customer churn

6 Powerful Strategies for Tackling Customer Churn

For every small business, finding the right balance between acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones can be difficult. Especially when you consider the seemingly limitless options available to customers today, business owners are often fighting against the tide. Thankfully, with the right customer retention strategy, you can eliminate customer churn and work towards providing for your customer base instead of worrying about expanding it.

In this article, we are going to cover 6 strategies for tackling customer churn in 2018. Each of these tactics is specifically designed to help you treat your customers well and keep them coming back again and again. After all, according to Walker, by 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. Instead of waiting for this to happen, why not get a leg up on your competition by diving in now? Let’s take get started.

customer churn

Know your customers

The first part of tackling customer churn is to spend time getting to know your customers. Unless you do this early on, how do you expect to create a campaign that adequately meets their needs? By taking time to understand both the patterns in which your customers operate and how you can improve their experience, you will be walking through the woods without a map.

Instead of getting lost, begin by analyzing user engagement metrics and mapping your customer’s journey from start to finish. This will help you understand both the parts of your campaign that work and more importantly, the ones that don’t. From there, you can decide where to focus your attention based on what your customer’s indicate is most important. From here, you are ready to employ the following 6 strategies to combat customer churn.

Read also: Relationship Marketing and SMS: A Match Made in Heaven

1. Segmentation FTW

Now that you have analyzed the behavior of your customers, the next step is to create different customer personas correlating to the different segments of your audience. These personas are vital to the success of your campaign, as each type of customer warrants a different approach. For example, you wouldn’t want to send the same text blast to a group of former customers as you do new leads.

As you place each of these customers into their different segments, try picturing in your mind what tactics you can use to combat churn with that specific customer. While these tactics may never actually be used, getting into the mind of your customer can give you valuable insight into how you can better serve them.  

2. Optimize the onboarding process

When you are getting to know your customers and putting them in different segments, you may start to notice a trend early on in the customer journey. That trend being a sharp dip in customer engagement during the onboarding process. Don’t worry, this isn’t unique, as close to 86% of new mobile users never return to an app after the initial download. All this means is that the onboarding process needs to be optimized to the best of your ability.

This is another scenario where some good ol’ fashioned analytics will help you make the best decision. Monitor where customers are falling off during the onboarding process and work with your team to find a better solution. Making a good first impression is a powerful indicator to your audience that you care about their success.

3. Monitor at-risk customers

Another tactic similar to maximizing the onboarding process when tackling customer churn is finding at-risk customers before they leave and prioritizing them. In the same way that there are often indicators or hurdles your customers are having to overcome early on, there can be aspects of the customer journey that show customers about to look elsewhere.

However, identifying these customers is only half the battle. From there, you can use engagement tools like SMS marketing to reach out to these customers and find out what you can be doing better. If you can keep around simply 10%-20% of customers that would have churned, it will be worth the extra effort.

4. Ask for input

Although this is often part of the “get to know your customers” part of this process, asking them for input is the best way to uncover user stories and analyze problem areas. As a rule of thumb, sending out customer satisfaction surveys should be a regular part of your customer retention marketing campaign. What better way to know what your customers want then to simply ask them?

Additionally, there are now more ways of doing this than ever before that lead to good results. For instance, some companies have had success running support and asking for customer opinions through their text message marketing campaigns. Use the tools at your disposal to make the biggest impact you can.

5. Use all tools at your disposal

Speaking of, that is actually our 5th strategy: use all tools at your disposal. In 2018, mobile marketing tools are everywhere and simple to use. Whether you are running an SMS campaign, sending branded messages with push notifications, or just want to step up your email marketing game, there are tools available to help you out.

That being said, you also need to understand the best way to use these tools. Our recommendation is to take what you have learned from the other strategies we have covered and apply it to these tools at your disposal to combat customer churn. Segment, optimize, monitor, and ask for help, then use the tools available to create a proper solution.

Learn more about Text Message Marketing tools

6. Make it obvious that you care

As we have mentioned, 2018 is the year of customer experience. In today’s market, customers have all the power, and it is your job to offer the best possible experience if you hope to win them over. By doing so, you make it obvious that you care, our final strategy for combating customer churn. This is the basis of everything we have covered when it comes to reducing churn rate at your company.

Keep this in mind with everything you do, “How can I prove to my customers that I value them?” If you are able to do this, you will be blown away by how your customers treat you in return. In the end, customer retention and fighting customer churn are pretty simply, it’s getting there that takes hard work.


fitbit

Fitbit: Making Data Work For You

For many in the fitness industry, Fitbit has become a household name. However, just over a decade ago, Fitbit was nothing more than a wooden box. Since that time, they have risen to become a $4-billion-dollar company and a major player in the wearable technology market. This has left many to wonder: what’s their secret?

Fitbit has made a name for themselves by tracking personal data for their members. Whether it be related to sleep, exercise, or several other areas, they are tracking it. As a company, Fitbit is the best at making the data work for them. As we review their business model and the success they have found, remember that all it takes is a good idea and a lot of data.

fitbit

An unlikely story

In 2007, James Park and Eric Friedman saw potential for using sensors on small, wearable devices. Apparently they weren’t the only ones. After receiving $400,000 in funding, the duo took the idea to the TechCrunch 50 conference in hopes of garnering attention and hopefully pre-orders.

When they set out, they hoped to get 50 pre-orders from that first conference, but ended up with 2,000. A year later, they were selling 20,000 units and realized that they had something working. As they continued to sell new products, Fitbit was able to evolve into the company you know today by taking risks and getting involved in new technology.

Making data work for you

One of the main reasons for Fitbit’s success has been due to their leveraging of user engagement metrics. Since Fitbit users are almost always wearing their product, Fitbit has a unique ability to track the movements and patterns of their customers. By using this information well, they have been able to create better products and deliver better results than ever before.

