Digital Customer Engagement

Digital marketing is a lot like basketball. 5 players, each has different roles, different capabilities and a different purpose. Yet, in order for the group to succeed, they have to work well together as a group. Each player’s game should complement the game of his co-playersDigital customer engagement today has become very challenging. Marketers have so many different channels at their disposal, yet – just like a basketball coach – they need to learn how to make them work together in order to succeed.Our recent digital customer engagement study looks into how 49 top UK brands have used digital marketing channels to engage their customers. From email to social media and mobile apps, the activity of these brands has been monitored throughout 4 weeks and analyzed. This article goes through the key findings of our study. If you want to learn more about the progress of it - make sure to keep updated and sign up for our newsletter:

Sign Up for Digital Marketing News
Sign Up

Digital Customer Engagement Study Findings: Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing. From a basketball group’s perspective, email is the Center – the one getting the assists from everyone else and shooting all the scores. While newer channels such as social media and mobile are rising, email still has the highest purchase conversion rate. Indeed, we found that 96% of the companies in our study were collecting customers’ emails either through a newsletter subscription option or during account registration.

Digital Customer Engagement

Yet, 6% of the companies that collected email addresses did not send a single email during the course of the 4 weeks of our study (apart from a confirmation email). Knowing how strong email marketing is, I can’t help but wonder why would a marketer “sit” on a list of email of potential customers and won’t use it?During the study, our analysts have been engaging with the brands multiple times. They have browsed products on the website and the mobile app, added items to the cart and engaged on social media. They have also taken long breaks when no engagement was initiated, to see if the brand would attempt to “bring them back”. Unfortunately, we found that only 15% of the companies re-engaged the customer with the brand, resulting in a lost opportunity to re-engage customers after inactivity.

Only 15% of companies in our study re-engaged the customer with their brand #emailmarketing
Click to tweet

We did see that the majority of the companies sent at least one email, with about half of them sending 1-2 emails per week. Some of the emails were in a newsletter format; others were triggered by the behavior of our demo customer. Yet only 18% used these emails to offer some sort of incentive to buy online. This was another surprise, since we did expect that more companies will incentivize us to purchase online after visiting their websites, browsing and even adding products to our shopping cart.

Digital Customer Engagement

49% of top #ecommerce brands sent 1-2 emails per week #emailmarketing study #customerengagement
Click to tweet

While our study looked specifically at brands that are invested in ecommerce, meaning they offer a digital shopping experience through their website, most of these brands (65%) also have brick and mortar stores. It was interesting to see some differences between companies that have stores and ones who are digital only. For example, while 100% of pure ecommerce brands had a prominent call-to-action to subscribe to their newsletter on the website, of those with brick and mortar stores this was down to 65%. Brands with brick and mortar stores sent more emails during the course of the study, with 56% sending more than 1 email per week – while only 35% of pure ecommerce brands have done so. 

Mobile Apps Findings

When it comes to building a strong relationship the key to every relationship is communication. Take for instance a coach and his teammates- the success of the team can lay on the relationship the coach invests in his team. His countless pep talks, pointers of encouragement or discouragement the team relies on his feedback to get them through the season. So too with mobile. A good relationship between brand and customer is going to your engagement and investment in them. A brand that knows his customer is going to have a happy customer. How do you engage your customers? Well, for starters-push notifications. Push notifications are the most powerful tool for mobile apps to engage users, especially if they have gone dormant. Our study showed that 24% of Android apps asked to send push notifications but unfortunately only 17% actually sent throughout the course of the study. France, on the other hand had 41% of the apps sending push notifications. This clearly proved that some countries were more aware of the importance of push than others.If you want to engage your customers on another level- go visual. Just like a coach maps out his plays before a game-by the way why do you think he does that? Because humans are visual beings, seeing something makes it more real. That's why sending emoji's for instance increases the response rate of your push notifications. However, only 20% of Android apps included emoji's in their push messages and none used rich messages.

digital customer engagement

Social Media Findings

As a basketball team these days it isn't only what happens on the field, your fans play a part too and so does social media. So much so that the USA basketball stars used social media to offer a glimpse of life behind the scenes at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Social channels are a great way to keep track of your audience and your brand while engaging the maximum effort and the largest amount of customers. Our study showed us where the numbers of followers were dominant. Facebook clearly took the lead with 1,729,072 followers, Instagram 513,670 followers and Twitter 396,599 followers.

digital customer engagement

Make sure to take advantage of incentives. Everyone benefits from incentives it's just another form of encouragement. Take advantage of social media in order to incentivize your customers to encourage them to buy online or in-store. In our study 21% of companies posted an incentive on social to buy online and 41% posted incentives to buy in-store.

digital customer engagement

In addition 36% of companies held a contest during the time of the study. Some companies offered prizes like gift cards, laptop and even flight tickets. Furthermore, during the study most companies had an event or seasonal specific content connected to the spring and Easter.

What’s Next

We live in a fast-paced world and consume information on the go – when and where we need it. We don’t distinguish between channels when we communicate. And that is also expected from interacting with a brand: engaging interactions which are channel-agnostic and serve the right purpose and need at the right time.It is therefore, your duty as a marketer to provide your customers with a supreme experience, no matter the channel. We hope that our study would serve as an initial benchmark for you to test your digital marketing strategy. Yet, at this point you should already be aware that even the top brands are missing out on some major opportunities. As the coach in the digital marketing game, make sure that your digital engagement strategy is built to cover all relevant opportunities in order to maximize the revenue for your company.In the next few weeks, we will release the results of our digital marketing study that will reveal shocking results from email, mobile, social, individualization and cross-channel findings. Make sure to sign up, so you don't miss out on these hot and upcoming articles.

Sign Up for Digital Marketing News
Sign Up