Consumer notification fatigue is real. From the constant ping of an enthusiastic group text thread, to the 17th sales-related email on a single day, to order delivery notifications on our smartwatches and everything in between, it's one thing to send a message, but entirely another to capture a person's attention with it.
That's why in today's 24/7 world, it's more important than ever for brands to notify their customers with messages that are valuable, personalized, and trust-building. Valuable in that the notifications shared are useful to the recipient, personalized in that they are relevant and cut through the noise and trust-building by providing autonomy to the customer to choose the communication channel they prefer engaging on.
Learn more about building an effective notifications strategy below and calculate the ROI for your business in our latest business value calculator here.
Continuing the conversation
Now is not the time to slow down the conversation: 47 percent of consumers say they want to hear from companies either with the same frequency as before COVID-19 or more frequently given how rapidly things are shifting. And despite the sheer quantity of COVID-19 messaging we’re encountering, when asked how often consumers felt annoyed by communications they’ve received, 73 percent of them said never, rarely, or occasionally.
So continuing the conversation and even communicating more frequently is clearly important to your target audience. However, it is still the quality of your content as well as what channel you reach out to them on that will add the most value to your customer engagement. And recognizing them as individuals through channel and content segmentation is an integral piece to your multichannel notification strategy.
Choosing the right channel
Given the sheer quantity of content being pushed in front of your customer, getting and maintaining their attention means creating a certain level of personalization. There are several opportunities to personalize your customer’s journey but for general confirmation and receipt notifications, email is a great place to start to improve customer satisfaction and influence their lifetime value.
With 83 percent of consumers preferring to receive communications from businesses over email, this channel provides ample opportunity for creating a branded experience that delights your customer. Personalizing an email headline beyond ‘Thanks for your purchase!’ or writing a personalized thank you email from the CEO shows a certain level of care that not many brands take advantage of.
Providing confirmation and receipt email notifications also create another means of empathetic and clear communication with your customer that are easily archived for future reference, something that’s reassuring in times of change. And given the rise of BOPIS and click and collect during COVID-19, giving them a step-by-step personalized guide to picking up their purchase helps ensure they understand their journey with your brand in the future.
Learn how Marks and Spencers uses personalized notification alerts to improve customer communication during COVID-19.
Keep in touch
Good relationships require maintenance and a business to consumer relationship is no different. Consistent updates and reminders about your operations, product availability, business hours, and safety precautions are particularly important in times of crisis.
Regularly updating your customers via SMS or email have also proven to reduce no-shows (such as delivery notifications and other time-specific service appointments) as well as lower operational costs (such as which products are most popular with restocking notifications, showing you where you should focus business purchasing decisions into the future).
In short, being more present in your customer’s daily interactions makes your business more personal. And it’s psychologically much harder to disappear or ghost a business who shows up in such a personal, approachable way.
Further, we’ve all received abandoned shopping cart notifications that propelled us to close the deal on a purchase or service with a follow up email. Using previous customer data to enable updates and reminders also delivers a higher customer response rate when you integrate with CRM and other messaging channels.
Location is also an important personalization consideration when reaching out to your customers for a followup or reminder. Considering geography to determine channels can increase engagement because it meets your customer on platforms that they use the most. For example, where specific apps are more popular than SMS, where messaging rates are particularly high or where cellular coverage is not very reliable.
As we enter winter and COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb, communicating emergency protocol with your notifications is paramount to your customers (and employees) safety and trust in your business.
In times of emergency, SMS is favored for time-sensitive notifications. In fact, according to Twilio’s 2020 Consumer Engagement Best Practices, text is overwhelmingly (2.5x more) preferred for urgent communications over email.
Personalized emergency SMS alerts also offer unparalleled open rates (which makes sense given the content of these notifications). However, given the urgency and importance of disseminating this information, building a scalable solution is also key to success. Confirming your audience is able to receive these notifications during a crisis is integral to launching your strategy.
Establish new connections
You wouldn’t try to grow a new friendship by constantly making the same small talk and similarly, new customers are looking for more meaningful communication if you want them to stick around long term. Delight your new customers and drive user acquisition by personalizing your lead email and SMS alerts welcoming them to your brand.
Assist customers in completing sign-up journeys or nurture leads on channels that allow them to personalize their settings (from frequency to subject matter) that is the most useful to them. Giving them autonomy to approach your brand the way they find most valuable, will help drive user retention long term.
Finally, consider offering two-way conversations and direct messaging from your alerts to get product and services questions answered straight from their preferred method of communication.
Business notifications can be exhausting when they’re overwhelmingly unpersonalized. Standing out from the noise requires businesses to focus on creativity and personalization when interacting with their customers to keep them continuously engaged.
Because when consumers are surprised and delighted by new experiences, even long-held beliefs can change, making them more willing to repeat the behavior, even when the trigger, such as COVID-19, is no longer present.
Ready to make a notification strategy that gets noticed by your customers? Calculate the ROI of a multichannel notifications strategy in our business value calculator.