Unfortunately, this kind of data tracking has put them in hot water as well. For instance, they have been accused by members of the government of tracking users data to sell to third-party companies. While Fitbit has denied these claims and put in measures to tighten security, it’s a good reminder of why handling customer information of this nature needs to be done carefully.

Exercise and activity

Exercise and daily activity is one of the metrics that Fitbits track for their customers. This can help them to better understand themselves and the way their body behaves in order to make decisions on what activities to pursue. Although it started with just a pedometer, modern Fitbits can track heart rate, calories lost, and more.

wearable tech fitbit

Food and weight

Fitbit also let’s their customers track their weight and what food they eat each day. Along with activity and exercise, this can give customers a good idea of where they are in their fitness journey and where they would like to be. By using this information to their benefit, Fitbit can make recommendations and even help customers see areas they need to improve.

Sleep tracking

An underrated but essential part of staying fit is sleeping well. Fitbit knows this and makes it a focus of their technology, as Fitbit allows you to track sleeping behavior as well. Not only can these help users to better understand their habits, but it can help notice unusual behavior like sleep apnea. This kind of data can actually save lives.

The success of Fitbit

Although they have had their ups and downs, Fitbit has been able to continue to be successful as the wearable market has taken off. In fact, Fitbit still maintains close to 20% of the wearables market. The way that they have done this is through smart evolution and practical partnerships that allow them to special their products for a variety of different scenarios.

Using data from their users, Fitbit sees how their product is being used. From these use cases, they can create either new apps or new products that best fit the scenario. This should be a sign to other businesses: listen to your customers. Fitbit has been able to remain relevant throughout the Apple watch years simply by letting their data work for them.

fitbit wearable

Users

While the number of users fluctuates, Fitbit has 25 million active users currently and with recent acquisitions plans to continue to expand this number. Considering that just ten years ago the company was hoping to get just 50 pre-orders, this is an impressive feat.

Revenue model

Fitbit’s revenue model is relatively simple, as their main source of revenue is simply from selling their products. However, in recent years, Fitbit has established new partnerships in the healthcare industry, hoping to diversify their product line and open up new pathways for revenue to come in.

Conclusion

As wearables continue to rise in popularity, we likely haven’t even seen the peak of Fitbit yet. As more users come on, the more data that Fitbit has to work with in order to keep up the good work and help more of their customers. Their story is one that should be taken to heart when remembering why we track data and what it means to live in a data-driven world.


myfitnesspal

MyFitnessPal: A Smart Approach to Fitness

Over the last few decades, there has been a cultural shift in regards to fitness and staying healthy. Along with this shift there have been dozens of different apps and new technologies that have tried to encourage people on their fitness journey. One of the biggest players in the industry that has proven time and time again the importance of working smarter instead of harder is MyFitnessPal.

We will first talk about the history and success of MyFitnessPal. Along with that we will show how they were able to harness the power of app analytics into a user base of over 140 million. Without further ado, let’s start from the beginning.

myfitnesspal

From the beginning

This story begins where many fitness journeys often do: getting ready for a wedding. Back in 2005, Mike Lee, co-founder and CEO of MyFitnessPal was trying to lose weight with his then-fiancé before their wedding. After talking with a personal trainer, Mike and his wife received a list of nutritious foods and a note pad for tallying up their calorie intake.

Right away, Mike new that there was a better solution. Since he had been coding since he was 10 years old and wasn’t impressed with other apps or websites on the market, Lee decided to create his own program. This program would eventually turn into MyFitnessPal which would go on to be sold to Under Armor for $475 million dollars in 2015. Little did Mike know what the fitness world had in store for him when he wrote those first few lines of code 13 years ago.

How does MyFitnessPal work?

Now that you have some background on the company, let’s talk about some of the different features of MyFitnessPal that have set it apart in the past few years. As we mentioned earlier, at the time when Mike was putting together the app, there weren’t many fitness or nutrition trackers out there. And the ones that were did not do a satisfactory job, as they were either too cumbersome or full of bugs.

Along with creating a simpler app with a user-focused design, over time MyFitnessPal was able to add additional features that took fitness tracking to a whole new level.

Exercise and nutrition tracking

For instance, exercise and nutrition tracking, Mike and company were able to take a look at the poor design of other fitness tracking technologies and understand through user-stories the best approach to this conundrum. One of the first was one Mike saw himself in other fitness trackers: that you couldn’t save exercises or foods for repeat use. Something as simple as this was enough to give MyFitnessPal the legs it needed early on.

Fitness TrackingChecking in and seeing progress

Something else that was missing from other apps that would be uncovered through user engagement metrics was the ability to check-in and monitor progress. As anyone who has spent time around fitness clubs or gyms can attest, tracking progress is a huge component of fitness. Before MyFitnessPal, there was not an all-in-one solution to this problem.

Through the app users could do weekly weigh-ins where they would input their current weight and compare it with where you started. Additionally, the app will automatically update with this new information to reset your goals for the upcoming week in regards to calorie intake.

Habitual usage

The other great thing about MyFitnessPal is it encourages habitual usage by making things easier with each subsequent usage. While it may take a while to set up your goals and input your first few meals and exercises, soon users will only need to spend roughly 30 seconds updating the app. As we mentioned earlier, MyFitnessPal is able to work smarter instead of harder, something users love.

The success of MyFitnessPal

It’s no secret that MyFitnessPal has been one of the most successful fitness-related apps of the last decade. However, this kind of success doesn’t just happen by accident. Mike Lee and the rest of the MyFitnessPal team were able to meet their users and customers along their journey and help them wherever they are to get where they want to go.

This should be a lesson to others who are trying to do the same. It’s not about creating the most extraordinary technology or providing the best service (although these both help), it’s simply a matter of understanding your audience and really caring about your relationship with them. Once you treat your users right, the rest is easy.

