Experienced marketers, as hard as it is to believe – are also consumers. They get to witness basic marketing mistakes that happen on a daily basis. However, unlike people who work in other industries, marketers have the chance to learn from these mistakes and significantly improve customer engagement rates and user experience of the brands they work for.
For that purpose, we’ve listed 5 customer engagement traps so you can successfully recognize and avoid them:
1. Unpunctual Welcome and Onboarding Messages
If you aim to build a sustainable relationship with your customers, you have to have thoughtful welcome and onboarding messaging. You have to give people a clear picture of what they should expect from your product!
That being said, we have recently received messages from brands that we’ve subscribed to months ago, which is not admirable. Every time a user subscribes to a list, they should get a welcome notice as soon as possible – preferably in real-time!
The problem here can be either an issue in the data synchronization between your product’s website or mobile app and the database or martech marketing technology stack you have employed or an incomplete database where information like a subscriber sign-up date or the status of the customer’s journey is missing. Another reason for this can be the same messaging sent to subscribers in different phases of the user journey.
Solution: To avoid these out-of-nowhere messages, ensure that your systems are properly integrated & synced and that your segmentation is correctly set up – in order to never treat your not-so-new customers like newbies!
2. Automated Marketing That Went Wrong
You have to be careful when it comes to automating your messages and processes. The benefits are endless if you do it right, however, if you do it without proper preparation & execution it can have a very negative effect on the overall strategy.
Example of a reminder message for items left in the shopping cart
For example, your customer has been browsing on your website. But, as soon as they’ve put an item in the shopping cart, something came up and they were unable to finish the purchase. You have already prepared a campaign for people who left something in their shopping cart. So, the above-mentioned customer fits right into this segment and he or she will receive a reminder message after a certain time.
But, in the meantime, your customer has finished the purchase of the item left in the cart previously. They’ve received the confirmation for successfully completing the process, but an hour later, they also receive an email telling them to come back and finish buying the same item. Now, is the purchase finished or not? This can only mean that your automation messages are not in line. Probably your system cannot cancel the messages that have already been scheduled or maybe you have disparate systems that don’t communicate effectively.
Solution: In some marketing automation systems, this can easily be fixed with exception events – specific user actions that happen in a pre-defined timeframe & can cancel other pre-scheduled actions in the system, such as messages or database inputs. (e.g. canceling a shopping cart campaign if the user has finished the purchase).
3. Cross-Channel Engagement Without Frequency Caps
One of the best ways to engage customers is to use cross-channel marketing. Research shows that messages via a single channel can increase customer retention by around 71% while cross-channel messages increase it by 130%.
However, it would look really bad for you if your customers receive the same messages at the same time on multiple channels. You don’t want your subscribers to receive the same information via email, in-app, push notification or text. So, how to ensure that all your messages are complementary and you are not sending the same content via all channels?
Solution: You can avoid overdoing your messages by setting message frequency caps by channel and per timeframe. Some marketing automation systems allow you to set frequency caps, which means limiting the number of messages a single user can receive on a single or all channels in a predefined time frame.
4. Action-based Campaigns with Bad Timing
This type of campaign can be of great value if executed in the right way. These messages are highly responsive, sent at the most convenient time, providing a great follow-up experience based on previous user behavior.
The problem here can appear when businesses don’t pay enough attention to the context of their action-based campaigns. Very often, people are asked to rate an app right after they’ve taken some action. However, businesses didn’t pay attention to the nature of the action. Maybe the user was filling a complaint about the experience they’ve had with the brand. In this case, the rating won’t be satisfying.
Customer journey mapping
Another example is when users are asked to rate the app right after they’ve started using it. This timing is more suitable for welcome or onboarding messages. Therefore, brands must avoid giving customers the chance to leave a bad review.
Solution: One way this can be set up is by using a customer journey management tool which allows you to map out your customers’ journey with your product or service, in order to deliver the right messages at the right time.
5. Poor Personalization Caused by Lack of Customer Data
Companies that send personalized messages to see a 10-30% increase in revenue and customer engagement rates. Personalization can work extremely well, provided you have all the necessary customer data available. According to Braze, personalized messages increase open rates up to 225%.
You can now create very close and durable relationships with your users, thanks to all the powerful tools for targeting and personalization out there. However, these tools rely heavily on user data in order to function as they should. So, you have to understand what is really important to your brand and what are your business goals before you decide what kind of data you will start collecting.
Customer data for successful personalization
You don’t want to end up trying to personalize your messages with a user’s name, and you don’t actually have their name – or even worse mistaking their gender! In order to avoid getting into uncomfortable situations, make sure you are collecting exactly the information you need to support your customer engagement strategy.
Solution: Ensure that you personalize the field you actually have data for, and also make sure you have a default message variant set up for all the users with missing information.
Having a well-defined strategy is crucial to a successful customer engagement approach. To improve your brand and user experience you will have to try some new tools and tactics. With the help of software for marketing automation, you can set all these things without worrying that things will go down the hill.
While you are in this process, remember to be mindful of your customers’ journeys and how will all these changes affect their overall experience.
If you need support with defining the complete approach for customer engagement or selecting the right systems for the process of marketing automation, do not hesitate to contact Alite International. We have been working with multiple large organizations in supporting their move towards full marketing automation. Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.