Imagine the most amazing photo opportunity you can. Maybe it’s a photo from your first ever family reunion. Maybe it’s an opportunity to photo bomb Beyonce. Maybe it’s a cat on a squirrel on a pair of water skis. It doesn’t matter. Just imagine the photo opportunity that excites you most. Now imagine that you’ve taken that photo and it is on that phone in your pocket or purse.
What if I told you that you can’t take out that phone and share it on whatever photo-sharing platform you prefer (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Those websites are just not allowed. Now imagine that phone… right in your pocket or purse, with this amazing photo that I won’t let you share… just sitting there. You’ve captured the perfect photo, your friends and family would love it and you can’t take out that phone and share it on those websites. It would just take a few clicks, but it’s stuck right there on that phone. Those websites are forbidden to you. How does that make you feel?
Pretty painful, right? That is the power of an internal trigger. When you take a great photo, you instinctively want to use your preferred photo sharing platform. No prompts. No reminders. Neither Facebook, Instagram or Twitter e-mails you a reminder to share your best photos. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t ring you up each time you take a picture. When you do an action, your internal trigger directs you to use their product.
We’re all pretty familiar with the importance of external triggers like e-mail, social media and text messaging, and there are a lot of great blog posts on those if you want to read them. However, the most frequently visited websites, the most addictive platforms, the ones you visit over and over again, create an internal trigger for their users.
Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of billions of dollars and brilliant IP, and very few websites can create such powerful internal triggers. But, it doesn’t mean that when we think about our users, we shouldn’t apply these lessons and consider what internal triggers might prompt them to visit our site and engage with our organization.
For example, if you offer a smoking cessation plan, like our client American Legacy, how do you get your users to visit your website for support every time they feel an urge to smoke? When you catalog air quality data for thousands of American cities, like our client American Lung Association, how do you get users to search that data every time they travel to a new destination?
You should ask yourself — what does our website or organization have to offer that every time a user does [that thing] or needs [that stuff], they’ll instinctively engage with us? It’s not an easy question to answer, but one worth exploring. Because, if you find that you have the opportunity to forge those internal triggers in your users, you should do everything you can to optimize your digital offerings to foster them. Your web traffic will thank you for it.