External Triggers cue users with a call to action. External triggers are embedded with info, which tells the user what to do next by placing information within the user’s environment.
From ‘Hooked:How to Build Habit-Forming Products’ by Author Nir Eyal
In his book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, Nir Eyal introduces the concept of triggers as they relate to building user habits.
Be careful: more choice requires the user to evaluate multiple options, on the other hand too many choice or irrelevant options can cause hesitation, confusion or worse abandonment.
External triggers can also convey implicit info about the next desired user action e.i. website links are for clicking , those are visual triggers.
- Paid triggers: advertising, search engine marketing, other paid channels that are used to get users’ attention and prompt them to act. Paid triggers can be effective but costly. Habit forming companies do not rely on them. Companies generally use paid triggers to acquire new users and then leverage other triggers to bring them back. Those DRIVE NEW USER ACQUISITION
- Earned Triggers: those are free and cannot be bought directly, they require time and effort spent on Media and PR. For a company and a product to be always at the spot light is hard. Those DRIVE NEW USER ACQUISITION
- Relationship triggers: one person telling others about a product or service can be a highly effective external trigger for action. Those DRIVE NEW USER ACQUISITION
- Owned triggers: they consistently show up in daily life and it is ultimately up to the user to opt in to allowing these triggers to appear – they are only set after users sign up for an account, submit their e-mails address, install an app, opt in to newsletters and so on. Those PROMPT REPEAT ENGAGEMENT UNTIL A HABIT IS FORMED.
However external triggers are only the first step. The ultimate goal of all external triggers is to propel users into and through the Hooked Model, so that after successive cycles, they do not need further prompting from external triggers.
When users form habits, they are cued by a different kind of trigger: internal triggers. New habits are sparked by external triggers, but associations with internal triggers are what keeps users hooked.