It’s critical to map the right engagement channels to your business goals. Customers use different engagement channels in different contexts, so you need to engage them in the right place, and at the right time, to achieve your business objectives.
The key to successful engagement marketing is ensuring that all of these channels can talk to each other to create sustained engagement across the customer journey. Siloed point solutions must be removed so that you can leverage customer data across engagement channels with a holistic view of the entire journey.
Below are the most common engagement channels – notice how often mobile is a factor in your customer communication:
- Email is great for building brand awareness or for anything that’s not especially time sensitive. It’s also transactional – your customers are trained to buy things as a result of emails they receive so they’re in the right frame of mind to make a purchase (if the sales proposition is good enough and well-timed). On top of that, email has more users than Twitter and Facebook combined. It’s a good way to reach a variety of demographics. However, email is becoming increasingly easy to ignore and filter, so using it alone is an incomplete strategy.
- Social is great for customer acquisition and product discovery. Social media is fun, and it’s an opportunity for your brand to show a light-hearted side. It’s also a very visual channel, which makes it perfect for fashion brands. Nike has the most Instagram followers of any fashion brand, at nearly 43 million – showing how far social now reaches. It’s also a great channel for word-of-mouth sharing between friends, thanks to tags and direct messaging.
- Web push notifications are great for nurturing existing customers and inspiring action through urgency. This new channel is an effective tool for marketers who want to reach all of their customers on the web with highly relevant and contextually compelling messages. Brands can engage customers anytime after opt-in, even if the browser is closed. Since the notification pops up on the customer’s phone, web push is a powerful channel for any time-sensitive messages such as flash sales or location-specific information.
- App push notifications offer many of the same benefits as web push notifications, but you’re targeting an already loyal audience. These notifications are the perfect way to entice customers with rewards, special deals, new products, or any other information that will continue to strengthen the relationship and increase customer lifetime value.
- Conversational commerce is a relatively new channel that uses natural language within a messenger application (Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and others) or uses voice assistants (Siri, Amazon Alexa, and others) to interact with a business for an inquiry, purchase, or customer service. It’s ideal for active purchase decisions. The mobile-first customer, combined with the popularity of messaging apps and maturity of artificial intelligence, has created the perfect setting for conversational commerce to really take off in 2017.
We put together a decision tree to help you navigate your channel mapping. Think of a specific campaign you want to run, and use the decision tree to see how you can best reach your customers.