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How To Re-Engage Inactive Customers and Create a Connected Experience Despite the efforts that you may put into acquiring and engaging new customers, some of them tend to stop interacting with your brand

By Harsha Solanki

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The synergies that were powering the machinery of the modern world are shifting across all spheres. Even as social media and the Internet continue to bring people closer in a closely-knit capitalist superstructure—the development amplified by technological intervention—brands have to deal with an ineludible truth. Despite the efforts that you may put into acquiring and engaging new customers, some of them tend to stop interacting with your brand.

Inactive customers are an inevitable part of business reality. While the reasons for the suspension of the engagement between a brand and its customers—temporary or permanent—can be miscellaneous, the ultimate result is invariably the same: the customer ceases to be a customer. This can be devastating for businesses because establishing deeply personalized, contextual relationships with new customers requires brands to invest an exorbitant amount of time and effort…all of which brings us to the all-important question: how do you bring these non-responsive customers back into your brand's fold?

Reigniting the spark: What is connected re-engagement and why it is good for your business

Connected re-engagement steps into this picture to enable your brand to reignite interactions with lapsed customers. The core idea behind it is simple. Existing customers are already primed to be engaged with the brand—all a brand needs are the right 'connected' strategies.

Connected strategies are critical because modern-day customers are disposed to switch between different channels when interacting with a brand. A report by Social Media Today revealed that nearly three in four customers (72 per cent) prefer an omnichannel communication approach. Opting for connected re-engagement strategies—which comprise myriad methodologies and approaches—has proven advantages across multiple sectors. Recent market studies indicate that customers that interact across multiple channels spend 3-4 times more, on average, than their peers who interact across a single channel. Brands that opt for a strong omnichannel approach to customer engagement also register an average 9.5 per cent increase in their annual revenues.

In short, while your brand may grow in the absence of a connected communication strategy, your odds of long-term success are more favourable if you opt for one.

This invites the question: how do you build a strong and effective re-engagement campaign that is powered by connected communication? Here are the key aspects of any connected communication strategy, along with some examples of how brands across verticals have used different approaches to re-engage customers:

Identifying and segmenting inactive customers

Before you endeavour to target your inactive customers with re-engagement campaigns, you first need to identify your least engaged customers. In-depth data mining and analysis of consumers and their past behavioural patterns can help you to accomplish this goal by enabling you to categorize dormant customers into appropriate segments. You can create diverse segments depending on your business objectives and requirements.

For instance, one segment could include customers who have not made any purchase from your shop in the last half-year. Customers who have not visited the shop in the past three months can be grouped into yet another segment. More segments can be created to segregate customers into organized sub-clusters, such as users who have not interacted with your brand on any social media platform over the last three months or shared negative feedback on a product/service.

Identifying and understanding these segments is essential as they can then be targeted with highly personalized content and call-to-actions that are precision-tailored to speak to their stated and unstated needs. For instance, if a customer bucket includes people who now only prefer to passively engage with your brand (like over your social media pages through reactions on posts, videos, etc.), you can send them personalized emails along with appealing offers.

Targeting each segment with personalized content

Offers such as digital coupons and sales promotions (including providing free product samples or limited-time subscriptions) can remind your inactive customers what they have been missing out on. A popular OTT platform did something similar with a recentre-engagement campaign. It was different because people could sign up for free content streaming without filling in their credit/debit card details. By eliminating this barrier, the brand prevented the problem of customer drop-off before sign-up while significantly expanding its customer database and generating massive social media traction.

You can also up the ante of your offers (such as rewards and loyalty programmes) by making the interaction of customers with your (re-) engagement campaign intriguing. A popular digital payments app recently gamified the users' engagement through a travel game. Users gained reward points upon each transaction, enabling them to advance to the next level. The excitement of moving ahead in the game, in turn, incentivised users to transact more frequently. The short-term and long-term rewards reaped under such gamified initiatives can also be a powerful motivation for customers to re-engage with a brand they're already familiar with. This can, therefore, maximize the impact of your re-engagement strategy.

Focus on data to build a truly connected strategy

Once you have successfully re-engaged a segment of lapsed customers, the next step involves doing it at speed and scale across multiple channels. This is where data and analytics enter the picture. As mentioned above, the data that you have accrued from your past interactions comprise a valuable asset. You can leverage this wealth of information to optimise the effectiveness of your re-engagement strategy through data-mined insights.

Every successive campaign facilitates the capture of better quality of data that you can then leverage to create even better strategies. A robust technological infrastructure, such as those enabled by leading players in the connected communication space, can help you tap into the power of this virtuous cycle and optimise re-engagement. Having a data-driven omnichannel communication strategy also increases the number of points of interaction, thus ensuring that the customer engages with your campaigns across multiple channels.

Unless brands find a way of rigging the balance of probability, an uninformed chase of customers is not likely to yield the desired result, and chance is the one thing that brands cannot afford to take in this highly unpredictable post-pandemic business landscape. The only viable solution, then, is to create a well-thought-through and tech-augmented connected communication strategy. By keeping the aforementioned steps in mind, brands of all sizes can optimise their customer engagement and ensure that they achieve all the relevant objectives, with precision and at scale.
Harsha Solanki

Managing Director-India, Infobip

Harsha Solanki is a proficient professional with an experience of over 16 years in the industry. Harsha Solanki is the Managing Director at Infobip, she supervises Infobip India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Harsha is an alumnus of renowned institution Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, from where she completed her PGDM in telecommunications & IT Management. She is a computer science graduate from Fergusson College. Harsha’s expertise in the Application to Person (A2P) messaging space has been proven by her eminent track record.
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