Customer engagement is critical for brands. Learning what customers want and then giving it to them is key in not only building brand loyalty, but also advocacy to foster customers for life.
People are consumed by their mobile devices, with mobile usage continuing to grow.
~ Chris Daly, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Marketing
Consumers are now, more than ever, being pulled in different directions by numerous brands offering products and services that are often very difficult to distinguish between. So, how can you capture consumers’ attention so that they will not only buy from you once, but will also continue to remain loyal to your brand? Engaging your audience via their mobile device is no doubt a challenge, but one that is definitely worth persisting with.
SMS Text Messages
In the age of smartphones SMS text messages still have a huge role to play in customer engagement, as it provides a simple and direct method to interact with customers directly in their personal message application. however, if done incorrectly, there is a huge risk of your subscribers opting out of your messages all together.
There are clear advantages of involving SMS in your marketing tactics. SMS is a great messaging application that can deliver useful information about your product, services or any promotions to your customers with simple, short messages that clearly state your message. The main advantage is that, your customers don’t even have to install your app, which means if your brand doesn’t have a mobile app, this is currently the most relevant channel for you.
The main issue with SMS messaging is that it is widely considered to be an outdated form of communicating and somewhat annoying and obnoxious. Also text messages are delivered into a private messaging space on the mobile – – a space most consumers may not appreciate companies to be.
I believe that push notifications are a great option for brands wanting to target customers on a day-to-day basis, without barring the costs of text messages.
~ Fabrice Etienne, EMEA Marketing Director, Lithium Technologies
With AIHelp’s functions, your consumers are able to opt out os such messages, but with SMS they can’t. Its easy use is downsized with its limitations. Customer phone numbers have to be collected in order to text them. Also permission must be granted by customers in order to go on with texting them. Within the context of these text messages, you are also limited in gathering any information on individual users which from a marketing perspective, of doing business in the digital age, is a huge loss.
AIhelp’s Tactical Support
AIhelp’s support to where SMS messages need it comes in the form of its push notification function. Push notifications are what get people into your app, whereas in-app messages guide them through the app and enable marketers to reach all who are opted into push. Using a combination of both is how you extend your reach to all app users. A well-executed push notification strategy is guaranteed to increase mobile engagement and retention. However, push notifications can be easily misused. It is especially useful with customers that have downloaded the app and stopped interacting with it. With advanced features such as push actions, you can get your users to interact without opening the app.
With advanced features such as push actions, you can get your users to interact without opening the app.
~ Oliver Griffiths, Research Manager, YouGov
Such strategic notifications are a great option for brands wanting to target customers on a day-to-day basis, without barring the costs of text messages. These notifications provide a way to connect users to your app, app store page, website or any specific area within your app.
You can also utilize AIhelp’s functions to reactivate dormant users. Many users become dormant after 48 hours. Send them a push notification to remind them the value your app provides. Adding a discount or coupon may help in reactivating their interest with your app. Or sending your customers a reminder that they accidentally forgot an item in their cart is a great way to increase revenue and decrease abandoned carts. You can also send loyal customers exclusive offers, coupons or VIP content. This is a great way to provide value in a small package.
In-app messaging allows you to engage, promote and guide your users through your app. Getting a user into the app is the first part, the challenge is to engage them once they are in the app. This is where in-app messaging comes in. Instead of leaving the user to navigate the app on their own, the in-app messages help them use your app and navigate accordingly. Once inside the app, you can send them rich HTML messages, coupons, videos and social content. So here you are combining the rich aspect with the right type of content. The greatness of in app messaging, is that users receive a message without a random interruption as they are already in your app and interested to see what is available.
However, its worth bearing in mind that with in-app messages, if not practised correctly, can end up harming the user experience in the app or make it feel too much like advertisements. If the messages are not sent in real-time they can present irrelevant content. And lastly these messages are also only relevant to users who are in the app, and users that are not currently inside the app will miss out on them.