Users

Speaking of users, MyFitnessPal boasts over 165 million users and is able to improve the experience of all users by incorporating metrics and analytics from tracking each of their fitness journeys.

fitness tracker

Revenue model

While MyFitnessPal’s popularity is mainly due to it being a free app, they are able to earn money through premium memberships and ad revenue. The MyFitnessPal Premium offers advanced tools for tracking nutrition and exercise as well as removing ads for dedicated users. This is a good example of the “free-mium” model in use.

Other popular companies like Spotify and Hulu have taken advantage of this kind of revenue model. By allowing users to get the basic functions for free while running ads, you are able to make up the difference with ad revenue. However, once users are accustomed to the service, they will be more willing to pay you each month to avoid the ads. Either way it’s a win for your business and your customers.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that MyFitnessPal was acquired by Under Armor in 2015, they are still working tirelessly to serve their customers. As fitness continues to take off and fitness trackers like the FitBit and Apple Watch become more commonplace, the sky continues to be the limit for this fitness powerhouse.

For those who are hoping to get involved in the fitness world for themselves, MyFitnessPal is an excellent example of putting users first and creating a great customer experience for all. Do this for yourself and you’ll never have to worry about customer retention marketing or other ways of reducing churn rate again.


customer engagement

How Customer Engagement Makes You More Profitable

For every business, the idea of a better relationship with customers and increased profitability are music to the ears. After all, why would you get into an industry if you weren’t interested in making money by helping people with your solution? Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to connect with your customers in a meaningful and engaging way. This is where customer engagement comes in.

Customer engagement has become a popular process for many businesses that are hoping to reach their customers. However, what you may not know is that customer engagement can also provide a great ROI and make you more profitable than ever before. In this article, we are going to explore not only why customer engagement matters and how to define the success of your campaign, but how to make you more money in the process. Let’s get started.

customer engagement

Why Customer Engagement Matters

When discussing customer engagement with business owners, many are unsure why it matters to interact with customers on a new level. While we will review a few other reasons why throughout this article, the main reason for this shift is profitability. In fact, Research from Gallup revealed that brands who successfully engage their customers go on to see 63% lower customer attrition, 55% higher share of wallet, and 50% higher productivity.

This should not be a surprise, it simply makes sense. The more that you are able to insert yourself into the everyday lives of your customers, the more familiar they become with your brand. As they become more familiar, the more likely they are to come to you when they need something. Not only does this increase conversions, but it brings in more money for the business as well.

However, customer engagement and retention marketing expand much further than simply creating more successful interactions with customers. There is a lot of work that goes into making that possible and, once you get started, you need a way of defining your success. So let’s talk about that.

Defining the success of customer engagement

According to Gallup, your customers fall into three separate categories when it comes to customer engagement: fully engaged, indifferent, and actively disengaged. Now, while it may not always be possible to move someone from actively disengaged to fully engaged, it is important to understand these distinctions when starting your campaign. By having a good idea of where your customers are, you can use this as a benchmark for where you want them to be.

Even if your marketing strategies only convert a few indifferent customers into fully engaged ones, it’s worth it. In fact, brands who are ‘fully engaged’ with their customers perform better with ‘a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer.’ Once your customers start to fully engage with your brand, they are more likely to bring you a health return on your investment.

This shows that a focus on customer engagement can not only show your customers that you care, but improve your bottom line. Now let’s get into how to actually make customer engagement a reality.

See what SMS marketing can do for you!

Paths toward improvement

Whether you have been involved with customer engagement or are just starting out, there is always a path toward improvement for your company. And while this may look different for each individual company and audience, there are a few best practices that can be universally applied. Let’s take a look.

Treat your customers well, always

One of the most widespread and powerful customer engagement strategies is to treat your customers well, always. This can be difficult for some brands to get used to, but by maximizing every step in the customer journey, you are setting yourself up for success. Make sure that your employees know that customer service needs to be the highest priority throughout.

Part of creating engaging tactics and strategies is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Think about a recent poor customer service experience: are you more or less likely to return to that company? Simple things like this are truly the difference between making ends meet and growing your business.

Let your audience tell you what they want

Another common mistake made by far too many brands is trying to predict what customers want instead of just asking them. In order to truly provide your audience with valuable engagement, you need to let your audience tell you what they want out of your company. Whether it is an engagement survey or simply a comment section on your website, giving your audience a voice will dramatically improve your sales performance.

Additionally, in the digital age that we live in, there are more than a few ways to listen to your customers. For instance, user engagement metrics can provide valuable insight into the patterns and behavior of your audience that they may not even be aware of. Be mindful of these metrics and what your customers are saying to get the most out of your campaign.

Provide real-time benefits to customers

Once you have a good understanding of the benefits your customers are looking for, you can use mobile marketing tools to deliver those benefits in real-time. Tools such as SMS marketing, push notifications, and marketing automation are geared toward reaching customers instantaneously and are powerful when it comes to engagement.

For example, should a customer make a request for additional information, you can send a tailored message linking to a blog post or article explaining the process they are confused by. When you deliver tailored, pertinent information directly to your customers, they are far more likely to see you as someone they can trust and purchase from.

Learn more about Text Message Marketing!

Create a community

One of the best ways to keep customers engaged is by creating a community where customers can interact with others. Many businesses do this, from fitness clubs to retail stores, creating a place where community can develop and grow can do wonders for business. Customers can share best practices in regards to your brand, putting you at the center while harnessing the power of inclusion.

The thing you need to know about communities is that they don’t grow in a vacuum. It is your job as the business to create a space for your customers to come together. Once they have this place, you may need to motivate them as they get started until they see the results for themselves. Do your part and put faith in your audience to do theirs, you won’t be disappointed.

engaging with customers

Get creative

The final way to use customer engagement to improve your bottom line and make you more profitable is to get creative and have fun with it. As we said earlier, put yourself in the shoes of your customers: would you rather work with someone that is robotic and systematic in their approach or someone who truly understands what you need?

