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The Secret to Effective Communication? Get Personal

Imagine opening an email from your favorite brand offering you 50 percent off to sign up for a product you already have. Chances are you would immediately delete the email or contact the company to inquire why you’re paying more than a new customer.

The need to personalize each of your critical customer communications is no secret. Customers are bogged down with countless promotional emails and direct mailers they receive daily – meaning they simply don’t have the time to waste reading a communication that doesn’t pertain to their needs. Personalizing your critical customer communications shows your customer you pay attention to their specific journey with your company. According to Accenture, “75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history.”

Personalizing your critical customer communications means going beyond merely addressing your customer by name – it means understanding your customer and what they need from your company and your products or services. Using data to formulate a 360-degree picture of your customer allows you to target your customers based on their buying habits, interests, needs and more. This deep level of knowledge about your customer allows you to offer discounts or suggest products that will be useful to your customer and keep them loyal to your brand.

Tools like OSG’s Dynamic Messaging and Campaign Composer allow you to create targeted messages designed specifically with your customers in mind. Using Campaign Composer, you can quickly and easily segment your customer base and send targeted one-to-one marketing messages. Dynamically targeting messages to suit your customers’ needs increases the effectiveness of your campaigns and keeps your customer active and engaged.

It’s time to take your critical customer communications to the next level—personal.

How to Create Stand-Out Customer Messages

If you looked in your inbox right now, how many messages and promotions would you see? From email to social media to direct mail, you (and your clients) are constantly bombarded with companies trying to get their message in the hands of their customers. So, the question becomes: how do you make your message stand out among the hordes of others? We’ve put together a few simple tricks designed to help your message grab—and keep—the attention of the reader.

1. Turn on the Right Channel

The first step is deciding where to send the message. Your customers have a litany of communication channels to choose from, and it is up to you to accommodate their channel preference. This is by no means a one-size-fits-all situation. A segment of your customers will prefer email communication, while others won’t even have email accounts. The right communication channel can be the determining factor as to whether your customer ever sees your message, so choose wisely.

2. Add Some Color 

Color highlights important information in your messages, drawing the attention of your reader. Using color can have a big impact, so it’s imperative not to go overboard. Pick 2-3 colors that are consistent with your branding and don’t be afraid to add various shades of those colors to enhance to your design. Use white space to your advantage; this will help to draw the eye to the important information you want to get across. As Chris, our in-house graphic designer puts it: “Leave room for white space. Not every inch of your message has to be filled with something. Blank space will actually enhance your design and draw more attention to the pertinent information in your message. Sometimes, as they say, less really is more.”

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3. Design for Action

You will want to create a design that is eye-catching, colorful and informative. Keep to your company’s branding to maintain consistency. Don’t overdo your design. Too much information can be off putting, leaving the reader unsure where to look. Make good use of your text, images and color to leave an overall good impression with your customer. A well-constructed design will be sure to get your reader’s attention!

4. Consider the Recipient

Personalization has become so prevalent across every industry that it is no longer acceptable to simply send out mass communications to your entire customer base. When your customer opens their email or direct mail, they want to see a message that relates to their specific interests and buying preferences. If it doesn’t, your carefully crafted and designed communication is headed straight to the (virtual or physical) trash. Utilizing data in your communications allows you to target your messages to each customer, ensuring you keep the customer’s attention by offering promotions and products that directly address their specific needs.

Don’t let your critical customer communications get lost in an inbox. Whether it is relaying vital billing data or checking in about a new service, each message you send relays important information to your customer—and important information deserves to be noticed. Still not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Channel Surfing: The New Customer Communication Model

The term channel surfing brings to mind images of lazy teenagers flipping from one TV station to another, halfheartedly looking for a show to pique their interest. When it comes to customer communication however, channel surfing takes on a whole new meaning.

Choosing Your Channel

Your customers no longer solely rely on one source for their entire catalogue of communication needs. Instead, they navigate between channels to receive their information and relevant news. With clients perpetually changing devices, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer multiple forms of communication. Only utilizing one or two channels means you end up ignoring huge chunks of your customer base and losing out on building lasting relationships with those customers. According to Aberdeen Group, Inc., “Companies with strong omni-channel strategies can expect to retain an average of 89% of their customers.” Be it print or digital, communicating with your customers where they are most comfortable means you are guaranteeing you remain connected.

Different Channel, Same Message

The variety of communication channels can bring about a significant issue for companies—unifying the message. Although print and digital may seem like two completely different worlds, it is crucial for every channel – be it online or off – to have a consistent voice. If a customer chooses to receive email notifications instead of a printed bill, they shouldn’t be receiving a completely different message. Aligning cross-channel communication means you create a unified voice for your company and a better overall experience for your customer.

Whatever channel your customers pick, it’s up to you to ensure your message is received.

5 Important Omnichannel Marketing Metrics

As an omnichannel communications company, we recognize the importance of providing digital and print solutions that move with customers as their ways of communicating evolve. That’s easy enough to say, but here are some stats we culled that illustrate the importance of providing this omnichannel experience from both the consumer and marketer perspectives.

98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day. (Source: 2016 Google Research report)

-75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person). (Source: 2016 State of the Connected Consumer Report)

Companies with strong omnichannel strategies can expect to retain an average of 89% of their customers. (Source: Aberdeen Group, Inc.)

-86% of senior-level marketers agree that it’s important to create a cohesive customer journey across all touch points and channels. (Source: Salesforce)

Companies where marketers align content to the buyer’s journey experience 74% more revenue growth year-over-year, compared to companies with no alignment. (Source:  Aberdeen Group, Inc.)

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