6 February 2019
“Ugh, another commercial email. What do they want me to do, read or buy this time? One more for the digital recycle bin!”. Let’s be honest, this is a daily occurrence for all of us as we see the umpteenth email popping up in our inbox. The sad thing is, that as marketers we have no choice but to enter into this crowded arena and fight for consumer time and attention. Searching for the positives here? Keep reading…we promise it’s worth it – scout’s honour!
Right across the globe, marketing teams are engaged in communications combat – trying to ensure that their message makes it through the noise to grab customer attention. The tactics vary, but everyone agrees on at least one point: today’s consumers have a very short attention span. But is their attention span actually shrinking? A recent study by presentation platform Prezi would imply not. Results show that 42% of people are more selective on the content they consume compared to a year ago. So, it seems that the one-million-dollar question is not necessarily how to break through the masses and attract first attention, but also how to hold that attention and deliver engagement-worthy value.
What better way to answer this burning question than by showing you a homemade practical example (seeing is believing right?). Let’s unravel the building blocks of the customer-centric approach we used to deliver season’s greetings to our clients. Christmas is a notoriously poor time for engagement (unless you’re offering 2 for 1 on Mince Pies), but our partner Movable Ink was there to help us kick engagement ass!
Naturally, step one is getting the attention of your recipients (in this case our clients). So, messaging is where it all starts. But instead of thinking “what would we like them to read” we asked ourselves the question “what would they like to read”? Flipping the question 180 to a more customer-centric perspective sounds easy enough but is in practice still applied too little. We took a good guess that our clients weren’t looking for more commercial jargon while in the midst of closing the year. Yes, we’d love to bring our valuable content and awesome propositions to their attention, but if it’s not being read, then what’s the point?
We also believe Christmas is the time to get away from daily hassles and enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation. Therefore, we decided not to burden our clients with a commercial email. Instead, we sent them a personal digital Christmas card. No sales pitch, no action required, just an easy, fun to read message to wish them happy holidays.
It can be tricky to jump of the product-led marketing treadmill, so we ensured the messaging strategy was clear from the very start: first stop, subject line. It’s the first thing customers see and is the crucial engagement hurdle as they decide whether or not to open your email. In our case, even though the email was automated, we made sure we showed the name of our clients’ personal contact at Engagement Factory, as if it came directly from him or her. The results speak for themselves: a unique open rate of 57.3%.
Yay, they opened the email! Time to jump that second hurdle: how to really impress the audience, making sure they actually read our (entire) message. To capture attention from the first second onwards, we teamed up with our partner Movable Ink to create a personalised header visual. We wowed them with their own first name largely displayed in an image at the top of the email. Cool stuff, right?!
Only a fraction later our Christmas party people saw a countdown to the new year, tailored to the time zone of the recipient. No batch and blast, but entirely unique! With this awesome countdown from Movable Ink, we were able to send intelligent live content, always relevant and up-to-date at the moment our client engaged with it!
And there you have it! Three simple yet super effective steps to capture attention and drive customer engagement. We battled through the comms crush to deliver real value to both us and our clients and got a really positive response. They were super impressed by the Movable Ink functionalities and loved our message! Some clients were even interested in using Movable Ink for their own campaigns. Win-win!