Five tips to stand out from the online crowd
by Keris Lahiff
Getting customers to hear your voice is proving more and more difficult as they become inundated with daily marketing messages. And, with new findings indicating Australian businesses are sending even more messages to their customers, through a variety of channels, this is only set to increase. Responsys, a provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions, has released their Big Australian Report, which highlighting the changing means businesses are connecting with customers.
According to the report, Australian companies sent three times as many mobile messages, time times as many social messages and one third more emails last financial year than the financial year prior.
However, though companies have increased their use of mobile and social channels, email remains king with the highest volume sent compared to other channels.
“As Australian companies face the threat of online sales from overseas, they have woken up to the tactics used by these competitors and sought to implement them here,” says Simon O’Day, Responsys Asia-Pac vice president.
Such tactics include social and mobile networks. More than three quarters, or 77 per cent, of Australian companies are harnessing social networks for marketing activities, while nearly one in three, or 30 per cent, are sending mobile messages to customers, such as reminders and confirmations.
“Social media has also evolved from experimental to a genuine marketing channel that’s targeted and measurable. This coming year we expect a growing shift from email to cross-channel campaigns that leverage mobile, social and the web,” he says.
And, more companies are opting for targeted messages through increased research into consumer demographics and trends. Sixty-two per cent of companies surveyed said they tailor messages to the behaviour of their customers.
“It’s no longer enough to send the same message to all your customers and see if any of them actually care or respond,” says O’Day. “Segmentation and targeting will continue to be critical to achieving dramatic increases in ROI.”
Who is the Australian consumer?
Gone are the days when consumers were targeted through television and direct mail. These days you’re more likely to reach your consumers through a more targeted approach, one that will most likely involve the internet in some shape or form.
Responsys noted the following behavioural trends of today’s consumer:
- Digital TV penetration is now at 75 per cent.
- 13.4 million Australians are online on average for 18.8 hours a month.
- 10,445,980 Facebook users (as at July 28, 2011).
- 22 per cent of time online spent social networking, six per cent on email.
- 81.6 per cent of online users on social networks, spending close to five hours a month.
- Online shopping up 12 per cent year on year.
- Smartphone penetration more than 50 per cent.
- Metro newspaper readership down 5.9 per cent.
Five tips to reach your customers
- Research your target market. Find out how they spend their time, what type of technology they use, how they access the internet, where they spend their money – be as comprehensive as possible as these findings will dictate how and when you reach them.
- Don’t be afraid to trial the newer channels. Email campaigns are great, but the mobile channel might be better. Over the financial year, messages sent by businesses via SMS/MMS messages increased 300 per cent over the financial year, according to Responsys. With so many of your customers inseparable with their phones, this could be a crucial means for your message to be heard.
- Consider the timing of messages sent. For example, Responsys found open rates for email campaigns were highest on a Thursday and, obviously, lowest on a Saturday. Comparatively, click rates were highest on a Tuesday and, again, lowest on a Saturday.
- Measure your campaigns and messages to determine what is most effective and when. Then, determine why.
- Don’t try to be too tricky. Customers are very savvy so make sure all messages are honest and relevant.
Published on: Tuesday, August 30, 2011