The rise of mobile messaging in marketing
Mobile marketing uses any and all digital and social channels to reach target audiences on smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices. Mobile advances have been disrupting the way people engage with brands for a while. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. It’s becoming the primary device for searching and discovering new brands, as well as shopping and communicating with brands.
The biggest and most significant of these advances in the mobile world is the widespread adoption of mobile messaging apps.
There are now 2.7 billion phone messaging app users worldwide. That’s nearly 40% of the global population.
68% of consumers today prefer to communicate with brands via messaging apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. For brands, it’s a direct and conversations channel to reach customers and potential customers.
To maximise this shifting attitude of the public, brands need to be thinking of new and exciting ways to incorporate mobile messaging into their digital marketing strategy.
Why mobile messaging?
The age of broad, batch-and-blast, mass communication is over. Customers are gravitating towards channels that offer one-to-one conversations. But more than this, savvy marketers will be preparing to adopt mobile messaging because it’s going to be the future of customer-centric marketing.
The earlier you add mobile messaging to your marketing arsenal, the more rewards you will reap from the personal, engaging, and responsive nature.
The biggest benefit of adopting mobile messaging is its ability to make every message feel personal.
Mobile messaging is one-to-one communication, as opposed to email marketing and social media campaigns which are one-to-many. Like with email personalisation to copy is possible, but even without personalisation, it feels special to the recipient. It’s a matter of perception.
While social media is the channel to demonstrate your brand personality, and email marketing is used for promotional communications, mobile messaging gives customers a glimpse at the people behind the brand.
Mobile messaging has the ability to bridge the gap between promotional and transactional communications.
As a marketing channel, a lot of your messages in these apps are going to be promotional. But it should not be used solely for that purpose. It’s a two-way communication channel that should be fully utilised to encourage and drive engagement.
Another of the key benefits of mobile messaging apps, is that they’re read almost instantly. It’s a perfect demonstration of brands going to the customer, rather than waiting for them to check their emails.
Because messaging is moment-based, this makes it the perfect channel for hyper-targeted communications. Customers location, age, and interests can be used to deliver converting content.
Similarly, its responsivity makes it a great channel for customer services. Directing customers to talk to you via a messaging app makes engaging customers in two-way conversations is easier. And the better experience they have with you when handling a problem improves their overall experience, and makes them more likely to return to your brand in the future.
The era of mobile messaging: which channels to adopt first?
The growth of mobile messaging apps coincides with the trend toward direct and conservational marketing.
Engaging customers in new ways on new channels is a constant struggle for marketing teams everywhere. Email has been the dominant marketing channel for brands for over twenty years. In terms of receiving marketing, email remains customers’ channel of choice. But mobile messaging offers new opportunities for brands to establish meaningful connections with customers.
90% of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt. That’s an open rate unparalleled by any other marketing channel. With people checking their phones approximately 150 times a day and sending 30+ texts every day, SMS marketing is guaranteed to drive real results.
Smart phones, tablets and mobile devices have native messaging apps pre-installed when they’re purchase. You don’t have to worry about whether customers have a specific app or drive them to download it. SMS is ready and waiting to be tapped into.
WhatsApp for Business
WhatsApp is a free mobile messaging app which allows users to participate in group conversations, call, and share media. Customers from 109 countries around the world turn to WhatsApp as their primary messaging app. It’s reliant on internet access and not subject to phone network tariff charges when used internationally.
Recent developments in the app now allow brands to create business accounts on WhatsApp. Brands can build company profiles that include company information, website links, and product catalogs. All of this will help you gain new, undiscovered insights into your audience.
How to integrate mobile marketing into your digital marketing strategy
To know where mobile messaging can fit into your marketing strategy, you need to understand your customer touchpoints. From there you need to consider which of these touches would benefit from a one-to-one exchange.
Here are just a few ways brands can complement their email marketing strategy in particular using mobile messaging apps. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it offers you some inspiration across 5 campaign ideas:
- Inspirational content
- Problem resolution
Make a good first impression when onboarding prospect, customers, or leads with a timely message. If you’re in a service-based industry, where subscribers will have a dedicated point of contact, this is a great way to say hello.
For universities or HR teams, an onboarding message can share important links and information new students or colleagues will need in the coming weeks.
To add this to your existing marketing strategy, you need to ensure you’re collecting consent from your very first email. Prompting new audience members to update their preferences to opt-in to mobile messaging should the sole purpose of at least one email in your welcome series.
Once they have opted-in, use intelligent automation programs to enroll and distribute messages quickly and efficiently.
When launching new products or services, messaging apps are perfect to drive adoption and sales. Netflix have been using WhatsApp to this end for a while now. The brand frequently uses teasers and trailers to inform members about upcoming releases. By encouraging subscribers to opt-in to reminders, messages are triggered to land when they are dropped on the platform.
This strategy can be widely adopted by brands, regardless of the industry they’re in. To really drive engagement with these messages, brands should use customer insight such as past purchases or membership level to inform what specific pushes they receive.
3. Inspirational and educational content
As a customer engagement channel, messaging apps are great for sharing content. Content designed to inspire and educate has the added benefit of improving customers perception of your brand.
You can incorporate this tactic into you current marketing strategy as part of your post-purchase campaign. If you’re an institution that runs courses, these messages could be triggered on the completion of the course. How ever you trigger these messages, it’s important that they’re sharable, encourage recipients to forward your content, and leave customers impressed your brand.
After an event or experience with your brand, be sure to ask audiences for their feedback. This will help you with product and service development, but it’ll also help customers feel invested in your brand. As you develop your offering based on feedback, your audience will feel as though you are a brand that values their opinion.
Complementing a follow-up email automation with a text requesting feedback will see your response rates soar.
5. Problem resolution
Direct customers to chat with customer service agents on messaging apps to ensure problems are resolved quickly while providing a satisfying experience. This will improve customer experience significantly. Rather than waiting at the computer for an agent to answer their query, customers has the ability to continue with their day and resolve their problem on the go.
Delivering omnichannel experiences
The perfect marketing strategy is an omnichannel marketing strategy. That means every channel you use to reach audiences are connected. The goal is to provide a completely seamless and integrated experience from the first interaction, to the last.
By adding mobile marketing to complement your email marketing experiences, you’re one step closer to achieving the omnichannel dream.
This article was contributed by dotdigital; the all-in-one platform lets you create marketing automations to engage your contacts with email, SMS, social, push notifications, and landing pages.
Want help with your strategy and delivery for email and mobile marketing? We’re the people to talk to. Contact us here.