In 2017, Customer Engagement Has To Be A Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

In this time and age, both B2B and B2C businesses can’t succeed if they don’t know what their customers are thinking; which is why now it has become all the more necessary for marketers to collate and analyze customer data and develop strategies based on that.

A study by MarTech reports that 82% of marketers that were surveyed plan to increase their use of primary consumer data just so they can understand what makes their target audience click! As the business competition is rapidly increasing and more and more brands are trying to capture their audience’s attention, the consumers have become rather picky.

This kind of behaviour and nonchalance towards brands makes not just fostering customer loyalty a challenge for marketers but also keeping them engaged – which is so basic! So what should businesses do in such a situation? It is simple – they should they tailor their communication approach as per their target market and customers.

They should customize their approach as per individual consumer’s needs and preferences. The whole process may even seem tedious but businesses are warming up to the fact that they thrive only if their customers are happy. And the only way to ensure that is to keep them engaged continuously.

Without further ado, here are four solid tactics to include in your marketing strategy if you want your customer engagement to be on point:

Email personalization – because it’s not outdated

…and neither are emails, so please take this into account! Do you know that the number of emails received and sent on a daily basis comes to be around 205 million? Or that this number is expected to reach 46 billion by the end of 2019? This means that no matter what you may think, “emails” are here to stay!

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In 2015 and 2016, brands experimented with interactive written content and bought significant design changes to email templates that helped them in molding their unique voice. Here’s LOFT for instance – sleek, stylish yet informative and engaging:

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The last two years focused on personalization – but only on a segmented level. In 2017, the focus of marketers has now shifted to increase the personalized content on an individual level to gain better returns on marketing investments – which is also known as 1:1 personalization. Below are smart ways to do that:

Responsive templates

As per Hubspot, 80% of users read emails on their mobile devices. Even though the desktop usage still accounts for 42% of the total internet time, it doesn’t mean users ignore mobile phones. Therefore, it is important to not only create cutting-edge email designs but also make sure they are optimized for all electronic devices. This way the consumers will stay engaged wherever they are, and on whichever device they use.

“90% information, 10% promotion”

If you write salesy content, you are out of the game. This technique may work for the segmented audience to an extent, but it will miserably fail if you are addressing individuals. Thankfully, there are tools like Wigzo, that let the marketers auto-populate the email content on the basis of the subscriber’s historical interaction data. This means your emails can never fail to engage them – no matter what!

Email workflows are effective

Do you know you can actually set up an email for every action that the reader takes? That is called email automation and it is extremely effective in lead nurturing and conversion activities. For instance, if a visitor goes till the checkout process on your eCommerce website but doesn’t make the payment, you can then send him multiple emails just to remind him with a link to the checkout process.

Email workflows are also effective when you have to introduce the newly converted customer to your brand, etc.

Push notifications

This marketing tactic has gained popularity in both B2B and B2C spectra in the last 2 years! From eCommerce stores to news websites – every business seemed to have taken note of the push strategy. Just take a look at how user retention on mobile apps has increased because of applying the push strategy:

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There’s also no doubt that it is effective on web with more and more news and content-based websites using the push strategy to keep their reads updated. So in the last two years, push has accelerated the conversion process for businesses; it also:

  • Fastens the customer support system and gives the brand to act on the customer feedback quickly.
  • Raises the brand recall value if the push strategy is personalized.
  • Makes the prospective customers take an action, which they otherwise won’t, and this leads to increased customer engagement.

If you are keen to apply the push strategy, but don’t know how to get started, just take notes from these activities:

Validate your customers

If a prospect has opened an account on your website or shared contact details on your mobile app, incentivise this activity by sending a push notification. Notify him or her of the valid coupon codes or an upcoming sale. Let the person know (s)he did the right thing by joining your brand bandwagon!

Nudge them to get up and take an action

Your customers may do business with you once a while, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do business with any other brand. As mentioned before, there is zero customer loyalty. So to instill that, it is important for you to continuously let them know of the latest product arrivals or ongoing discounts, and you can do so with push notifications.

Send out price alerts in real-time

Who doesn’t want to stay updated, know of the latest deals, valid recent coupon codes, etc.? Everyone does! With mobile push notifications specifically, you can not just ensure your customers are aware of the dip in prices but also speed up their buying process!

