The digital landscape is evolving, encouraging customers to spend more money with your brand doesn’t cut it. You need to make an effort to actively connect and interact with your customers. As a result, you’ll improve customer experience, strengthen relationships with customers and build a meaningful engagement with them.
One way you can get started with this is by leveraging marketing automation. In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of an effective customer engagement strategy and some of the best strategies to improve customer engagement using marketing.
Let’s dive in!
Table of contents
- What is customer engagement?
- Benefits of customer engagement
- 6 ways to improve customer engagement using marketing automation
- Wrap up
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement involves the various ways and channels your brand uses to interact with customers. It is an indication of how strong a customer's relationship is with your brand. Customer engagement can happen both offline and online. Whatever the means of engagement you apply, it focuses on building a meaningful relationship with your customers. Hence, making customers think and act positively towards your brand. For example, imagine a customer who contacts the customer support team because they had trouble logging in to their account. Or a customer receives an email newsletter about a new product feature, then clicks through to try it out.
When you pay attention to how your customers behave throughout their lifecycle, you easily identify ways to provide solutions to their needs, and challenges. As a result, you improve the overall customer experience.
A study by Gallup has shown that companies that successfully engaged their customers reported 63% lower customer attrition, 55% higher wallet share, and overall performed 23% better than other competitors.
Benefits of customer engagement
There are various benefits you can gain from an effective customer engagement strategy. Here are 5 benefits:
1. Boost customer retention and reduce churn
Your customers will value your brand more when they feel heard and appreciated. One way you can give your customers this feeling is by identifying areas of improvement needed to provide a better customer experience. What features are your customers having issues with? What qualities do they value? Are there any feature upgrades that could improve usability?
When you focus on ways that you will help your customers gain maximum value from your brand, you reduce customer churn rate. This, in turn, will make customers become your brand advocates.
2. Shorter purchase cycles
Customer engagement doesn’t just involve engaging existing customers. It can also be used to shorten the sales cycle and turn a lead to a customer. For example, you can create informational content addressing a prospect’s needs then share such content on social platforms and communities. You can use the opportunity to cater to leads at various stages in the sales funnel and show what makes your brand unique from other competitors in your industry.
This will attract prospects to your brand, making it easier for your sales team to close more leads.
3. Increase in subscriber list
When you create and deliver valuable content, your customers will become hooked on your brand’s resources, be it blog posts or newsletters. This makes sense because people are always looking for solutions to their problems. If you make customers realize the value that your brand has to offer, they’ll most likely subscribe to your brand’s communication so that they always stay updated with relevant business information.
4. More up-sell opportunities
You have a greater chance of selling to an existing customer than a new prospect. Infact, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% while the probability of selling to a current customer is 60-70%.
Using your customer data, you can identify opportunities for upselling like recommending products that are usually used together.
5. Unique brand identity
There’s so much digital noise that it can be easy for your brand to blend in and lose its unique identity in the market. Using a well-planned customer engagement strategy, you can always stay in tune with your customers’ needs and develop a roadmap that enables you to communicate your brand value in a unique way. This is possible by creating targeted blog posts, social media content and newsletters that specifically addresses your customer’ needs, making it easier to stand out from the crowded digital landscape.
6 ways to improve customer engagement using marketing automation
1. Track and analyze customer behaviour across multiple touchpoints
To improve your customer engagement strategy, you need to understand your ideal customers. This means getting into the minds of customers and understanding their entire lifecycle. You can start by identifying their motivations, anticipations, preferences, needs behaviour and challenges. This customer data can help you engage your customers on a more personalized level and deliver valuable content as well. Use a reputable marketing automation software to track and analyze customer data during each stage of their buying journey.
With Engage, you can create automated messaging sequences or workflows to power your marketing campaign.
2. Segment your customer base
Your customers are individuals that may share some similarities but there are other factors that make them different. Therefore, you need to develop a strategy that helps you to segment your customer base and deliver a more personalized experience. Purchase history, device type, geographical location, search history etc., are some of customer data that you can use to segment your audience and deliver more targeted messaging. When you segment your customer base, you’ll be able to align all marketing campaigns and efforts with your customers’ buying behaviour, search history, needs and challenges.
With a good marketing software you can segment your customers based on some of the data mentioned above.
With Engage, business owners can track how customers interact with their product(platform or app), and use that data to create unique customer segments.
3. Automated SMS marketing
You can effectively leverage automated text messaging to improve customer engagement by delivering timely and personalized information to your customers. For example, you can use automated text messages to send timely reminders about special events, cart abandonment, or cancelling a subscription.
Remember to use customer data to make your SMS more personalized and targeted. This ensures a higher click-through rate and that you gain maximum results from your SMS marketing efforts.
4. Gather customer feedback
Another important part of your customer engagement strategy is gathering customer feedback. Your customers will always have opinions to share about how they feel about your brand, your job is to know what they are. When you know more about your customer’s experience with your brand, you’ll be able to identify areas of improvement, know what your customers like and don’t like about your brand. As a result, you can deliver valuable messages and improve the overall customer experience.
For example, here’s a typical automated customer survey form:
5. Incorporate conversational marketing
There are a lot of barriers that could develop during a customer’s buying journey. For example, a customer may have an issue when trying to make payment for a purchase. Rather than making your customer fill in a complaint form and wait endlessly for a response from customer support, you can leverage conversational marketing to improve customer engagement. Conversational marketing uses artificial intelligence to start interactions with customers across multiple touch points such as live chat, bots and voice assistants. As a result, you can build an interactive experience with customers and make their buying journey an easier one.
6. Apply personalization in your content
Personalization is the difference between an email that specifically addresses a customer’s preference and a random email blast. The first one can lead to more meaningful interaction with your customer, while the latter can’t really accomplish much.
When you apply personalization in your content, you include relevant customer data in your messaging, this makes your content more valuable to customers and improves customer engagement. Marketing automation tools can help you to identify customer data so you can understand customers’ buying behaviour, purchase history, name, geolocation etc. This way, you can personalize your content to suit your customers’ preferences.
For example, Birchbox leveraged customer data to deliver a personalized email that was also relevant to its customer.
In the present digital world, customers are more engaged than ever so there are several opportunities to tap in and gain their attention.
In order to boost customer engagement, you must actively communicate and connect with your customers. Track and analyze customer data and use the insights to craft relevant, valuable and personalized messaging. The great thing is that marketing automation can make this process more effective and they create the foundation for building long-lasting relationships with customers.
Engage is a powerful marketing automation solution that you can use to implement your customer engagement strategies. With Engage, you can:
- Track your customer data
- Create unique customer groups or segments based on these data,
- Send personalized messages to customers via email, SMS, push notifications and in-app messages, and
- Launch marketing campaigns with automated messaging workflows.