How can you ensure your leads stay engaged with your brand long enough to make a purchase?

It's a question brands have always faced, but with the rising costs of digital ads, each lead is more important than ever. Whether your brand is utilizing paid ads, inbound marketing, or a combination of both, you don't want a lack of customer engagement to create holes in your funnel.

What can you do to ensure potential buyers don't disengage with your brand along their customer journey? In this next installment of our Digital Marketing in 2022  blog series, we'll look into tools you can use to boost customer engagement, converting visitors into browsers and browsers into buyers.

Using identity resolution for greater personalization and engagement

For brands, personalization is an essential building block to achieve more engaging customer relationships. And with the decline of cookies, the data you collect directly from customers is critical to personalizing their experiences. Fortunately, customers have become more comfortable sharing their data, especially when incentivized. For instance, according to a Microsoft survey, nearly 90% of respondents would share data for a discount, and 99.6% could be tempted with a cash reward.

As you collect zero-party and first-party data, work with your email and SMS partner to understand the information being captured and how you can use it to target and personalize your messages.

"Identity resolution," which helps you match someone across various devices and touchpoints, allows marketers to recognize the traffic they should know — as in, visitors they've seen before — and request opt-ins from the traffic they don't. Having your email and SMS partner leverage identity resolution is even more efficient, as more carts can be "reachable," and offers can be controlled based on a contact's previous individual purchase behavior.

Boosting engagement with triggered emails

While asking for (and receiving) zero- and first-party from visitors is a must, brands must remember that customers expect a personalized experience in return for their data. How can you honor your part of this agreement? One effective strategy is maximizing the use of behaviorally relevant (and thus, personalized) trigger messages, such as cart abandonment, price drop alerts, low inventory alerts, back-in-stock, and applicable product recommendations. According to Listrak's Karen DiClemente, "Those are the messages that have the highest engagement and the highest revenue per email."

How essential are these messages to your marketing plan? With a dialed-in email trigger strategy, nearly 40% of your email revenue can come from triggers. Further, triggered emails can generate 24 times more revenue per send than batch-and-blast emails and generate two times the engagement rate with more longevity.

The right channel for the right message (at the right time)

While the content of your messages is undoubtedly important, you can't ignore your message cadence (how often you send). Brands should maintain a strong, consistent email- and SMS-sending cadence to ensure a steady flow of qualified return traffic. For instance, you should send one SMS message per week to your entire list to see the best results from your SMS program, and your email cadence could be even more frequent, perhaps daily.

Just remember to make sure that your messages are logical for each channel. For example, use SMS to tout new arrivals, location-based events, flash sales, and other newsy, timely items — while reserving email for longer lead times and more involved content.

The importance of cross-channel orchestration

This strategy further underscores the importance of cross-channel orchestration, DiClemente notes. "You want to strategically time and trigger messages based on the contact's actions and channel preferences," she says, adding that you can even use these shopping behaviors to support your marketing efforts in other channels. "As contacts flow through email and/or SMS abandonment campaigns, use the functionality that your provider offers to make it easy to connect and retarget those contacts in your social or paid search channels."

Here's an example: If a customer recently clicked on a link for a new product arrival in your SMS message (but didn't purchase), you can trigger an email to remind them about the product they browsed. You can also use paid retargeting ads to get that product in front of them again on another channel, adding another touchpoint and reinforcing their awareness of it.

Tell customers about new products … even before they arrive

DiClemente also recommends consulting your email/SMS partner to use their standard form builder tools to execute pre-order sign-up forms or campaigns for highly anticipated launches of seasonal items or product introductions. "When possible, preview new products well in advance of the arrival of inventory, which allows all visitors the opportunity to sign up for notifications," she advises.

Can pop-up sign-up forms really move the needle? Absolutely! One of Listrak's clients — a fast-growing direct-to-consumer skincare company — used Listrak's pop-up to take pre-order sign-ups. The result? They generated over $500k in sales over just a few days through the pre-order contacts who signed up.

Create a compelling, logical customer journey across channels

Moving visitors along their sales journey, from first contact to purchase, isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. However, any brand can boost conversion rates and increase revenue using proven methods like:

  • Triggered email and SMS messages
  • Consistent, frequent message cadence
  • Cross-channel orchestration
  • Pre-order sign-up forms

And identity resolution helps you make the most of all of these methods by automatically recognizing your existing user relationships across channels and devices. By using Listrak's Growth Xcelerator Platform (GXP), which includes identity resolution, automotive equipment company JEGS saw a 200% increase in triggered email revenue by deploying personalized tactics that allowed them to drive growth even during their typical off-season months.

If you'd like to see how Listrak's unified marketing platform can increase revenue through improved cross-channel orchestration, schedule a demo with us.

And watch out for our next installment in our Digital Marketing in 2022 series, where we'll talk about the importance of nurturing customers, even after the sale.