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What are triggers in marketing and how can they be used to increase sales?

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To effectively enhance sales, one must delve into the intricate dance of psychology within the realm of marketing. By harnessing the psychological underpinnings of consumer behavior, businesses can carve a path to success. Take, for instance, the global tech giant Apple: annually, swaths of enthusiasts gather at their stores, gripped by anticipation for the latest iPhone. More often than not, our choices aren't driven by sheer logic but by a potent mix of emotions and deeply rooted instincts. Whether deciding on our next meal or the clothes we don, ancient behavioral patterns come into play. A savvy marketer who adeptly navigates and channels these inherent human tendencies is well on their way to influencing buying choices. Enter the world of sales triggers: these are strategic tools rooted in human psychology, crafted to captivate and convert potential customers.
example of a facebook text

What are triggers in marketing?


Triggers (which literally translates from English as "trigger") in marketing are psychological techniques aimed at prompting a consumer to make a purchase or take another target action. Boosting sales with triggers is closely related to human psychology. It has been proven time and again that trigger marketing increases conversion, creates queues in stores, and sometimes causes a frenzy. This concept is found in other fields as well, but the overall meaning remains the same: a trigger is the primary cause and motivator of an event or action. In our context, it pertains to sales.

Why are triggers used in marketing?

Triggers in marketing evoke a desire in the customer to purchase a product or service. People inherently like to buy; they delight in new products, and triggers awaken a natural desire to purchase something. Driven by emotion, the customer finds persuasive arguments to justify their purchase.
example of a facebook text

How triggers work

Sales triggers elicit a desire or feeling in a person: whether it's fear, greed, trust, security, urgency, curiosity — they act on instincts. The ensuing sensations motivate the person to take the target action. However, selling triggers are ineffective if used too frequently, aggressively, and intrusively. Otherwise, the potential consumer may get the impression that they are being deceived. Therefore, it's essential to strike a balance and not overdo it. For instance, the slogan "Earn from home" can sound suspicious: it appears in many fraudulent schemes.

Types of triggers in marketing

 Let's consider the most popular examples of triggers that will prompt customers to make a purchase.

The Principle of Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is a social norm whereby you feel obligated to return a favor to someone who has done something for you. In the world of sales and marketing, reciprocity is a powerful technique for boosting sales. Marketers use this sales technique both directly and indirectly. This can be achieved by offering a discount coupon, a free product, or by including engaging free content in a newsletter. In this way, people feel obligated to make a purchase from you or to recommend you to acquaintances on social media. This trigger is often used slightly differently for such target actions as e-mail newsletters. For example, marketers offer checklists, educational materials, prototypes, and other files, but in exchange for an email address. As a result, the company's offers "drop" into the email: promotions, coupons, special offers, digests, and other content.
It can also look like a free tasting, which is quite common in supermarkets. The purpose of such events is not only to introduce visitors to a new product but also to make a purchase. Most people feel awkward when they've tried a product and haven't paid for it. This motivates them to spend money.

How else can this sales trigger work? Marketers have a plethora of opportunities here:

  • A free trial subscription, granting the user access to premium content. After its expiration, due to the reluctance to lose the received gift, the consumer makes a purchase;
  • A free consultation. Relevant in industries like consulting, law, medicine, financial services;
  • Test-drive or a free demo version. Such triggers motivate the client to return to the company's services and products.

Curiosity

As explained by the information deficit theory, curiosity is an innate human quality that is activated when people sense a gap between what they know and what they want to learn. This also applies to marketing. Curiosity is one of the reasons why your potential client takes actions such as purchasing your product, subscribing to a newsletter, or sharing your article. Leveraging curiosity prompts your potential buyers to act: open an email, respond, learn more about what you offer. Learn to harness curiosity when crafting offers, placing ads, on the landing page, or during cold calls – it's a fantastic way to boost sales. Marketers utilize curiosity in content creation. Therefore, content creators divide the article into several parts, accompanied by phrases like "In the next part, I'll reveal another 5 secrets of effective marketing" or "Read the publication to the end; we've prepared a surprise/gift/useful link for the most attentive readers."

Answer the question "Why?"