Additionally, there are a lot of creative ways you can engage with your customers. Looking to receive more interactions with your text marketing campaign? Use short codes. Want to start a conversation with your social media followers? Take a page from Jimmy Fallon’s book and start a fun hashtag. Whatever you do, make sure you are putting your customer’s first and are bringing them content and value that they both want and deserve.

Final thoughts

As you get started with your own customer engagement campaign, we hope that this article will help guide you through the decision making process. By putting the focus on the customers and doing your part to treat them well while adding benefits to their life, you should be on the right track. However, the follow through and ability to adapt will be what sets you apart from your competition.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start changing your customers lives today! After all, they might just return the favor and change yours.


engagement strategies

Boost Retention with These Powerful Engagement Strategies

It is often said that while businesses change, customers stay the same. While this may be true, the way in which businesses reach their customers looks radically different than it did even a few years ago. As business and engagement strategies change, it can be easy to get lost in the whirlwind of new ideas and customer retention techniques that are out there.

In doing our part to help you sort through these various engagement strategies, we have put together a list of the most powerful ways to reach your customers and keep them around. It is our hope that by reading through this list you will have a better understanding of your customers, your business, and how best the two interact. Let’s get started.

engagement strategies

Deliver value with everything you do

The first concept you should understand when seeking to reduce churn rate and improve customer engagement for your business is that you need to deliver value with everything you do. Whether it is an SMS message or an email, an in-person meeting or a chatbot, every interaction with your company should deliver value into your customers’ lives.

When customers come to associate your business with valued added to their lives, they are much more open to engaging with you in new ways. Each of the other engagement strategies we will review are simply different ways of doing this. However, we feel that you should understand the mindset with which you should approach each new scenario to engage with your customers.

Customer service at every turn

Part of providing value means that customer service needs to be high on your list of priorities. This doesn’t just apply to when customers complain or are in need of assistance, but at each turn in their customer journey. This is something that will need to be taught and trainings may be necessary, but the effect on your customers that it will have will be more than worth it.

One area where customer service can make a huge different is with mass text marketing campaigns. Customers are used to receiving automated messages that seek to accomplish a goal, but these same messages can have an even bigger impact with a human touch and added flair. Make sure that you are trying your best to remind customers at each step that you value them and are there to help, should they need anything.

Create useful content

Another engagement strategy that many have used to reach their customers is to create content that is useful to them. With customer retention marketing, the more ways in which you can deliver value to your customers, the better. If you can create content that is not only engaging, but can help your customers solve a problem, you will have it made in the shade.

However, we should mention that timing and the way in which this content is deliver will have an impact on its success. Obviously, you will need a place to house the information, like a blog. This will allow your customers to discover it on their own should they need to, but you should also be ready to meet them with a quick text blast linking to the article that best solves the issue they are facing.

listen to your customers

Listen to your audience

While delivering value is a hallmark of customer engagement strategies, it’s not always easy to know what your customers value. This is why it is important to listen to your audience. Unfortunately, when you are struggling to improve customer engagement, it can be difficult to facilitate a productive conversation.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to listen to your audience other than actually talking about it. For instance, you should always be monitoring user engagement metrics to see how your customers are interacting with you. Oftentimes these metrics are more actionable than customer reviews. Our tip: go by what your customers do, not just what they say.

That being said, you should also be open to and even encourage a dialogue with your customers. Make sure there is a place on your website where customers can come with comments and complaints. Dealing with things like this directly is always preferable to doing so publicly on less-formal platforms like social media.

Read also: Customer Satisfaction and You

Learn from past campaigns

A running theme of customer engagement is seeing what has worked before and what hasn’t before launching into a new engagement strategy. Think back to previous campaigns you have run and try to imagine what could have gone differently to improve engagement with your customers.

By taking a hard look at previous work, you will not only be able to learn from past mistakes, but better understand the audience you are hoping to serve. This might also be a good chance to find ways to incorporate new mobile marketing tools to boost your retention and engagement strategies.

Personalize your messaging

Speaking of new tools and technologies, a recent engagement strategy that many businesses are using is personalization. Each time you send an SMS, email, or push notification, you can make it personal to that customer by adding their name and any other information you might have. This sort of engagement strategy builds on relationship marketing and shows your customers that you care.

Not only do customers enjoy when brands personalize their experience, but studies show that it increase their likelihood of making a purchase as well. In fact, most customer engagement strategies are simply about taking things that extra step to improve the lives of your customers.

engaging customers

Bring human insight to the customer experience

Our final word on customer engagement strategies comes from an unlikely source: The Bible. In Luke 6:31, it is written “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” More commonly referred to as the Golden Rule, this piece of advice can transform your customer engagement campaign.

By simply asking yourself “Would I want this kind of service?” before running a campaign, you are able to bring human insight to the world of customer engagement. This is really all it takes to create a loyal customer base, to treat them with respect. Remind yourself of this at each stage of the process and you will soon have no problem finding ways to engage customers.


text marketing

How to Build Out a Text Marketing Campaign in 8 Easy Steps

In the world of mobile marketing, text marketing and SMS are notorious for delivering exceptional results and increased engagement. However, without the proper tools and guidelines, it can be difficult to set up a text marketing campaign that gets the job done. In fact, when customers receive poor messaging from companies, it can have the opposite effect that the campaign aims for.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that happening any longer. In this article, we are going to walk you through how to build out a text marketing campaign with 8 easy steps. Once you have a better understanding of how best to lay out your campaign, you will be ready to take on your customers and take your mobile marketing game to a whole new level. Let’s get started.

text marketing

1. Lay out your goals

The first step in the process of putting together a text marketing campaign is to lay out your goals. Even though SMS has many applications that can be used across all forms of businesses, your goals for the campaign will ultimately dictate which aspects of the platform you will take advantage of. Since your goals will have such a huge impact on the rest of the campaign, it’s important to have them laid out ahead of time.

