their customers and encourage them to make decisions.

When used responsibly and honestly, these triggers can make the shopping experience better and help customers find products or services they’ll truly enjoy.

Triggers like limited-time offers, customer reviews, and personalization can simplify choices and create a sense of excitement.

However, it’s important for businesses to be fair and truthful when using triggers.

Triggers should never be used to confuse or pressure customers into making decisions they might later regret.

Being respectful and clear in marketing messages is essential to building trust and maintaining positive relationships with customers.

In the end, marketing triggers are tools that, when wielded with integrity, can benefit both businesses and consumers.

They make the shopping journey more enjoyable and help customers find what they’re looking for, while also helping businesses succeed by connecting with their audience.

So, let’s remember that triggers when used wisely, can be a win-win for everyone involved in the world of marketing.

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