Mobile Messaging Drives Customer Engagement
Mobile use is growing fast, with 79 percent of the population in the US owning a smartphone. Among Millennials, that number goes up to a staggering 93 percent.
Users also spend a lot of time on their mobiles devices, with a recent Nielsen report sharing that Americans spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes a day on them. That’s over six hours more than the average American watches television.
Savvy marketers who've been paying attention to these trends use mobile to engage customers. A Gartner study predicted that engagement of customers on mobile would increase mobile revenue by 50 percent in 2017.
So how are you using mobile messaging to drive engagement?
Use Data Gathered from Apps to Offer Better Service
Mobile apps increase customer engagement, with consumers spending an average of 18x more time on mobile apps than they do on mobile websites. In the world of lightning-paced marketing, mobile apps allow companies to capture their customers' attention and interact with it.
The extra time customers spend on the apps allows marketers to engage customers through a series of touchpoints. Apps also provide businesses with a wealth of single source data that they can use to offer more targeted and personalized communication to their users.
Don’t Let Your In-App Customer Service Lag
But while mobile apps give businesses all the tools they need to engage customers and increase customer retention, if they don’t make good use of those tools, they’ll end up losing clients. For example, 55 percent of customers say they will drop a brand if they communicated feedback through an app and didn’t receive a reply.
The lesson here is that it’s hard to get people to convert to app users, so once they have, businesses need to treat them like the VIP customers that they are.
Send Personalized Texts
People want to hear from businesses on their mobiles as consumers affirm that they want businesses to send them promotions on their mobiles. And customers respond well to offers sent to them via text.
Personalized coupons that reflect a customer’s purchase history and interests work best, bringing in a 45 percent conversion rate as opposed to only a 10 percent conversion rate for non-personalized coupons. Not only that, but many customers spend more money when redeeming mobile coupons than if they weren’t using a coupon.
Use SMS and Apps Together For Better Engagement
As you may have guessed, mobile apps are usually not a business’ first messaging contact with its customers. So how do people become mobile app users? They are not easy to acquire and usually are a result of previous successful marketing through other platforms (text messages, email, websites, etc).
Text messages are received on the customer’s smartphone, making it easier for them to simply click on the link to download the app rather than have to search for it on their own. In fact, text-the-app-link messages to customers results in a 42 percent download rate.
Compare this to the 15.5 percent download rate form app banners and a scant 2.6 percent from referral links and it’s easy to see that text messaging is the effective way to cultivate new app users.
Brian Heikes, VP of 3Cinteractive suggests a partnering of SMS and in-app push notifications to increase customer engagement. This way, customers will receive the main promo messages and reminders even if they uninstalled the app or don’t have the access to Internet for some reason.
Use SMS for Customer Service
Mobile isn’t just necessary for marketing; it’s also an effective customer service platform, allowing customers to be reached on a platform that’s convenient to them. Even for non-app users, text messaging makes it easy for to contact a business with a problem or question.
Unlike with call centers, customers can send their message and go about their day rather than be stuck on the line waiting for a customer service rep to take their call. That’s why 64 percent of consumers prefer to text a business with a customer service query rather than call them.
Some other customer service ideas for texting:
- Appointment reminders. Sending a text reminding a customer of an upcoming appointment can reduce no-shows and benefit the customer by reducing their risk of forgetting the appointment.
- Polls. Give customers a voice by asking them their opinion on your products or services.
- Useful tips. Give them valuable advice that’s relevant to products or services they’ve purchased from your company.
Have you used mobile messaging to engage you customers? Or are you just going to give it a try? Share in comments.
Alexa Lemzy is the customer service manager and blog editor at TextMagic, a text messaging solution for businesses. She is passionate about customer retention, mobile marketing, and automation. Alexa loves to dig deep into those topics and cover the most interesting findings in her articles.