Online triggers: a POWerful way to align digital and print marketing efforts

April 10th, 2018 | by Steve Falk, President of Prime Data |

When it comes to marketing I’ve spoken before about why aligning digital and print is crucial to creating successful campaigns.

The same data that powers your online activities, supercharges the effectiveness of print while closing the circle on the customer journey.

Thanks to my co-presenter, Varun Sharma

Recently at DX3 in Toronto when I co-presented the session A Real-Time Triggered Customer Journey, with Varun Sharma.

Now, it’s not often that a speaker at an event is happy to see his or her audience playing with their cell phones and mobile devices during a presentation.

But that’s exactly what happened here.

The purpose of this early-morning session was to show marketing professionals in the fundraising community how to use automated triggers to boost the effectiveness of their fundraising campaigns.

Online triggers for real-time marketing events

Of course the best way to convince someone is to demonstrate. And that’s exactly what we did. At the beginning of the session we encouraged people to pull out their devices and go to a demo fundraising page simulating the customer journey in a fundraising situation. In this case we chose to use Special Olympics.

The scenario is simple enough. When a participant “pretended” to make a gift they would receive a series of communications from the campaign.

Online triggers can be used by #fundraisers to create both #digital and #print responses that re-engage #donors more effectively than digital alone. Click To Tweet

Because we were doing this in real time, the communication period was condensed, from hours and days, to the length of the session — about 20 minutes.

During the discussion, Varun described a particular customer journey and went through:

  • How electronic triggers were set up
  • When they are useful
  • How to use them effectively in a real campaign situation

As the session progressed, messages were pushed out to participants’ mobile devices to demonstrate specific use cases, including:

  • Bringing back donors
  • Re-engaging a customer
  • Thanking a customer

Within a few minutes participants received a thank you SMS, then a thank you email a few minutes later.

Online data for offline marketing

Prime Data’s Ted Haberer played the role of mail carrier

For our part, in order to demonstrate ResponsivePrintTM, our own Ted Haberer played the role of the mailman, hand-delivering postcards to the audience. In a real situation, those postcards would have been highly individualized in a way that appealed to the donor, based on giving patterns and other information from the fundraising database.

At the same time, Varun demonstrated, using a software program, how to configure the triggers to include delays and actions across different platforms. Attendees were certainly impressed.

Making the pitch for a real donation

The final stage of the demonstration — hours later after the participants had left for the day — was one final email with a real link to the Special Olympics website suggesting a donation to this very worthy cause.  Full disclosure: we might be biased towards this charity as we had two Special Olympic athletes join us for a lunch and learn a few weeks

Special Olympics athletes Mary and Isaac are pictured with Ted Haberer at Prime Data last month. Their enthusiasm for Special Olympics has made us big fans of this organization.

back. They were awesome representatives of their sports and had travelled and competed all over the world.

Most of us spend our days interacting with devices. Real-time marketing triggers are simply a recognition of this fact. And adding the extra channel of a highly customized print to a campaign is just a further extension of your marketing potential.

If you want to talk more about how to implement triggers into your fundraising campaigns, give me a call and let’s talk about your return on investment.

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