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Trigger Happy

Grow via event triggers
We are all accustomed to tracking product events for the sake of analytics, but we can also track user events which will trigger actions that can lead to traffic, conversions, and retention.

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The users of your site or app are constantly clicking, interacting, and just generally participating with your product. What if you started tracking certain actions that users take and then surprise them with incentives, games, swag, or anything else you can imagine, that would then lead to growth?

Step One

For this recipe you'll need to start with the end goal in mind, and then work backwards. If you don't decide what the goal is for your product then you won't know what events to track within your product, and you also won't know what those events should trigger. As a growth hacker, three typical goals might be to create traffic from your existing users, convert more of your existing users, or retain more of your existing users. Notice that all of the goals utilize your "existing users" because that is all you have to work with in this recipe. If they are not already on your product and clicking around then you can't track them, or motivate them to do anything through the accompanying action.

Step Two

Now that you know which of the three growth goals you have in mind (traffic, conversions, or retention), it's time to get creative. Ask yourself: what user event could trigger an action that would lead to my end goal. You know your own product better than anyone, but to help jump start your creativity, here are three different combinations of Events + Triggers + Goals that we could use on Growth Hacker TV if we decided to:

Traffic Idea: Community Interaction (Event) + Send Email (Trigger) + Click to Tweet (Goal)
Within our community we could track how many comments that a user's conversation has received. When someone gets five replies then it triggers an email to that user which says, "We noticed that your conversation is getting pretty popular in our community. You can click here to tweet about your accomplishment." The tweet would have a link back to our community and say something like, "Check out my conversation on @growthhackertv, it's getting a lot of attention."

Conversion Idea: Watching Episodes (Event) + Swag Popup (Trigger) + New Account (Goal)
We could track the episode viewing habits of our non-members, and when they watch their 10th video from the same IP address then we could give them a popup on screen that says, "We just noticed that you're watching your 10th GHTV episode. We've also noticed that you're not a member yet, so here's what we'll do. If you signup sometime today we'll send you a free GHTV t-shirt. Note: you can't buy this shirt anywhere. Today is the only day you can ever get it."

Retention Idea: Watching Episodes (Event) + Send Email (Trigger) + Watch More Episodes (Goal)
Instead of looking for high usage, we could also track low usage. If someone doesn't watch an episode within a certain time frame then we could email them episode recommendations based on what others have viewed the most. If we get them involved at the earliest signs of distance then we can possibly retain them.

Step Three

Once you've decided what your growth goals are then you can start tracking the events within your product that will serve as the beginning point for your system. We've become so used to just tracking user behavior for the sake of analytics that we can forget that tracking individual user behavior can be used for much more than insights. It can be used for growth. Photo courtesy of Ben Salter.