Building out any engagement strategy begins with how well you treat and understand your data. And storing it under one roof in a customer data platform helps massively. Data is commonly dispersed across different departments making it almost impossible to gain actionable insight.
Consolidating your data is the first essential step in formulating any kind of customer engagement strategy.
By the time a customer has engaged with you, 57% of their purchasing decision has been made. This highlights the importance of putting in a serious effort to do the groundwork leading up to your campaign.
However, 53% of customers still believe that businesses need to alter the way they interact with their customers. Winning this game is difficult. If you interact with your customers in the right way, it will be easier to engage them.
Putting together your strategy isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but doing the simple things well.
Building your Customer Engagement Strategy
Goals and Objectives
Your starting point to putting together any customer engagement strategy should be establishing your objectives. Setting up S.M.A.R.T. goals will help you understand what your success looks like. It can be a good idea to ask yourself why your business needs more engagement from your customers. This question can guide you in setting up your goals.
Putting these goals and objectives together at the beginning gives you a focus for your strategy. But you need to be careful about how focussed you make it.
Too broad and your efforts may become diluted and not specific enough to engage your customers. However, too focussed and there won’t be enough traction across your various channels to gain momentum. So you need to ensure your strategy encompasses all avenues of communication.
Once your objectives are in order and you know what you want to get out of it, it’s time to start understanding your customers. The data you use in your campaigns has a big impact on how they will perform.
Collecting that customer data used to be difficult, but not as much anymore thanks to CRM and CDPs. However to gain deeper insight customers need to be willing to share their personal information. But before they do, your customers need to be confident sharing it with you is worth the potential hassle. Make sure you communicate what they get for handing over their personal information. Whether that’s an enhanced user experience or personalised offers.
Companies can gather and analyse data much more easily when it is combined and stored in one location. There are many ways you can use it after it has been consolidated to learn more about your customers and their behaviour. Making business decisions based on data makes it more likely those decisions will yield positive results.
By collecting data in the first place, you can send offers and product promotions that you know the customer is interested in seeing. There was a time when you would send the same content to all of your customers every time. But B2C marketing has advanced far past this.
Your customer engagement strategies will perform better when you include personalisation. Understanding your data with a customer data platform is the best place to start.
And the more data you pull through and analyse, the richer the engagements will be.
In a nutshell, transactional data is information that is gathered whenever a customer makes a purchase or engages in another type of transaction on your website.
Tracking or analysing this data gives you a deeper understanding of how your customers behave leading up to, or during a transaction.
- Track products or categories the user browsed through
- Track the time spent on a particular product category or page
- Track the searched terms used
Incorporating this type of data into your communication strategies can give you a clear direction to increase your conversion rate.
Monitoring user behaviour on your website reveals a lot about how they use it. This includes details like pages visited after the homepage, time length per page, how far down the page they scroll, etc.
Using website usage data for targeted advertising is a common practice. Some visitors will spend a lot of time browsing a specific area of your website before leaving without making a purchase. Ads that might prompt users to visit your website again and complete a transaction can then be sent to them.
Benefits of unifying your data
Sending the right message at the right time is so important these days to engage customers. Unifying your data in a customer data platform makes it easier to analyse customer behaviour to enable you to make that happen.
The fact that what they receive is always personalised and relevant to them has a large, positive impact on your business. Your churn and engagement rates will also reap the benefits of giving your customer a personalised experience.
Your messaging and communications will receive little to no engagement if you make the assumption that everyone wants to see or hear the same thing. You won’t accomplish much, other than losing your customers to your competitors.
This is where segmentation becomes so important. You’ll have a better understanding of who you’re speaking to and why if you segment your customers into different buyer personas. Again, this exercise is simplified through the use of a customer data platform.
After that, you can create communications that are timely and relevant to their interests.
This results in a much more individualised and meaningful experience. This level of segmentation should increase both your customer engagement levels and their likelihood of converting.
Where do you engage with your customers?
Understanding your customers and segmenting them is an integral part of building a strategy. You know what you want to achieve. You know who to target to get you towards a successful strategy. The next step is the execution phase; actually delivering on the strategy.
It’s not always about what you say, but how and where you say it. Different channels will play a different role in achieving a successful strategy. You need to identify what channels will deliver the most value and generate the greatest return on investment.
