“Often our ability to act – and thereby our acting – can be ignited rather easily”

When we have high motivation but lack ability, a ‘Facilitating Trigger’ can make us act. A facilitator not only triggers us but also makes the intended behaviour easier to do.

An effective facilitator explains how easy the desired behaviour is to do (boosting self-efficacy), and will directly lead to the desired result (response efficacy).


Two clarifying examples:

As a demonstration of Facilitating Triggers, B.J Fogg uses the example of software updates. These use facilitators more and more often to gain compliance by implying that “one-click can get the job done”.

LinkedIn - Facilitating Trigger

Facilitating Trigger

Another good place to find facilitating triggers are social networking sites. They offer users all sorts of facilitators in order to engage more, such as “People you may know” or uploading a complete address book in order to quickly and automatically connect with many friends.


Online Persuasion tips:

Assuming that “motivation is high”, but ability needs some leverage:

  • Identify which ability elements your customer is lacking in order for them to take action.
  • Analyze what information or functionality will make these elements way easier.
  • Then, analyze the best moments to intervene with this information or functionality, and choose the most appropriate medium and/or device accordingly.
  • Lastly, embody a self-efficacy and response efficacy boosting ‘Facilitating Trigger’ (a button, link, text, sound, video, graphics, etc.) in a way that fits the chosen channel and moment.


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Further reading about facilitating triggers: