A recent cartoon by Tom Fishburne (Marketoonist) shows a woman receiving a “ping” from a brand on her mobile phone. The update reads, “We just Tweeted that we Facebooked that we GooglePlussed that we blogged that we’ve sent you an email newsletter with an update.” The consumer’s response? “Good for you.”
In the not-so-distant past, marketers used email as the primary way to communicate with their customers. Initially, message delivery via inbox performed exceedingly well. Over time, however, open rates steadily declined and the industry moved to cross-channel marketing. This is when marketers began using a combination of email, text, newsletters, phone, direct mail and PPC to reach their desired audience. The problem then became “Channel Fatigue”—the irritation that customers experience from receiving too many messages via too many communication channels from companies with which they do business.
This type of communication can exhaust users with what seems like a never ending influx of calls to action. It’s not only confusing for the customer, but tends to result in a negative response that can actually damage the credibility of the brand.
So how should brands communicate with their customers in meaningful ways so that they are viewed as a help and not an annoyance?
In order to eliminate the frustration and confusion that results from channel fatigue, marketing teams must re-think their defined channels of communication. Most importantly, they need to reach customers during what Google calls, “the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).” These are defined as micro-moments for customers: Want-to-know moments. Want-to-go moments. Want-to-do moments. Want-to-BUY moments.
So, how exactly are today’s SaaS companies reaching users in the right moment and at the right time? Here are a few steps brands can take to better engage customers and reduce channel fatigue.
- Make the message relevant to each customer
SaaS companies that truly understand what is most important to their customers and how their target audience wishes to receive messages can significantly reduce channel fatigue. Success stems from using multiple outlets to communicate messages.
For example, sending a request to download a new mobile application may be best received when the user is actually in the application, as they’re likely to be using a laptop and more amenable to making the change. Likewise, inviting the user to watch a video demonstrating how a new application works might be best received on social media or within a newsletter, when the customer may be using a smartphone.
- Deliver messaging at the right moment and when customers are most receptive
As most product marketers know, there is a particular moment during the customer journey that will make or break an upsell. If a company is able to send the right message or information to the customer during this critical buying moment, it can become a powerful upsell opportunity.
Imagine delivering a call-out message or follow-up email to a user about a particular product or service based on what that person did or didn’t do inside of your application. In the digital advertising space, this is called retargeting. Now, by identifying customer behaviors such as product views, recently searched subject matter and click events, companies can identify what kind of information their buyers need, and when they’re most likely to need it. This level of intelligence enables SaaS companies to provide customers with optimal value and demonstrate that they care about solving pain points and making life easier for the end user.
- Segment high value customers and understand their usage of your application
Have you isolated those customers of the highest value to your company? Perhaps they are comprised of those who make the buying decision and renew your SaaS agreement each month, quarter or year. Or, more likely, they are customers who exhibit an inordinately high likelihood of churn, such as users who aren’t logging in, not using specific features, or responding poorly to surveys. Segmenting customers into personas is critical to delivering more relevant messaging that will resonate with their needs from your application.
Next, do you know where these high value customers are going within your web app? Are they clicking on and actively using key features that will provide them with the most value and, ultimately, the greatest satisfaction with your platform? Typically, we know customer usage overall, but not down to the specific audience segment and the features that they use most often – or don’t use at all. UserIQ can provide this level of understanding so that you can hone the user experience on a one-to one basis through audience segmentation.
Improving the business-to-customer relationship through one-to-one marketing
While channel fatigue may not be completely unavoidable, companies can improve customer engagement and reduce channel fatigue by taking a deeper look into how their users want to be communicated with, which channels are the best to communicate certain messages and ways to make engagement easier for the end-user. Doing so will ultimately improve the business-to-customer relationship, which as we know, correlates to brand loyalty and greater opportunities for increased revenue.
Here at UserIQ, our customers achieve 20-40% conversion rates by using in-application messaging.
In fact, just a few weeks ago, a leading medical staffing company improved their survey completion rate by 70% within 10 days of deploying UserIQ in-app messaging tools.
Looking for better ways to communicate with customers? Learn how our in-application messaging can double engagement rates – contact us.