The human mind is programmed to find answers. Providing explanations in response to customers' needs and their concerns is a great way to influence their purchasing decision. Advertisements, landing pages, and cold calls should aim to provide your potential clients with the benefits derived from purchasing your products.
example of a facebook text

A sense of urgency or fear

Have you ever bought a product out of fear of missing out on a presumed significant discount? Creating a sense of urgency or fear of missing out is a powerful psychological stimulus used to prompt people to act. You can also employ this psychological trigger in your marketing campaigns to respond more promptly to consumer inquiries. This can be done by crafting an enticing offer that is simultaneously limited. For instance, "Activate call tracking by the end of the week and get a 50% discount." There are several scenarios where seasoned marketers and companies leverage client fears to boost sales. These can include offering coupons, instant sales, or holiday promotions. Often, marketers boost sales using the fear-of-missing-out trigger. "Only 7 batches of phones left, grab yours now," "Only taking 4 people, all spots filled, register through this link," "17 other people are also interested in this offer, only 2 such items left" – such phrases involuntarily compel clicks and prompt immediate purchases. It's no secret that such a frenzy is artificially created, hence overuse leads to rejection of the product/service.
example of a facebook text

Value the customer

Consumers love to be valued. We all enjoy feeling significant, both in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. This psychological trigger is used not only in personal relationships but also in the realm of sales and marketing. There are several ways to employ this trigger to boost sales and influence a consumer's purchasing decision. One such approach is attentive customer service. People appreciate being valued and having their needs met. If a customer feels that they are valued and respected, it motivates them to return to the company or establishment time and again. Another way for your potential clients to feel significant is by rewarding them with bonuses, coupons, and other complimentary services.

Use social proof

Social proof is a powerful stimulant. It remains one of the most effective psychological triggers that marketers can use. People respond to the actions of others. Our minds are wired to favor people, products, and ideas that are endorsed by the majority. An easy way for sellers to apply social proof is through customer reviews. This helps establish trust in your product. If you've been featured in the media, share it on your website or social platforms. Or focus on bestsellers by adding a relevant tag. Social proof is also reinforced by expertise: diplomas, certificates, nominations. It's worth refining customer reviews, shaping them into storytelling – a tale of how your company assisted one client in solving a particular problem. Over 70% of buyers prefer to call a company – all these calls are tracked by call tracking. The system identifies which advertisement leads to calls, records customer calls, and compiles them into hourly and daily reports. It also integrates with popular services and CRMs. By listening to the calls, you can improve sales scripts for managers and adjust advertising campaigns.
example of a facebook text

Be honest

Honesty is a psychological trigger that can be leveraged to increase sales. Being truthful with your potential clients about the pros and cons of a product is essential for retaining customers and attracting referrals. People generally dislike deceit and will go to lengths to express their repulsion, especially when a product is offered online. If a company portrays itself as an industry leader, that claim should be backed by facts. It's crucial here to focus on what resonates with your target audience.

Result

When someone sees a positive outcome from the use of a product or service in an advertisement, it becomes an added reason for purchase. For instance, a "before" and "after" photograph of a client following a weight loss program. When the result is presented in the form of a photograph or video, the difference between the starting point and the endpoint should be evident.

Addressing

Address the customer by name — a personal touch often elicits a more positive response than generic words. To personalize the advertisement, gather information about the target audience: age, profession, hobbies.

Specifics

Advertisements often use general phrases that leave customers indifferent. Specific facts will grab attention faster than generic words. Knowledge of the benefits and features of a product will instill trust in the seller and convince the customer of their expertise.

Authority

People often trust opinion leaders and believe that an authority figure can't be wrong. If a celebrity buys a product, it's likely quality and useful. This principle works well when a buyer is still unsure whether they need the product and whether it will be beneficial to them.

Intrigue

Intrigue in advertising is as important as in books, movies, and series. For example, a speaker announced that those who stay until the end will receive a surprise: the reader or viewer will eagerly await that moment.

Contradiction Trigger

 People might do the opposite of what you ask for in an advertisement. If an ad says "do not buy this product," there will be those who buy it out of a sense of contradiction. Or if an author asks the reader not to read an article that might change their worldview — curiosity and the contradiction trigger work here.

Sales Trigger Words

You can influence a customer's emotions through trigger words. They are applied in specific situations and used in advertising to draw the buyer's attention to a product or service. Sales trigger words include: discount, promotion, savings, guarantee, special delivery, exclusively, and so on.

How to Properly Use Triggers

For triggers to work effectively: Use them subtly and tailored to the specific situation. Don't use all triggers at once. If you've made promises to customers, they need to be fulfilled. Use them in advertising and media materials targeted at the specific audience.
When used correctly, trigger advertising effectively impacts people's psychology. To boost sales, study the psychology of your target audience and apply specific triggers. Implement them appropriately and don't mislead customers — it will repel the audience.

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