How to improve customer engagement

Dotdigital | How to improve customer engagement blog

Getting strong customer engagement can feel like a real challenge. In a digital age where content is getting increasingly bite-sized, and with attention spans decreasing, how can you create a meaningful interaction with your customers and prospects?

As marketers, we’re often up against it, with marketing targets to hit it can feel like engagement is too much of a slow burn and it’s often neglected in favor of quick-win tactics. Customer engagement should be the foundation of your marketing strategy. Engaged customers are happy customers, happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are the ultimate goal.

Your marketing strategy should focus on creating seamless, positive interactions with your customers and prospects, complimented by surprise and delight tactics to increase excitement about your brand. Customers who are excited about what you’re doing are more likely to engage, share your content and become brand advocates too.

Sounds good, right? In this blog we share our top five tips for customer engagement, so that you can create a database of brand cheerleaders in no time.

1. Find out what drives your customers

First things first, find out what your customers actually want. The best way to do this is simply by asking them. In such a technologically advanced industry it’s not always obvious, but sometimes it’s the human-to-human marketing that’s still the most effective.

Knowing your customers is essential for marketing success. Their needs are at the center of your brand. If you don’t understand the needs of your audience, you can’t offer them a solution.

The best way to do this is to utilize preference centers. Find out key information such as why they signed up for your marketing, what they’re interested in, how often they’d like to hear from you and so on. Gathering this data on your customers will help inform your strategy and serve your contacts with content they will engage with. Regularly asking customers to update these will help you identify audience trends and maintain relevancy, so make sure your preference center is easy to locate in your emails.

2. Utilize social media

Social media is one of the strongest channels you have to engage customers. In the list of customers’ demands, meeting them on their channel of choice is right at the top. Customers want to be able to receive updates about their favorite brands on their favorite channels. If you’re not utilizing social media channels, you’re missing out big-time.

One of the best ways to drive awareness of your online presence and improve engagement is competitions. We all love the chance to get something for free. If all we need to do is tag a couple of friends it’s a no-brainer. As well as engaging customers, social media competitions also help turn your followers into brand advocates. By using tag-a-friend as a means to enter, you’re effectively utilizing your customers to amplify your message to new, untapped audiences.

3. Highlight customer reviews

Social proof plays an important role in customer’s decision-making processes. Every type of customer turns to reviews when they’re considering committing to a brand.

Review platforms like Trustpilot, Feefo, and G2 Crowd are great sources of product and service feedback. Their independent status gives customers added confidence, so these are great to feature across your website, especially on product, feature, and even checkout pages to deliver that hit of social proof right when customers are making their decision.

Don’t be afraid to use customers to shout about your success. Again, social media is a brilliant channel to do this. Keep an eye on your mentions to see what customers are saying about you. Including this in your social media marketing engages the happy customer, delighting them by interacting with them and shows prospective customers that you’re a brand that can be trusted.

4. Check-in on quiet customers

Quiet customers tend to mean unengaged customers. If you really want to improve your customer engagement, these are an essential segment you need to be targeting. Customers can go quiet for a lot of reasons, and it can happen at any time. You want to be proactive and check in with these customers before they make their lack of engagement permanent via an unsubscribe.

Tracking customer behaviors through eRFM, lead scoring, or email clicks helps you to identify unengaged audiences. Using these you can trigger re-engagement and win-back campaigns. The perfect re-engagement campaign will ask these dormant customers to update their preferences while showcasing your brand’s story and USPs – this is also a great time to offer an incentive such as a discount if it suits your business model. If you’re still not seeing results, whilst it may be the last thing you want to do, reminding them of the option to unsubscribe will ensure your marketing lists are full of your most engaged customers.

5. Build loyalty

Engaged customers become loyal customers who promote your brand to their friends, family, and peers. There are lots of ways you can convert switched-on customers into loyal customers. The classic approach is of course loyalty programs where customers can earn points based on their interactions with your brand give customers a reason to keep engaging.

Things like brand ethics and overall likeability are becoming increasingly important to customers. Ensure your brand is on the same page as your customers, and then make sure your marketing showcases this.

Driving customer engagement guide front cover

Driving customer engagement

Brands earn customer engagement through trust and over time. Customers today pay more attention to businesses who have a story to tell. So, we’ve written a best practice guide to help you tell yours.

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