For instance, if you are hoping to increase customer engagement for your business, make sure that you have a way of tracking user engagement metrics. This will not only allow you to monitor the success of your campaign from the get-go, but will offer insights into how best to approach your audience.

2. Perform market research

Once you have a good grasp on the goals of your campaign, the next step is to perform market research in order to find the best path to meet your goals. This step is just as important as laying out your goals, as the market will tell you whether or not your goals are achievable. It will also give you a glimpse of who you will be marketing towards.

Although there are several ways to research your potential customers, you may already have some of the work done. For example, companies with customer loyalty programs have already begun the process of learning about their customers. If you have already started a program, review what you have learned as you begin to craft your campaign.

3. Create a clear call to action

Now that you know who you will be marketing to and what you hope to accomplish by doing so, the time has come to begin creating your first text marketing messages. As a rule of thumb, each message of your SMS campaign should contain a call-to-action or next step your customers should take. This will lead to higher engagement rates and a better customer relationship.

The first call-to-action you will likely send will be an SMS opt-in message. This will confirm with your customers that you will be sending them text marketing messages. Not only is this important to do for establishing your campaign, but it is actually required by law. Once you have this done, you will be ready to start honing your campaign.

Additional reading: SMS Opt-in Best Practices

text marketing campaign

4. Nurture audience through segmentation and personalization

At the beginning, you may be discouraged by low click-through rates and limited interaction, but this is perfectly normal. The next step is to make sure that these first-time blues won’t last for long. As more customers opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, you should segment them into different customer personas by which you can personalize their campaign.

As we mentioned earlier, no two businesses use text marketing the same way. The same logic applies to your customers. By segmenting your audience and personalizing your messages, you are showing them that you care. Not only that, but more tailored messages have a much higher percent chance of making a difference with your customer base.

5. Time your messages well

Now that you are starting to build a rapport with your audience, it becomes your job to ensure that you don’t do anything to put them off. Customers except text marketing campaigns to be helpful and consistent. If you start to do anything that indicates to them this isn’t the case, they will leave.

One of the most common pitfalls first-time SMS marketers find themselves in is not timing their messages correctly. This might simply be due to ignorance, as many don’t realize that 98% of their messages are read within 2 minutes. This kind of speed means you need to be wary of not only what you are sending, but when you are sending your messages.

6. Limit frequency of messages

Along with timing your messages well, customers can easily be turned off by being bombarded with messages. This is why it is important to limit the frequency of your messages, ideally to at most 8 per month. By being consistent and providing value with your messages, customers will look forward to receiving them instead of dreading them.

We should mention that this frequency doesn’t apply when customers reach out to your proactively. Often, SMS calls-to-action will include a short code that customers can text back to receive more information. Since this sort of interaction is the reason for your campaign, it should be encouraged, not limited.

text message marketing

7. Remember the rules

The final way to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted hiccups in your text marketing campaign is to remember and follow the rules of SMS marketing. If you aren’t already familiar with them, you can find a complete list here. However, the basics of these rules are fairly easy to stay within.

For instance, you should always include a way for customers to opt-out of your campaign. While this may seem like by offering the option, more people will opt-out, but the opposite is often the case. Customers like to feel in control and by giving them an out, you are able to do exactly that.

8. Measure, analyze, repeat

Finally, as your text marketing campaign comes to a close, it’s worth taking time to measure the success of your marketing and analyze what could be done better. Mobile user engagement metrics and analytics can tell you just about everything you need to know, especially if you have already segmented your audience.

Then, once you understand how your campaign went, the next step is to repeat the entire process. Truly phenomenal SMS campaigns don’t happen on your first try, but instead come from perfecting your messages and tactics until you find the best possible balance. Although it may seem like you are pushing a boulder up a hill just to have it slide back down, your customers will appreciate you as you continue to grow and provide value.


customer satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction And You: Making A Difference With Your Audience

Over the last few decades, a shift has taken place in the world of business. With the invention of the internet and the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, customers now have more power than ever before. Due to this growing trend of customer-centric marketing, strategies for keeping customers around like customer satisfaction and relationship marketing have become even more important.

Whether you are the owner of your own business or just starting out with a company, the way you treat your customers matters. In this article, we are going to walk you through how to increase the satisfaction of your customers, thereby making a difference for your overall audience. Without taking up any more time on the “why” of customer satisfaction, let’s get into the “how.”

customer satisfaction

Hire the right people

The first step you can take in maximizing customer satisfaction for your business is to hire the right people. By this we mean people who are not only dedicated to the success of the business, but the success of your customers as well. Since your employees will likely spend countless hours communicating and dealing with your customer base, it’s important to find people with the right mindset going in.

The second part of this step is to treat your employees well once you hire them. Far too many companies are relying on marketing automation to get the job done, but you can never put a price on the personal touch offered by a capable employee. Seek out talent in the area you are looking for and then hold onto them for dear life once you have them.

Surveys, surveys, surveys

The next thing you should do upon striking out on your customer satisfaction journey is to create a survey for your current customer base. This is the best time to set a benchmark with which you can measure your customer satisfaction metrics as time progresses. This can offer you insight into user engagement that will be hard to come by later, so make it a focus early on.

However, it’s no longer enough just to do this at the beginning. Throughout your campaigns you should be sending regular customer satisfaction surveys in order to collect data on your customer’s attitudes. From this along with your original benchmark you will be able both explore new ideas as well as see your campaign working in real time.

Read also: 7 Best Practices for Collecting Customer Feedback

Manage customer expectations

Part of providing your customers with the best possible experience means managing customer expectations. Far too often, companies will set expectations well out of their reach, setting themselves up for inevitable failure. However, if you can take an age-old approach to under promise and over deliver, your customers will be much more satisfied.

