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A guide to effective customer engagement (with real brand examples)

Sophia King
By Sophia King — August 11, 2020 -

Did you know that two-thirds of a company’s profit relies on effectively engaging customers?

Customer engagement isn’t a fluffy marketing term. It’s a strategy proven to grow business and increase long-term revenue. As well as boosting your profit margins, engaging your customers could reduce churn rate and increase customer revenue by an average of 23%.

And that's before considering the impact of the pandemic. 

Now, in the age of Covid-19, customer engagement is even more crucial to business success. Consumers are spending carefully and scrutinising the brands they shop with. Marketing budgets are smaller. Companies are under pressure to keep new customers acquired during lockdown.

The marketing landscape is new and evolving. Both macro – such as the nationwide lockdown – and micro effects – such as the buying options available to individuals – are continuously changing customer behaviour. To remain relevant, brands must understand and adapt to shoppers' changing needs and desires. Even if working with a reduced marketing budget and/or team. 

As consumers shop in new ways, building advocacy through good customer experiences and high engagement is crucial. As is continuous measurement, so you can develop your understanding of what works for specific segments throughout the customer lifecycle.

Companies that improve engagement can increase cross-sell revenue by 22%, up-sell revenue by 38% and order size by 5 to 85%. Engage with your customers in the right ways, and you can turn one-off transactions into loyal brand advocates. Into customers who love your brand so much, they aren’t interested in looking anywhere else (even if they could find similar products cheaper). Customers who actively recommend your brand, introducing friends who are statistically more likely to spend more and buy again

Customers with high lifetime value who drive significant long-term revenue for your business, in tough times and beyond.

Here's how you can do just that. 

8 strategies for engaging your customers

1. Unite digital and physical experiences

In 2018, Nike opened a concept store for its NikePlus members. It used their data – buying patterns, app usage and other trends – to determine decisions like which products to stock.

While such a feat may feel more aspirational than achievable for your brand right now, it highlights how you can combine on and offline activity to create seamless customer experiences. 

A good starting point for bringing the two together is by showing consistent, personalised content across touchpoints. A customer is far more likely to engage with an offer they see multiple times, particularly if at points of delight

Imagine your customer has just placed an order. They see a message encouraging them to buy again within two weeks for a complimentary gift. They’re feeling excited about their new order but not quite ready to spend more money. Later that day, they get an email from your brand showing the same offer. This time, they browse your website but exit before checking out. A few days later, their order arrives. Excitedly, they open it and find an insert showing the same offer for a third time. This time, they make it all the way to check out and become a repeat customer. 

Customers see countless messages online everyday, but rarely do they see the same message multiple times in both digital and physical form. A personalised in-pack insert enhances the unboxing experience and increases the likelihood of your customers taking desired actions. We work with to provide this service to our clients’ customers.Figleaves referral message

Figleaves encourages customers to refer friends with a personalised in-pack insert

2. User-generated content 

Social media can be incredibly powerful, but it’s also incredibly saturated with brands competing for consumer attention. User-generated content is a simple yet effective way to cut through the noise and reach your target audience.

If you sell everyday products like clothing or furniture, it’s likely your products are already in thousands of posts shared online. The trick is to make sure customers tag you in these posts and use your chosen hashtag. You can encourage this by using incentives, such as competition entry or the chance to feature on your website. Not only will this engage your customers sharing online, but it’ll also build awareness of your brand and support new customer acquisition. Websites with user-generated content typically increase return visitors by 20%

Better yet, user-generated content offers an alternative to traditional advertising at a time when you’ve likely had to postpone or cancel photoshoots. Sharing images of real people using your products in their everyday lives offers a powerful alternative to professional models and slick photography. You may even find it yields better returns – and it doesn’t cost a penny.Ted Baker user-generated content message

Ted Baker invites customers to share their looks on social media

3. Newsletter subscriptions

Email CRM probably already plays a big role in your marketing activity. But does it play a big role in your customer retention strategy?

Connecting your email activity with onsite touchpoints is an effective way to encourage customers to return. For example, customers invited to subscribe to your newsletter when they've just placed their order are significantly more likely to do so than at other points in their journey. Once they’ve subscribed, you can build engagement with regular email updates that show you understand them and motivate them to buy again.

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