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What is Customer Engagement Marketing?

Customer engagement marketing refers to a form of marketing in which your strategy focuses on increasing your customers’ interactions with your brand by developing personalized marketing campaigns for them across the marketing channels they use most frequently.

So how do you define customer engagement, and how can you ensure that you’re taking the right steps to drive deeper engagement with your customers? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Customer Engagement?

When considering how engaged your customers are, look at the level of interaction they have with your brand across a variety of metrics.

For example:

  • Are they opening your emails?
  • Are they reading your SMS messages or clicking push notifications?
  • Are they using QR codes from direct mailers to visit your website?
    Are they clicking on your email CTAs?
  • Are they filling out surveys and contact forms?
  • Are they clicking on product links and purchasing?
  • Are they engaging with your social media posts?

Highly engaged customers are likely to consume more of your content, respond to more of your messages, purchase more products, share links and recommendations with friends and family, and remain loyal over a longer period of time, increasing their LTV.

Examples of Engaged and Disengaged Customers

It’s important to focus your marketing efforts most heavily on customers who are more likely to continue to do business with you. You can develop customer loyalty programs and other generous incentives to showcase your brand value, so that you’ll be able to retain these customers and grow their customer lifetime value.

To identify these customers, you can look at your e-commerce and behavioral data to analyze trends in your customer base. Some key identifying factors for highly engaged customers might be:

  • They’re highly responsive
    Engaged customers are likely to open your messages within the space of minutes or even seconds, rather than waiting days to take a look. They’re more likely than not to click on CTAs in your messages, such as links to coupons or survey forms.
  • They’re interested in what you say and do
    They’re reading the messages you send them, but they’re also taking deep dives into your branded content. Highly engaged users will spend much more time perusing content on your website, app, and social channels, both in terms of time per page and number of pages viewed in a single session. They likely follow at least one or two of your social channels as well.
  • They participate in the conversation
    If you ask your customers for feedback, they’ll give it happily. If you ask them to share their photos on Instagram with a branded tag, they’ll contribute. They’re honest and open with their opinions, and always praise you for what you did well, but are also open to telling you what you could do better.
  • They make regular purchases
    While the value of purchases is important as well, someone who makes a lot of smaller purchases consistently over a period of years is likely worth a lot more to your brand than someone who bought one high-value item and never gave you a second look after that. Pay attention to consistency and longevity of purchase history to understand who your most valuable and engaged customers are.

In contrast, disengaged customers are less likely to open messages and click on links, or to browse your website or app. They won’t necessarily give you negative feedback—they’re not motivated enough to do that. They’re more likely to just slip away without much notice, unless you put proactive measures in place to win these customers back.

Focusing on Winback

Signs of disengagement can eventually lead to customer churn, so it’s important to put strategies in place to winback or re-engage customers who are at risk of churning.

While responding to customer cues is a great way to keep them engaged, what about those who haven’t recently opened your campaigns or visited your brand properties?

Your cross-channel marketing platform should be able to identify and segment out disengaged customers like these for additional nurturing, so that they’ll regain interest in your brand.

In order to winback customers, you can send a special limited-time offer with a substantial discount, curating products that are relevant to their past interests. You can sequence a campaign across multiple channels to maximize their chances of engagement—incorporating email marketing, SMS messaging, in-app messages and push notifications, and direct mail, depending on your available contact information for each customer. By leveraging all of the channels at your disposal, customized to the customer’s past use patterns, you can maximize your chances of regaining their interest in your brand.

Why Prioritize Customer Engagement Marketing?

Developing a personalization strategy for connecting with your customers as individuals is crucial. Without doing so, they’re likely to abandon your brand for others that do connect with them on a deeper level. A Wunderman survey found that 79% of buyers will only consider brands that understand and care about them, and Marketo found that 66% of customers expect brands to personalize their interactions with them.

By focusing on customer engagement metrics within your marketing efforts, you can develop strategies that build consistency within all of your brand experiences, regardless of which channels your customers are using. You’ll be able to build a better customer experience by reaching your customers across whichever channels are most relevant to them at any given point in time, and create relevancy by providing curated recommendations based on their behaviors and interests.

Developing personalized, cross-channel marketing experiences that are unique to each customer, will help your brand heighten engagement and loyalty with current customers and foster re-engagement with lapsed customers, ensuring a strong pipeline of recurring revenue.

Iterable is a cross-channel marketing platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Cinemark, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle. Discover our growth marketing solutions for personalization, increasing customer engagement, and more. Discover our platform and schedule a demo today.