By no means should you set very low expectations simply to overcome them, as this is not an environment for growth. Instead, set expectations within your grasp but still far enough out to give you something to shoot for. When you manage customer expectations well, you can retain more customers simply by getting the job done.

client satisfaction

Perfect the onboarding process

So far, we have only been talking about current customers and retention techniques. While these are definitely important, one of the biggest customer drop-offs happens right at the beginning. This is why perfecting the onboarding process is vital to the overall customer satisfaction of your audience.

The onboarding process can be a stumbling block for many customers as the monotonous process of filling out information can give them enough time to get cold feet. However, if you are able to guide them through this process and offer them reassurances at every point, they will feel more secure in working with you. Although this is the most common area of churn for many companies, it can actually be a huge opportunity when done correctly.

Collect data whenever possible

Along with providing customer satisfaction surveys through the process, you should also be collecting data on customer interactions whenever possible. Whether it is your email click-through rates, your SMS open-rates, or simply the number of people in your customer loyalty program, this data is priceless when trying to better understand your audience.

That being said, it’s not enough simply to collect the data, you need to use it as well. For instance, you can learn a lot about your audience by which blog posts are gaining traction from your newsletter. You should use this information to segment your audience, which allows you to provide more tailored content for each portion of your audience.

Personalization

Now, once you have collected all of that data, what should you do with it? Although there are many answers to this question, one common use of customer data is personalization. You can personalized emails, SMS marketing messages, and even chatbots on your website to give your customers a tailored experience at every turn.

It turns out that this isn’t just a marketing gimmick, but consumers really do want personalization. This is indicative of a larger request from consumers to be treated with above and beyond service, otherwise they can take their business elsewhere. As customer satisfaction marketers in 2018, it is our job to meet their needs and provide the best experience whenever possible.

customer satisfaction

Clearly define your standards for success

The last aspect of improving the customer satisfaction of your business is to set the proper expectations for yourself as well as your customers. Once you have collected data from your customers, you need to set rational, achievable goals for your business so that you know whether or not you are being successful.

In the same way that none of your customers are alike, your measures of success will be different from others. Instead of focusing on your competition, learn from your previous success which KPIs to measure and how to set the proper standards. This is very important to do early on as to not get lost in a focus on customer satisfaction with no way of knowing whether you are meeting your goals or not.

Customer Satisfaction and You

As you begin to put together your customer satisfaction campaign, it is important to remember that you are a customer yourself. Outside of your business, you are a customer just like the rest of us and you deserve to be treated well. This should be the first consideration in your efforts: as a customer, how would I want to be treated?

From there, along with the different mobile marketing tools at your disposal, you should have no problem satisfying your customers and retaining them for years to come. All we have lef to say is ‘Good luck!’


mobile analytics

6 Essential Mobile Analytics You Should Be Tracking

When you first get started with mobile marketing, it can be difficult to know if you are having the desired effect on your audience. While you may be receiving new customers and engaging with current clients, without the proper mobile analytics you will find yourself grasping in the dark. Unless you have the proper tracking tools in place, your campaign will never be fully optimized.

Thankfully, this shouldn’t be a problem for you very much longer. In this article, we are going to walk you through 6 different mobile analytics that you need to be tracking. These can not only help you have a better understanding of your mobile marketing campaign, but the way your customers think. By using these mobile analytics correctly, you can put your best foot on the road to increased customer retention and engagement. Let’s get started.

mobile analytics

Big Data and you

Ever since the term “Big Data” came into the cultural zeitgeist years ago, companies have been trying to harness the potential that this term promises. However, many small business owners have ignored this trend due to believe that big data only works for big companies. The truth is that with recent advancements in mobile technology, big data isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies anymore.

Part of harnessing the power of big data is understanding which user engagement metrics matter to your specific business functions. It can be easy to be distracted by different analytics and data points when you aren’t sure what you are looking for, which is yet another reason why we put together this guide.

Long story short: you no longer need a significant budget or years of expertise at your disposal to take advantage of big data. All you need in today’s market is a nudge in the right direction, which is what we hope to provide.

Mobile analytics you need to be tracking

What we are about to take a look at are 6 mobile analytics that you should be tracking to better understand your business, your product, and most importantly, your customers. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these mobile analytics that can take your customer retention marketing campaign to the next level.

1. Click-through rate (CTR)

Whether you are using SMS marketing, email, or a push notification service to reach your customers, one of the most important mobile analytics you need to be tracking is click-through rate or CTR. Not only will this metric show you how many customers actually engaged with your messaging, but it can be used in conjunction with other analytics to get a better idea of the customer journey.

Before you begin sending marketing messages, you will want to make sure that you have a way of tracking the CTR of your campaign. Then, once you have a better understanding of who is clicking, you can measure other metrics like bounce rate and conversion rate. Speaking of, let’s talk about those two mobile analytics.

mobile metrics

2. Bounce rate

While CTR is important for understanding the potency of your marketing messaging, bounce rate can help you ensure that your clicks turn into sales. For those who don’t already know, the bounce rate is when a customer clicks on your call-to-action, but then immediately goes back to the previous page. Obviously, a high bounce rate is not ideal.

Now, imagine that you are running an SMS marketing campaign with a link to your website as the desired action to be taken by your audience. You may be excited by the fact that this message has a high CTR, but upon further investigation you find that your bounce rate is equally high. This means that while your messaging is good, the landing page needs some work. Simply understand the mobile analytics of your campaign like these can show tell you everything you need to know.

3. Conversion rate

On the other side of bounce rate, we have conversion rate, which is a mobile analytic that shows how many people complete a transaction out of the people that visit your site. While we won’t go into the much larger subject of conversion rate optimization, this metric tells you the rest of the story that bounce rate doesn’t.