While getting your messaging right is important, so is finding the right audience. The most inspired customer engagement strategy in the world won’t mean a thing if no one sees the campaigns you build around it.
There are plenty of channels to make use of. But through your data, you should be able to save time and money by identifying which ones your customers respond to.
Depending on the end goal for your strategy, targeting your customers on the web can work to keep them coming back to your site even after they’ve left. This can work well particularly if a key component of your strategy is reducing abandoned baskets or winning back churned customers.
There are a few different ways you can target users through web engagement. All of these uses are done with a view to keeping your customers on your website, or getting them back onto it.
Web push notifications are a great way to interact with both known and unknown visitors. It’s a channel that very quickly yields ROI, making it a must-have for brands that want to stay top-of-mind with their customers. They generally have a 10% engagement rate amongst web users.
On-site messages customers can interact with you in real time while they are browsing your website. Messages can be triggered by all sorts of on-site events. These can be things like length of browsing time, logging in or adding a product to their shopping cart.
The Web Inbox is an eye-catching message centre that lives on your website. Messages sent to the Inbox can be permanent or semi-permanent. Making it an ideal channel to share both time-sensitive offers and evergreen content.
Mobile & app
Your mobile and app channel can work the same way that using web can, in terms of its functionalities and what you can make use of.
Generally speaking, everyone has a mobile device. So there is rarely a time where you can’t reach someone with a promotional message or notification.
App push delivers results at every stage of the customer’s mobile journey. It’s a must-have channel for any brand looking for a better ROI from their mobile app. You can add a personalised touch with gifs and emojis to help your campaign stand out even more.
In-app messages and on-site messages are very similar. They interact with users in real time through the delivery of event-triggered messages while they are still using your app.
The app inbox operates at the same level a web inbox does. It’s still a great way to communicate time sensitive offers and content to your app users in real time.
You shouldn’t forget about SMS either. It is the perfect channel for delivering urgent information that just can’t wait. It’s also a great way of communicating with those who haven’t opted into receiving push notifications. So you’re leaving no stone unturned.
Combined with a Single Customer View you can create highly personalised communications. These incremental improvements to the technology means email marketing is as important as it’s ever been. Providing you can offer customers that level of personalisation, it most certainly belongs as part of your engagement strategy.
Marketers today have to work harder than ever to differentiate themselves from the competition and engage customers. Some inboxes are becoming much more intelligent. For example, emails now have specific inboxes for promotional messages. This means that you now have to stand out in an inbox full of only promotional messages.
The ability to personalise will be a key differentiator against the competition.
Build and Automate
Automation is an essential weapon in any marketer’s arsenal. Aside from the efficiencies it provides, it allows you to communicate with customers more often with relevant information.
No customer engagement strategy is complete without automation.
Building effective automation comes off the back of all the knowledge you should now have. Use that customer data to put together campaigns that respond to their needs. If you don’t use it there is a high chance your communications simply won’t land.
When it comes to putting together your campaigns, you need to keep in mind their purpose within your strategy. They should deliver towards the goals you set out at the beginning.
If your goal is to improve sales and revenue through customer engagement you need to factor in the relevant data. Using customers’ purchase history as a basis for product emails makes it far more likely to drive engagement and sales. Always keep in mind the overall goals for your strategy and create campaigns that will help you achieve them.
Automating your campaigns is also a huge part of customer engagement. It takes the manual effort out of building campaigns and means they can be easily run all year round.
Your multichannel campaigns will be easier to plan and analyse if you have a good customer journey builder tool. Feeding the information from your customer data platform to your journey builder tool can help you create some really interesting campaigns.
With automation, you won’t miss any engagement opportunities because all of your campaigns are prepared and ready to go.
Planning and executing a customer engagement strategy boils down to a few easy things. First things first, consolidate your data using a customer data platform. It’ll make it much easier to understand your customers in the long run.
Use that customer knowledge to segment your customers. Your campaigns will perform far better if you know what group of customers you’re addressing and why. Then from there, choose the appropriate channel to communicate with them through.
Finally, orchestrate automated campaigns throughout the customer lifecycle in order to deliver results at scale.
Book a demo today to learn more about how we can help you plan and execute your customer engagement strategies.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.