Behavior-based triggers in banking, insurance and retail

Charlotte Malz
Head of Marketing, BSI

The numbers are conclusive: The cart abandonment rate in the financial and insurance industries is around 84%. This number is notably above the stated average of about 78% (Statista, 2020). This means it’s time to find solutions to minimize the cart abandonment rate in banking, insurance and retail, which is where trigger marketing comes in.

Key points

  • Triggers are designed to bring about certain behaviors in customers. It is important to note that not all triggers are an equally good fit for every industry.
  • A particularly prominent example is the abandoned or “forgotten” shopping cart; this is a place where companies can start and win back customers.
  • Beware of too many triggers – if there are too many, they will lose their effect.

Finance marketing: Popular triggers in banking

The financial industry is particularly trust-based – customers are more cautious in this industry than in others. That is why personalized triggers that strengthen the relationship between banks and customers have proven effective. Text messages and push notifications informing customers of changes in their account balance and notifying them of transfers and direct debits are standard today.

However, there are more personalized ways to do this: Real-time trigger marketing is the keyword in this respect. An existing customer visiting the mortgage section of your bank’s website for the first time presents an excellent opportunity for you to send them a personalized offer. And taking this action immediately after the customer’s visit increases the relevance of your message exponentially.

It is essential for insurers, banks and retailers to know their customers well. 77.5% of purchases do not make it past the shopping cart stage and are abandoned. And there are percentage differences between the devices used: On smartphones, purchases are abandoned 81% of the time, while the rate for desktop devices is about 71% (Kibo, 2021).

E-mails in insurance marketing

In the insurance industry, customers are especially hesitant when it comes to buying a new insurance package, and this hesitance applies to online as well as to traditional sales. Insurance products are generally reviewed and enhanced regularly, making them a great opportunity to use personalized e-mails to bring to mind the abandoned cart and make arrangements for a consultation appointment. If you remind your customers and surprise them with suitable offers at appropriate intervals, your trigger marketing will be a success.

Local marketing in retail

The more personalized and closer to the customer your activities are, the more successful they will be. The so-called iBeacon technology recognizes users and sends them an individualized push notification when they happen to be near your store or branch. This push notification could also contain references to vouchers, new products or discount promotions. In essence, customers receive a personalized message that influences them and draws them to your store.

Three successful trigger activities to use in banking, insurance and retail

More than almost any other marketing tool, triggers are perfect for reducing high cart abandonment rates. The following triggers work across industries and make your customers’ purchasing decisions much more certain:

Reminder e-mails

Reminders by e-mail are particularly useful when it comes to abandoned carts. Additionally, reminder messages for review-intense products, such as insurance products or investment accounts, are worthwhile. App-based push notifications are also used for this purpose in retail.

Location-based triggers

App-based, personalized push notifications draw customers to your store or branch when they are nearby. Can banks use this technology, too, to invite customers to a personal conversation at their branch? Theoretically, yes. In practice, however, financial topics are considered too sensitive.


We recommend using reactivation messages to motivate existing customers to buy again. You could even support this effort with limited-time discounts. After all, as we know, it is much easier and cheaper to reactivate existing customers than to gain new ones.

Conclusion: Insurance, banking and retail benefit from smart trigger marketing

There is a strong trust-based relationship between companies and customers in these three industries. Throughout the customer journey, everything should run as smoothly as possible – and it is precisely there that triggers are suitable catalysts. Your customer receives a personalized, needs-based message right after their action or at a defined time. If it is attractively designed and well worded, your customer will perceive this message as a welcome service that encourages action.

Not all triggers fit every industry – or every product. At BSI, we provide comprehensive consulting on the best triggers specifically for your company to ensure that your customers feel seen, heard and understood. We are always happy to hear from you.

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