For instance, should you discover that customers are coming to your page and not bouncing, you might assume that they are more engaged customers. However, should you discover that your conversion rate is low, that story no longer rings true. It is by combining these different mobile analytics that you will be able to comprehend the whole story, giving you better insight into what does and doesn’t work for your customers.

4. Customer acquisition cost

Taking things in a slightly different direction, our next mobile analytic we will tackle is customer acquisition cost. This metric will be used in more of a broad sense than others, but should always be taken into consideration when planning out a campaign. As the name states, CAC is the cost that goes into acquiring a customer, which as most customer retention marketers know is typically at least 5 times as expensive as keeping an existing customer.

Once you know the cost of each customer, it can help put your marketing in context. For instance, if you know that each customer costs $10 to attain (purely hypothetical), you should expect to earn that money back over the course of your relationship. This leads us to the next mobile analytic that works in conjunction with CAC, which is lifetime customer value.

5. Lifetime customer value (LCV)

Each customer that you bring on board has a value to your company, which as they engage with your company will hopefully continue to rise. Taking the average of each of these numbers is what will get you your LCV or lifetime customer value. The goal of most customer retention strategies is to make sure that this number never falls below the cost of acquiring those customers.

In the same way our first few mobile analytics work together, LCV and CAC are two sides of the same coin. By monitoring these dynamic metrics, you will be able to better understand your customer base and the need to reduce churn rate for your company.

mobile app analytics

6. Mobile app analytics

The final group of mobile analytics we will look at is mobile app analytics, which are specialized due to the fact that they require a mobile app. However, having a consumer mobile app is part of many companies mobile marketing strategies, so it is worth taking a look at.

Mobile app analytics can tell you everything about your customer’s interaction with your app, from time spent within the app to how much time passes between unique user sessions. If you have a mobile app for your business, these metrics are invaluable in showing not only how your customers think, but engage with your company. The other great thing about mobile app analytics is they have a broader application outside of the app.

We hope that this guide has been helpful for those looking to get the most out of their mobile campaigns. Remember that without the right tools for tracking in place and knowledge for understanding them, you will be shooting in the dark. Turn a light on by taking advantage of big data and your customers will thank you for it.


sms marketing services

How to Get the Most out of SMS Marketing Services

With each year that the mobile phone market continues to grow, SMS marketing services become more relevant than ever. Not only can mass text marketing deliver pertinent messages to your customer base in seconds, but it’s been proven to increase conversions and response rates across the board.

In order to help you get the most out of using an SMS marketing service, we have put together a quick guide with a few best practices we have learned from running various SMS campaigns. With this knowledge under your belt, you will have the expertise you need to maximize your use of SMS marketing services and make a difference in the lives of your customers.

sms marketing services

Timing is everything

The first thing you need to understand about SMS marketing services is that timing is everything. Due to the almost instantaneous nature of SMS messages, the timing of said messages can either be a benefit or detriment. With close to 95% of text messages being read within 2 minutes, marketers need to be conscious of when they are reaching their audience.

A good rule of thumb here is to 1. only engage with customers during normal business hours, and 2. limit messages to when customers can take immediate action. For instance, sending an SMS just before lunchtime with a coupon for your restaurant would be an example of good timing. Whereas sending the same message just before bed is significantly less likely to have a positive impact.  

Use triggers and short codes

However, when it comes to creating value and increasing conversions, timing is just a basic best practice. In order to have the best possible text message marketing experience, both for you and your customers, you need to use all of the tools at your disposal, such as trigger and short codes.

First, let’s talk about triggers. As we just reviewed, with SMS marketing services, timing is everything. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to manually send messages to your customers at just the right moment. This is where triggers come in. By setting up automations beforehand, you can automate your messages to be sent when customers partake in the specified activity.

Then, you can include a short code within the message in order to increase your chances of converting the customer. Short codes such as HELP and INFO allow customers to interact with your company via SMS to find what they need. Using marketing automation throughout this process makes it easy for you to get your customers what they need, leaving them more satisfied than ever.

Learn more about how SMS can help grow your business.

Be relevant and specific

In the same way that mathematicians are constantly building on their previous work, SMS marketing services improve the more you tailor your messages to your audience. With each message, you need to be relevant to the customer’s needs and provide a specific solution. Like we mentioned earlier, unless the next steps can be taken immediately, you probably don’t need to send that SMS.

However, when you can use business text messaging in a way that is relevant to your customers, you are far more likely to be successful. Thankfully, most SMS marketing services allow for segmentation of your audience. By creating different customer personas and matching them with the proper message, your marketing efforts will be much more effective.

sms marketing service

Always include a call-to-action

One of the biggest mistakes that first-time SMS marketers make is forgetting to include a call-to-action with every message. After all, if you take the time to craft a relevant message, send it at the right time to the right audience, and then give them nowhere to go, what was the point? SMS marketing is the most actionable mobile marketing tool at your disposal, don’t forget that.

Instead, craft each message with the call-to-action in mind. This can be something as simple as “Check out our website for more information” or as complex as “Tell us about your most recent customer service experience.” Regardless of the call-to-action, including one with each message is vital to the success of your campaign.

Use normal, straightforward language

Another common mistake that SMS marketers make is using “text message language” for their business text message campaign. Even though the format of SMS feels informal, one of the quickest ways to lose subscribers is by forgetting the professional relationship you have established with your customers.

Although it might be more difficult to fit normal, straightforward language into your 166-character message, leaving out extra words is a much better alternative to sending a messaging with abbreviations like “LOL” or “FTW.” Keep it professional, keep it consistent, and your customers will thank you for treating them with respect.

Don’t get lost in the details

When you are trying to get your message across to your audience with such limited space, it can be difficult to include all of the details you want. Here is our advice: don’t. Part of the lure of SMS marketing services is that you can’t include everything, leaving your customers wanting more and thus following your call-to-action.

