If you have a smartphone, chances are you are using Facebook messenger. It’s a great way to send and receive messages among friends, family, and, yes, even businesses. If you have automatic bill payments, for example, your payee probably sends you reminder messages and then tells you when the payment has been deducted from your account.
If your business is not using in-app messaging, it’s time to get on board. Why? Because, more and more, this is how consumers want to communicate with you, especially on their mobile devices. They like the fact that they can receive information about new products, pose their queries and get answers, be notified of sales and discounts, and, best of all, not have to sit and wait for an answer like they do with email or live chat. They can go about their business and be notified when there is a message from you.
Consider all the Ways In-App Messaging Can Work to Keep Engagement
Once your customers (and even potential customers) have clicked that approval to receive messages from you, there is just a wealth of ways you can keep your brand in front of them and provide real value.
Nothing captures attention more than a great, entertaining, and informative explainer or “how-to” video. These should be short (no more than 90 seconds) but can show the value of your product or service, and the solution it provides to a pain point. These have been in use for years on websites, social media, and emails. Now they can be “pushed” out via messaging. Research already shows that the brain processes and retains visual information about 60K faster and better than just text. You can even use customer videos that show their satisfaction with your products, as long as they are short and relevant.
Push New and/or Improved Products or Services
You cannot count on consumers to access your website, your social media channels, or open your emails. But if they get a “ping” that you have sent a message, they don’t have to do any work other than open the message. This streamlines their experience with you.
Segment Your Audiences
Just as you are probably already doing with your email campaigns, you can segment your audiences based on where they are in your sales funnel and craft messages that will most resonate with each of these segments. Again, they don’t have to do anything other than “answer” the ping.
You can use your in-app platform to ask customers about their experiences with your products or services. This will give you valuable information as you make decisions regarding how and what you provide to improve customer satisfaction. Short surveys (with emphasis on short) allow customers to give you quick, honest feedback.
Keep Customers Apprised of Order Fulfillment and Shipping
Rather than using email notifications that customers must take time to access, you can send notifications that confirm orders and provide shipment details. They don’t have to do anything – just open that pinged message.
Promote Specials and Discounts
This can be one of the most useful aspects of a messaging app. As Kristen Savage, Marketing Consultant for two writing services, Studyker and WriteScout states, “Customers often don’t think proactively. It is the job of the business to do that for them. When we offer a pricing special or a discount on writing products, it will cause them to think about how they could use those for assignments that are coming up. And they are more likely to place orders to get that better pricing.”
Handle Customer Service
Phone, email, social media, and live chat all have their place in providing customer service and support when there are questions or issues. Phone is obviously the least preferred method because of long wait times and terrible inconvenience. Email requires an inquiry and then continual checking back to see if an answer has been provided. Social media requires checking for a response and then following other instructions to contact the company. Live chat can prove to be faster than the others, but the customer must stay connected while waiting for an answer. And, since many of these platforms use bots, answers are dependent upon the AI and NLP that may or may not be fully “baked” for the question or issue at hand. The customer is then transferred to a live person and, again, there can be a wait time. In-app messaging allows a customer to pose a question or issue, leave the app, and move onto other businesses and be notified when an answer or solution is ready.
Understand this, however: You need to have the staff and the wherewithal to respond within an hour of the contact by a customer, ideally within 15 minutes. You will lose engagement if it is longer.
Keep Brand in Front and Consistent
One of the beauties of in-app messaging is that you can keep your brand in front of consumers’ eyes by pushing out notifications at periodic intervals. There are some key elements to doing this well:
- You have to find the balance between providing enough messaging to keep your brand in customers’ memories and harassing them. This means that you must plan your messaging carefully. Use your messaging to provide value, not just to “keep in touch” with frivolous messages or repetitive content
- Be creative with your messaging. The more creative you can be, the more your messages will be opened. Customers need to look forward to your messages because they are entertaining, informational, or even inspirational. If you struggle with this aspect of your messaging, there is nothing wrong in looking for some outside assistance. Many writing services, such as Top Essay Writing and Classy Essay offer creative copywriting for just such purposes. And there are a number of online tools that can evaluate psychological and other elements that resonate with audiences – tools like Canva, My Simple Show, BuiltVisible Content Discovery Tool, and others.
- Be consistent in tone and style. Your brand has an image. Your customers like that image or they wouldn’t be customers. In all of your app messaging, keep the language, style, and tone in keeping with what you know your audience appreciates.
While these eight tips for using in-app messaging are solid and pretty critical, they are not the end-all of what you should and can do with this platform. But know this: consumers are busy, impatient, and do not want to take the time to search you out. You have to take a proactive role to engage them with as little work on their part as possible. Using an in-app messaging system will accomplish this for you.