How to Automate Your Email Marketing with Link Triggers

A link trigger is a simple but super powerful tool that will help you to automate and personalize your email marketing for your small business.

What of my favorite email automation triggers is what ConvertKit (and some other email service providers, aka ESP’s) calls a link trigger.

An email link trigger is when a subscriber receives an email through your ESP and clicks on a link, which then triggers some other action. It could be as basic as adding a tag to that subscriber, to something more complex such as activating another automation or email sequence.

It may be one of the simpler tools your ESP offers, but don’t underestimate the power of link triggers for personalizing and automating your mail marketing.

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When would you use a link trigger?

This is where things start to get interesting. One of my favorite ways to use link triggers is to enable subscribers to self-identify so that you can only send them information that they would find helpful. (And to also stop sending emails that are not relevant to a subset of subscribers and thus avoiding being an annoying pain in the you-to-what.)

For example, in my other business where I teach jewelry-making, I have an automated email in my welcome sequence that asks people what level they’re at: brand new at jewelry-making, been been doing this awhile, and have their own business. Each link takes them to a separate page on my website where I share some helpful links specific to the level they’re at.

But the really cool part is it also tags them as what level they’re at.

That way I know to send beginners information about my beginner-level course, people in the middle about some other products that I offer, and to avoid trying to pitching business owners on a course that would likely be way to easy for them.

For Your Personal Tech Fairy, I might use the tagging feature of link triggers it to ask people what email service provider they currently use or whether or not they have a welcome sequence set up yet for their business.

Other ways you might use link triggers include:

  • Allowing subscribers to opt out of emails for a launch you’re promoting (by adding or removing a tag)
  • Automatically enrolling subscribers in a new freebie or webinar you’re offering (instead of making them fill out yet another form — seriously, you can make things so much easier for them by doing a link trigger)
  • Expressing interest in a product or service and enrolling them in a sequence immediately or down the line
  • Sending a follow-up email after someone clicks a link for a product or service but doesn’t fully purchase it, kind of like a cart recovery email (the same can be done if someone clicks on your link to book a call but doesn’t actually book the call)

What’s the benefit of using link triggers?

Link triggers allow you to tell your email service provider to do something specific based on an action a subscribers takes automatically so that you don’t have to manually identify subscribers. It allows you to send more personalized information to people on your list and avoid sending information to subscribers that they don’t want to receive.

The alternative would be do look at each subscriber individually after they click on an email and tagging them or removing a tag or enrolling them in an email sequence.

(I’ve been there. It’s tedious and annoying and probably not the best use of your time.)

How do you set up a link trigger in ConvertKit?

If you’re a ConvertKit user, here’s how to trigger an automation with an email click. (And if you’re not a ConvertKit user, scroll down to find links to help articles for some other ESP’s.)

Click on Automations –> Rules.

Screenshot of top of ConvertKit account

Click on the button that says Add Rule

ConvertKit screenshot showing Automation Rules

Under trigger, choose the option Clicks a Link. Name the link trigger something that will help you identify it later. For example, with my other business, I identify it as New Jewelry Makers.

Screenshot of ConvertKit showing how to set up a link trigger automation rule

Choose the link for the link trigger. Depending on the trigger, it could lead to a landing page or a simple thank you page.

On the other side, choose the action that will happen when someone clicks on that link, such as adding or removing a tag, enrolling them in a sequence, or removing them from a sequence. (It can be more than one, btw.) Hit save when you’re done.

Screenshot of ConvertKit choosing a tag for a link trigger

Your link trigger is ready! Now time to put it to action.

When you want to use that link trigger in an email, whether it’s in an email sequence or a newsletter broadcast, click on the link option in the body of the email and click on Link Triggers. A dropdown menu will appear with all of your link triggers. Choose the one you want to match that text in the body of the email.

Screenshot of ConvertKit with using a link triggers

Techie trick: in ConvertKit, you can use the same link for multiple link triggers. So say for example if I want a simple thank you page after a subscribers identifies as a new jewelry maker or a business owner says something like “Thanks for your response!” you would set up different link triggers for each using that same link, but just create a different name for each link trigger.

How do you set up a link trigger in a different email service provider?

Not a ConvertKit user? (Well, why aren’t you yet? Here’s a link to try it out for free.) Here are links to the help docs for some other popular ESPs.

I’d love to know — how do you think you’ll use link triggers in your email marketing? Or if you think this is such a cool feature but feel overwhelmed by setting it up Your Personal Tech Fairy is here to help — schedule a fitting call me with here.

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