Event-Driven Marketing

Blame it on spam. Blame it on the erosion of list quality. Blame it on whatever you want. But there’s little question that it is getting harder to stand out in the storm of email, even when your users have opted-in.

In an attempt to minimize the online static and help their clients deliver offers that are not only legitimate but also perceived as valid, several marketing firms have begun offering tools that send offers in response to specific user actions. This practice sometimes referred to as event-driven marketing, or “EDM”. Event-driven marketing is aimed at reaching consumers at the moment of their interest, while also reminding them that they do have a pre-existing relationship with a company or list.

Do you want it? You got it.

Probably the most popular method of event marketing is to send an appropriate offer right after a consumer opts-in. There has been a marked increase in registration-triggered offers during the past four to six months, a growth attributed to the quest for quality leads in a medium ruled by spam.

Reputable banks, for example, don’t want to gather data on all people possibly interested in refinancing. Instead, we find offers sent quickly in response to registration can get an open rate up to 10 times greater than a standard in-the-cycle weekly email.

List management firms have similar success with registration-triggered marketing through “Instant Offers” services which match people who opt-in to receive third-party offers, with companies making those offers.

People should get information right after they express an interest in it. Therefore, they will remember signing up for a mailing list, they’ll be more receptive, and they’ll know it’s not spam. This tactic results in response rates of five times what you’d typically find.

Be mindful of companies that may sell this option to numerous clients within a single product category. Sending a barrage of messages to a user’s first inquiry defeats the purpose of event-driven marketing — to stand out from the pack.

Make sure not to pummel new list members with five automotive offers he said. There should be one exclusive advertiser for each category.

Marketing as Customer Service


Marketing technology firms use email engines intended for e-commerce clients. Event mailers send customized emails that are triggered by a particular customer or prospect initiated event, usually a completed order or the abandonment of a transaction. Neglect triggers an email; a sale triggers a follow-up offer.

Order confirmations are one touch point that marketers seem to miss.

Cross-selling is, by definition, driven by an event: the initiation of a sale. All too often, however, the follow-up offer is a stab in the dark — having more to do with unloading extra inventory than with a customer’s preferences, online behavior or purchase history.

Amazon.com, with its reasonable offers based on user clickstreams and purchase histories, is a notable exception to this. While the biggest online retailer has never explicitly referred to its services as event-triggered marketing, the company may be the progenitor of the approach — at least about cross-selling.

Amazon seems to have gotten it right. By using order confirmation to cross-sell in a personalized fashion, they’ve put themselves ahead of the curve regarding maximizing touchpoints.

While it’s important to follow up when a customer makes a purchase, it’s equally critical to step in when a customer doesn’t complete a transaction. Companies specializing in this area offer a range of event-triggered marketing tools for “customer re-engagement.” These types of agencies determine for its clients “where people drop, why, and how to re-engage them.”

If you drop out, they’ll try to capture your email address. Based on where you drop, they send out personal messaging.

When it’s not email, that personal messaging often takes the form of pop-up surveys that are uniquely generated according to a web visitor’s point of departure from a transaction. A prospective customer who drops from a product page is presented with a different questionnaire than someone who falls just before entering their social security number.

A big problem online is that there’s no one to help you, unlike the experience of calling a company.

When it comes to abandonment, the financial services industry seems to have the most to gain from reengagement marketing, by combining features of marketing with sales and customer service.

Studies show that some 70 to 95 percent of site visitors abandon online financial applications.

If you can determine where customers are dropping out of the transaction process, salespeople can contact and reactivate individuals identified to have a high likelihood of conversion. The result?

An online sales increase of between 20 and 30 percent.

Make it Snappy

Event-driven marketing does not employ miraculous technology. Instead, it uses existing technology to leap more quickly into each customer opportunity. It’s a step away from the batching approach traditionally imposed on marketing, and towards the more flexible, individualized campaigns the Internet has always promised.

Everyone’s getting the search engine mentality. Internet users are giving us keywords and categories of interest. Why not instantaneously deliver messages based on that information?

D'Vaughn Bell
D'Vaughn Marqui Bell is a millennial entrepreneur, author and businessman. As CEO of Marqui Management he is responsible for day to day operations, management and insight. He continues his leadership development and training for the millennial generation at his website: D'Vaughn Bell

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