Reduce the cart abandonment rate of your online store

Cart abandonments are a major headache in the eCommerce sector! Consumers have a tendency of getting distracted and removing themselves from the website – without even finishing the checkout process. Sometimes, they do so because they are not sure of the product. Get them back on your web/mobile site with push messages! Update them of a price dip on that product or give them “free delivery”, etc.

Encourage wishlisting, because well…

Wishlists offer a great way to understand what your consumers are most interested in! This works best for eCommerce websites where there are too many product ranges to offer. Here, push notifications can be used to encourage the consumers to make their own wishlist i.e. save the products they like.

With this data, you can run an individual campaign or special discounts to nudge those lazy shoppers to benefit from the hot-of-the-press deal and quickly make a purchase!

Keep them posted about the latest happenings

Because as a business, it is your responsibility to do and if you don’t, the purpose is lost. This rule applies to mostly content-based websites such as Medium, Times of India, Tripoto, BBC, etc. which thrive on maximum customer engagement. So whenever a news item is updated, let them know and how!

  1. Instigate a purchase by creating a sense of urgency

Why not? Your discounts are not going to run forever! Your consumers need to know that they are missing out on a solid opportunity. You can even experiment with the number of messages you send for a specific campaign. Just make sure you don’t start spamming their mobile feeds or act as an irritant on their desktops!

  1. Generate location-based sales

This is how it works: If a prospective customer checks out products of a brand online or on the mobile app, then he or she will get prompted to visit the outlet of that brand through a push message. The reason it works is because today most brands don’t just have a website but also a mobile app. This tactic makes use of geolocation technology and is super personalized.

Even if that person doesn’t head to the physical store then and there, your push message will definitely create an impression.

Now if you have noticed, the one thing that all these points have in common is “personalization”.  If you want to engage with the consumer, you have to personalize your strategy. There are many marketing suites such as Wigzo that make sure that the push strategy is hyper-personalized for maximum conversions.

Such tools can help convert 1/3rd of the people abandoning their shopping carts online and retain almost 30% more users using segmentation and behavioural push notifications. So if you haven’t emphasized much on your push strategy, now is the time to start.

  1. PWA

Today, consumers prefer to enjoy the luxury of receiving everything on a platter. They want to be able to browse through their favourite online stores while on-the-go and even shop or book flight tickets, if need be!

This is where Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) come into the picture. PWAs are mobile sites that offer the functionalities of a native mobile app. The only difference is that here all the historical interaction data gets stored that allows a better browsing experience each time the consumer returns to the PWA.

Flipkart nearly tripled its on-site time using a PWA, and AirBerlin became the first airline in the world to implement the PWA technology. Content-based websites like Inc42 have also developed a PWA. So you see – more and more brands are going for this technology to keep their customers engaged and reduce site bounce rates.

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  1. Exit intent

With an average attention span of a human being less than that of a goldfish, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to keep their website visitors engaged. It doesn’t matter how awesome your product range is or if you website content is compelling enough, your visitors will leave you sooner than expected.

Curbing higher bounce rates is currently a challenge for both B2B and B2C websites. As of now, almost 60% of target customers are bound to forget all about your brand if you don’t engage them with the right message.

But with the application of the exit intent technology, such issues can be resolved. There are many marketing suites that offer exit intent powered by machine learning to help businesses holdback their website visitors.

How does it work?

The exit intent technology will track the visitor’s movements across your website as soon as he or she lands on it – irrespective of the page (s)he lands on. And when the visitor is about to leave the website or switch tabs on the browser, this technology tends to re-target the visitor to hold him or her back.

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What comes next is a personalized message in a dialog box – which is based on the interaction the visitor has had with the website till now. Six problems are solved with exit intent, and they are as follows:

  1. Boosting email subscription rates and growing your subscribers organically
  2. Increasing on-site conversion rates
  3. Generating more revenue through on-site activities
  4. Increasing social media following and getting more visibility in the process
  5. Decreasing website bounce rates which hamper business growth
  6. Reducing cart abandonment rates which are a headache for eCommerce stores

With exit intent, you can rest assured that you will never lose a customer again. It is a really powerful tactic to hold back website visitors and turn those prying consumers into loyal customers.

What are your thoughts?

Engaging customers is not just a one-off activity. Fostering a solid bond with them takes time and effort. So as a business, you must keep experimenting with different tools, content copies and tech support systems to build a stronger image of your brand in the minds of your consumers.

Also please note: what works for one brand may not really work for you. This means you have to find your own groove and see which strategy fits best for your target market. Good luck!

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