Keep Customers Obsessed with SMS and Improve App Engagement


It is no secret that our mobile phones have become the central point of our lives—as consumers and when it comes to interacting with friends, loved ones, etc. Most industries and businesses know this, but when it comes to adopting and implementing new technology and channels into consumer engagement many still fall behind the curve.

A recent report from App Annie found that app growth increased by 60% and there were 175 billion downloads globally in 2017. What I found to be more telling is the average person has 80 apps on their smartphone, but they only use 40 of them. This tells me that businesses are launching apps that never get used by their customers.

Why? In some cases, it is as simple as balancing functionality with ease of use. Just to have an app is not enough. If it is difficult to use and navigate, consumers will bail and find another way to get things done, or even worse take their business to a competitor.

This is where consumer channels come in. I believe SMS is one of the key elements to bridging the engagement loop between businesses and their customers. One of the reasons why companies like Amazon and Overstock have done so well is they have truly adopted a customer-centric model by letting the customer drive the experience. Pushing an app out and expecting customers to use it—is short-sighted. Combining personal data, interaction preferences and personalized content with SMS will ensure customers stay engaged and take the next step whether that be browsing or purchasing.

Consumers use SMS to stay connected in their personal lives, so it should be a no-brainer when it comes to keeping them connected to your brand. According to Gartner, SMS has a 98% open rate and a response rates of 45% . Once a customer opts-in to SMS notifications you can begin to build a user-base of those that will likely use your app in the future. Another way to increase engagement with a disposable or downloadable app is to use SMS to entice customers with “app only” discounts and specials.

No matter what you decide, it is important to keep things relevant and personal. Don’t blast messages to a customer at 5 in the morning, and don’t push irrelevant products! Using behavioral personalization, push notifications over SMS can be specific to individual consumers, delivering them the right message at the right time.

Want to learn more? Check out our eBook 5 Ways SMS Can Drive More Profitable Customer Engagement to see how SMS is the key channel to engaging customers in 2018.