Once you begin to understand the ins and outs of SMS advertising, you will learn how best to craft messages so that they entice without telling the whole story. Include only details that are relevant to your customers and let them follow through to find the rest of the information, showing that they are truly interested.

marketing services

Measure results and learn from them

Our final piece of advice for maximizing your usage of SMS marketing services is to measure the results of your campaigns and then learn from them. While it has become commonplace to track user engagement metrics, far too few companies actually do something with the information they gather. Our advice is to review these metrics regularly and apply them to future campaigns.

Ultimately, this is what will set your SMS marketing campaign apart from the competition: the dedication to continuous improvement. By learning from bother your success and mistakes, soon your messages will be able to convert even the most stubborn of customers. Soon you will see just how important these metrics are to creating a successful campaign.

Conclusion

As you begin to work with SMS marketing services and find your groove when crafting messages, don’t forget what you learned. Each of these tips or best practices we reviewed are based on years of experience doing exactly what you hope to do, so stand on our shoulders and make the best campaign you can.

In the end, it will be by learning from others as well as yourself that you will be able to accomplish your goals. So get after it, you never know what might be just around the corner.


mobile advertising

8 Mobile Advertising Tools Designed to Increase Customer Engagement

Ever since the invention of the smartphone, the world of marketing has slowly shifted toward a mobile-centric point. Along the way, different mobile marketing tools have aided the growth of this mobile revolution. So much so, in fact, that according to MarketingLand, by 2019, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending.

In order to help you keep up with the new ways of doing things, we have put together a list of 8 mobile advertising tools to help you succeed. These tools are specifically designed to increase customer engagement and reform your mobile advertising campaign into something truly exceptional. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

mobile advertising

Text message marketing

Right off the bat we have one of the most powerful mobile advertising tools available: text message marketing. Sometimes referred to as SMS marketing or business text messaging, text message marketing has been around long before smartphones, but has only grown in both effectiveness and efficiency over the course of the mobile revolution.

The aspect of text message marketing that makes it perfect for customer engagement is that over 95% of all SMS messages are read within 2 minutes. It doesn’t take much imagination to think about what you could do with the ability to reach your entire target audience in the blink of an eye. However, there other tools out there that can help you get the most bang for your buck with SMS marketing.

SMS short codes

One such mobile advertising tool is SMS short codes, which can be used as a way to automate interactions between you and your customers. For instance, some businesses have started to use SMS as a way to run support for their customer base. Not only are the messages almost instantaneous, but many answers to frequently asked questions can be automated beforehand.

Short codes are not just for support though; they can also be great for running discounts or improving conversion rates on calls-to-action. By their very definition, short codes are designed to increase engagement and should be a part of your mobile advertising toolkit.

Read also: How to use an SMS short code to improve mobile engagement.

MMS marketing

Another underutilized mobile marketing tool is MMS or multimedia messaging service marketing. MMS marketing is similar to SMS with a few more capabilities that are not found with normal SMS messages. For example, while SMS is limited to 166 character messages, MMS can go as far as 500 characters, including media such as images or videos and a subject line.

If you are having trouble sparking interest in your SMS marketing campaign, MMS might be the way to go. The additional features provided by MMS can be the extra push your mobile advertising strategy needs to meet your goals.

Mobile search and display ads

As more customers rely on their mobile devices for completing tasks and surfing the web, mobile search has continued to grow with it. A few years ago, Google unveiled that over 50% of all searches are now done on mobile devices and that number is only expected to increase as time goes on.

The mobile advertising tool we are talking about here is mobile search and display ads on search engines. User engagement metrics show that not only are more people searching on mobile, but they are often more serious about making a purchase decision. Display ads on targeted keywords help your customers find you when they are most likely to make a buying decision, so you need to be showing up when they search.

mobile advertising tools

Branded mobile app

Another emerging mobile advertising strategy that many brands are taking advantage of is creating a branded mobile app. Although mobile app development might seem like a big step to take for your business, according to Smart Insight, that’s where your customers spend their time.

In fact, apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites. Unless you have an app of your own, you will be forced to rely on your mobile site. Having a seamless mobile site is important to your mobile advertising efforts, but creating an app should be part of that strategy as well. Not only is it where you customers spend time, but it opens up the opportunity to use other mobile tools you wouldn’t have without it.

Location-based marketing

One of those mobile apps tools being location-based marketing. If you’ve ever installed a new app in your phone, it has likely prompted you to share your location. When you do this, the people who create the app are able to send targeted messages to you based on where you are. For instance, the Starbucks app can alert you to nearby locations and offer a discount should you take the time to stop in.

This kind of customer engagement strategy has been very successful for companies looking to reach new customers. Although right now the customers would need to already have the app downloaded, the technology is changing to include SMS as well. For the time being, however, push notifications can be another powerful tool.  

Push-notification service

Similar to SMS, push notifications can be an effective way to reach your customers with highly targeted mobile advertising. Since the customers will already have agreed to receive these messages, in the same way that you have to opt-in to SMS, they are much more likely to engage with your brand.

As push notification services become more popular, new features will hopefully continue to emerge that take advantage of the strengths of this channel. As mobile advertising evolves, it will be important to understand when to use the proper channels at your disposal to make the biggest impact for your customers.

mobile customer

Social media

Our final mobile advertising tool is not exclusive to mobile, but it’s pretty close. According to comScore, 80% of social media time is spent on a mobile devices, meaning that social media should absolutely be a part of your mobile campaign. Different social media platforms should be used like different mobile advertising channels for maximized effect.

In the same way that customers are always on their phones, they are constantly checking social media as well. If you aren’t able to reach them with SMS, social is usually the next best place.

We hope that these 8 tools will help you continue to engage your customers in new and exciting ways. As you continue to plan out your customer retention marketing campaign, remember when and how to use each of these mobile advertising tools. Trust us, they will serve you well.