Combat Digital Fatigue With Conversational Messaging

September 29, 2022
Written by
Reviewed by
Chris Piwinski
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

Combat Digital Fatigue with Conversational Messaging Header Image

Have you ever felt like the “ding” notification on your phone too closely resembles the Jaws theme song? 

“Dun dun…”

Or have you ever felt digital fatigue start to weigh on your attention span, making it more challenging to swim through your daily responsibilities?

“Dun dun…”

Think back to how many times brands have reached out to you in the past day alone. No, really, think about it. How many businesses have sent you text messages or emails, shared advertisements in your social media feeds, or even popped up while you were in a completely unrelated application on your phone?

“Dun dun…”

In 2022, escaping brand communications can feel nearly impossible.

“Dun dun…dun dun…dun dun…”

It doesn’t matter where customers go or what they do, brands tend to pop out of the (metaphorical) water and chomp at their attention. And before you know it…

conversational messaging digital fatigue shark attack

Digital fatigue swallows customers whole.

Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme. But in our 2022 State of Customer Engagement Report, one in three consumers reported experiencing digital fatigue in the past 30 days alone. When you break that statistic down across generations, 47% of millennials and 42% of Generation Z reported experiencing digital fatigue over the past 30 days.

That’s because brands drown consumers with communication. Whether it’s marketing of new products, requests for feedback, or even follow ups from past communication, customers eventually hit a breaking point where communication from brands becomes all consuming

On top of initiating these conversations, brands tend to lead all communication while demanding specific information from customers. And this requested information often benefits the companies, not the customers.

So if you’re a business that is trying to differentiate and establish meaningful, loyal, and trusting relationships with your customers—how can you help them stay afloat rather than contribute to their digital fatigue?

The answer is conversational messaging.

Conversational messaging serves as a lifeboat for customers experiencing digital fatigue by putting the power to chat with brands in their hands. It allows them to reach out on any channel, any time to get help or even make purchases. Delivering this option shows consumers that your company values them and their specific, individual preferences and needs.

Here’s how to prepare that lifeboat for your customers.

Meet customers where they are with conversational messaging

According to our new report, 61% of consumers report sometimes, often, or always disabling push notifications.

As a business, you can only build meaningful relationships with customers if you are willing to meet them on the channels they use.

Conversational messaging empowers businesses to communicate with customers on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Google Business Messages, WhatsApp, and more. As a result, customers don’t need to visit a business’s website in order to communicate. They can simply initiate a conversation where they are already spending time.

This eliminates a few steps for customers hoping to speak with businesses, which in turn decreases digital fatigue.

As a company, take the time to learn the platforms your customers prefer and frequently use. Then, craft messages on these platforms that open up conversation. Remember, don’t speak at your customers. Give them the option to speak with you.

Here’s how.

Empower customers to initiate conversations

58% of consumers say they would want the option to make purchases directly through conversational messaging channels, if available.

Think about the last advertisement you saw on Instagram. What was the CTA on it? Most likely something along the lines of “learn more” or “buy now.” Too frequently, these advertisements force consumers through the customer journey and ask them to look directly at their products/services—or even just buy them—right away. This leaves very little space for building trust during the customer’s decision-making process.

A customer that is on social media isn’t necessarily about to make a purchase. That’s why your business needs to be careful not to talk at customers and immediately demand something from them.

Being available on the messaging channels your customers use opens the opportunity for them to initiate conversations with you. And our research shows that’s what they’re looking for. Ninety-five percent of consumers say they would trust a brand more if it was easy for them to initiate a conversation. And more than three-quarters of consumers reported wanting to use conversational messaging to get help with the early stages of buying.

Create CTAs that simply encourage customers to reach out to you instead of shoving a purchase their way. This is especially helpful for customers who are starting to consider a purchase—part of their research can be to have a direct conversation with your business.

When it comes to existing customers or prospects who’ve created accounts, you can use first-party data to open up conversation. For example, a hair care subscription brand should have an idea of when a customer needs a refill on their products. Instead of waiting for a customer to come back to their website to buy more products, the seller could text the customer (with permission) and simply ask if they’d like a refill, which they can start and finish through SMS.

Conversational messaging puts control back in customers’ hands, opening dialogue without the pressure of a purchase. This helps break through digital fatigue.

Create a consistent experience across all channels

95% of consumers say they would trust a brand more if they responded quickly to questions.

The point of conversational messaging is to empower your customers and meet them where they’re already spending their time. You want to make interactions as quick and easy as possible for them. That means providing consistent experiences across all channels. It doesn’t matter where your customer started their conversation with your brand—they should be able to pick up where they left off on any platform.

For example, let’s say your customer starts their journey by chatting with an agent through an Instagram advertisement. Later, they communicate with another live agent through SMS. Even though these platforms are different, the agents should have all the information from every interaction available. That way, the customer doesn’t need to repeat their initial conversation and can simply continue as if there was no change in channel.

Learn how Flex’s customization can help your agents provide customers with consistent experiences across platforms.

Also, make sure you are using the same language around your company and products with every interaction and platform to create a consistent brand experience. You want anyone speaking to customers to represent your brand accurately.

Save your customers from drowning in digital fatigue with conversational messaging

Too many brands leave customers to drown in their communications, contributing to the growing issue of digital fatigue.  

To gain trust and loyalty, your business needs to meet customers where they already spend their time. You also need to offer a consistent experience across platforms. Consumers will most likely communicate with your company in different ways, but the experiences should build on each other so they don’t need to continually start their journey from step one when speaking with you.

Learn more about how conversational messaging can break through digital fatigue in our new report: Conversational Messaging: The Next  Storefront Experience.

Jessica Nath is a Content Marketing Specialist at Twilio, Inc. She currently lives in Salt Lake City (before you ask, no, she doesn't ski) but will always be a Yinzer at heart (certified Pittsburgher). She can be reached at jnath [at]