Target Your Communications Right And Keep Your Customers Happy

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Make sure your communications are personalised and relevant or you risk losing your customers.

Receiving irrelevant emails into your inbox is a cause of frustration for many, so much so that a majority of UK consumers (69 per cent) have cut ties with retail businesses because of the growing volume of emails they received that were of no use to them.

Research by the Aimia Institute shows that Brits have become less patient with company communications over the past few years. Where in 2012 a third (35 per cent) would delete a company email or text message after reading only the title, today that number has risen to well over half, 58 per cent, opting out of communications completely.

This rise is partly attributed to receiving too many emails from brands. Three in four (74 per cent) of respondents cited this as the reason, with a fifth (19 per cent) unable to handle the volume of messages they receive.

What are the risks over over-messaging?

Over half (57 per cent) of those surveyed are taken steps to actively avoid companies, which includes:

  • Unfollowing brands on social channels (69 per cent);
  • Closing accounts and subscriptions because individuals don't like the communications they are receiving (69 per cent);
  • Blocking numbers (59 per cent);
  • Opting out from the majority of company email communications (58 per cent);
  • Deleting apps because of push notifications (55 per cent).

So how can you communicate with your customers and keep them happy?

  • Ensure that the offers are relevant. Over half of respondents are willing to share personal details to receive better targeted emails;
  • Make digital communication personal. It doesn’t take much to include someone’s name, and using Big Data to your advantage you can really discover what the customer likes and doesn’t, to provide a personal service;
  • Look to Amazon, Sainsbury’s, Nationwide, John Lewis, M&S, Virgin, Lloyds TSB, and eBay for inspiration as they were identified as getting digital communications right.

Martin Hayward, Senior Vice President Global Digital Strategy and Futures at Aimia, said: "Some brands fall into a trap of assuming permission to use these [digital] channels whenever and however they see fit.

"However," he warned, "brands must earn the right to contact their customers. They must show relevance by using data to personalise and tailor communications, and they need to select the most appropriate channel for delivery.

"Get these ingredients right and customer communications can be a powerful tool to build deep and long lasting relationships. Get it wrong though, and brands will find themselves cut off."