Meet SFMC Behavioral Triggers


Behavioral Triggers start from Behavioral Marketing or Behavioral Targeting – the way you reach out your customers using their past actions and behavior. As examples could serve running a specific targeted ad campaign for a precise audience segment, real-time product/service/article recommendations on your web showed to a visitor, retargeting ads, and others.

Once a customer completes an action – submits a form, clicks on an email link, abandons cart, or makes a purchase – it could be sent through a specific funnel, or a marketing journey. All who have experience with SF Marketing Cloud already know how to setup a Journey and guide a customer through a personalized flow. From the Marketing Cloud July 2020 Release there is currently available another supportive tool, called Behavioral Triggers.


This new feature works together with Predictive and Personalized Recommendations (Einstein Recommendations). The users of Personalization Builder (Author’s note: The Builder itself is retired and migrated to Einstein features) are familiar with them.

  1. Firstly, you configure Collect Tracking Code and install it on your website. It is a JavaScript snippet to capture your known customers and anonymous visitors’ behavior and events at the user level on your web pages.
  2. Secondly, you configure your catalog source – a Product Catalog. Items in your catalog should be uploaded or streamed to determine which product recommendations to show in the emails or web.

Once all prerequisites are met you can start creating your Behavioral Triggers. Each trigger will be used to write engagement data about customers’ actions to a specific target Data Extension. Actions that could be tracked are simple browser session, cart abandonment, customer’s lapse, subscription to a newsletter, sign up, content view/download, click-throughs, etc. When creating Behavioral Trigger, you can set the suppression period and suppression rule time frame. All created Triggers are available in Behavioral Triggers dashboard. You can edit, pause, and resume the triggers.


With Behavioral Triggers you can use behavioral data written into Data Extensions in journeys and emails:

  • In Journey Builder Behavioral Trigger Data Extensions could be used as a Data Extension entry source.
  • In Content Builder emails subscriber’s abandoned items can be dynamically added by using Behavioral Triggers content block (see email content block configuration below).

To raise your open, click-through and conversion rate you need to consider one of 3 popular retargeting strategies: email retargeting. Behavioral Trigger configured for a cart abandonment process will be a perfect match. Abandoned products could be included into email content and cart abandoned audience will be used as an Entry Source for the Journey. This highly personalized behavioral campaign will help you to recover the purchases and increase sales.

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Ekaterina Obolenskaya

6x Salesforce certified Marketing Cloud Solution Architect and Developer, named Salesforce Marketing Champion 2020. Ekaterina is recognised as a tech-savvy leader and a real-time optimization expert (Evergage, Thunderhead).

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