Not so long ago, there were only a handful of ways you could communicate with your customers.
2. Traditional mail (affectionately called snail mail)
3. Face-to-face meetings
In many ways, these strategies all still work. Customers will pick up their phone if a business calls about something relevant. Similarly, people are more likely to attend workshops and other face-to-face meetings if time and travel needs are manageable.
However, communication has also evolved. Digital marketing has dramatically changed how we engage with our audience. There are now more options to choose from than ever before, and each has its own unique set of purposes and benefits.
A well-developed communication strategy can help you drive sales and grow your business. Base-level benefits include significant boosts in engagement and customer referrals. These two factors alone help you reach people who otherwise would have never heard of your brand.
Today, I’ll show you 6 practical ways you should communicate with your audience so you can build rapport, improve customer satisfaction, and get more eyes on your website.
Invite Users to Send an Email
Email is one of the oldest marketing strategies presented on this list. In the late 90s, everyone wanted to learn how to communicate through email messaging.
Fast forward to 2023, and virtually everyone has at least one email address. What’s more, we all have immediate access to our inboxes thanks to our smartphones and watches.
When you consider the surge of popularity around email, it’s no surprise that this is still an excellent way to communicate with your audience. The key is to set up an email marketing strategy that invites users to reach out to you if they need help.
As you’ll soon find out, email is far from the only way you should communicate with your audience – but people still want the option to send a simple email.
Allow users to submit a request form on your contact page if they’d prefer to send an email instead of talking to a support agent on your site or social media. This is a great option for people who are pressed for time and want to get their message to the right person.
Your response time matters if you want to keep subscribers happy. Users should never have to wait 2-5 days for an answer to their question. The longer a potential customer has to sit around, the more likely it is that they will move on to a competitor.
You should also invite users to email you back when you send them a survey. Research shows that over 78% of email subscribers say they will respond to a survey if it contains 1-5 questions. Keep your feedback forms short and sweet, and you might see extra subscriber engagement.
Use Live Chat
Have you ever visited an eCommerce website only to leave with more questions than when you started? Many shoppers will tell you this isn’t the best way to win them over.
Instead, it’s crucial to get to the point and show users why your product or service is worth their time. Your live chat team is the perfect group for the job.
I recommend setting up a live chat program on your website and hiring a handful of representatives as soon as possible. Users want to contact a brand if they are getting close to placing an order. If email is the only option, they may change their mind by the time you get back to them.
On the other hand, a live chat agent can jump into the conversation and sell the idea of investing in your brand. Customer support teams usually have many tools available to help them, like case studies and special promotions.
Support representatives walk new visitors through your brand and help potential customers find the plan or product that matches their needs. At the end of the conversation, the agent could give the user a discount on their first order – just to sweeten the deal.
In most cases, the user must trigger the conversation with a chat rep. You can encourage them to take action by showing a small popup or chat window in a visible spot on your home screen.
Look for Engagement Opportunities on Social Media
Did you know that almost 60% of Earth’s population has at least one social media account? What makes this information even more shocking is the fact that the average person spends close to 2.5 hours on social sites each day.
As you can imagine, people use this time to catch up with friends and engage with businesses on social media. If you don’t have multiple communication channels across your social media accounts, you’re missing out on countless opportunities to interact with your customers.
The first and easiest strategy involves responding to users when they comment on your post. People want to feel like they are heard and their opinion matters. When you respond to a customer who thanks you for creating a great product, or even one that offers a glaring critique, you’re improving how you engage with others on social media.
Another way to communicate effectively with your audience is to respond to direct messages. You can do this yourself or hire a social media team to stay in contact with subscribers. Either way, people see brands that respond to direct messages as more trustworthy than those that don’t.
Finally, you should consider joining relevant communities on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Communities are excellent places to connect with like-minded people. You’ll get the chance to learn about your target audience and promote your product or service. Each company has a different spin on its group feature, but the core idea remains the same.
Evidence suggests that community-building is the future for businesses on social media. An impressive 64% of social media marketers say they are actively looking for ways to build communities across the most popular social networks.
Set Up Chatbots
I saved chatbots until now because you can use them anywhere we discussed up to this point. An AI-powered communication assistant can benefit your website, social media channels, and email support.
Chatbots are responsible for helping users with common problems across all marketing platforms. For instance, if a user wants to see a pricing sheet showing two different products, most AI programs can create a handy chart for comparison. Meanwhile, a social media chatbot can help users learn how to use your product by sending relevant, well-written tutorials.
Studies show that 34% of people are more than happy to talk to a chatbot instead of a real person. I believe the major reason for this trend is that we can now train chatbots to handle problems that would have required a human touch just a few years ago.
The one factor that makes chatbots a great communication channel is their diversity. You can use this technology to generate leads, boost customer satisfaction, help new visitors determine which product is right for them, and much more.
I suggest experimenting with your chatbot of choice before you make it live to the public. Use vigorous testing to ensure the bot responds in a way that satisfies the user’s question and improves UX.
Experiment with Push Alerts
Push alerts, also called push notifications, are an excellent way to keep users engaged with your brand. Odds are, you’re familiar with push alerts even if you don’t know them by name. When Uber Eats sends you a message about a limited-time deal or your favorite streaming service invites you to watch the next season of a new show, this is usually done through push notification.
Simply put, push alerts are small notifications that appear on a device (like a phone or laptop) at a predetermined time. Many business leaders and marketers use these alerts to announce flash sales, events, product releases, and new content.
If you’re wondering why this communication strategy is so popular, think about this; over half of the people who download an app will enable push alerts to their device. In other words, you can expect to reach around 50% of your customers more often if you have an app.
You can use alerts without a mobile application too! Many push alert plugins allow you to ask visitors to opt-in to browser push alerts from your website. When users click “allow,” they are giving you permission to (responsibly) keep in touch.
Create a Knowledge Base on Your Website
Finally, you can communicate with your audience through pre-made content. There will be times when someone finds your site in the middle of the night, and there’s no one there to help. These users will turn to your content, like your blog posts and videos, for help.
Building a knowledge database on your website will also reduce your customer support ticket time because many base-level answers are available freely on your website.
I recommend reviewing your buyer personas and customer feedback forms so you can determine which topics matter most to your intended audience. Once you’ve jumped in and uncovered enough information, start creating content.
The key to creating a truly effective database is smart internal linking and plenty of relevant information. You can flesh out topics on your blog by exploring smaller sections and turning what you find into a new article.
Creating an FAQ section on your blog is also a good idea. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to find the answers they are looking for, and you can expect sales and engagement to follow.
As you can see, there are plenty of creative ways to communicate with your target audience. The strategies outlined today will help you develop an actionable plan that you can use to keep people invested in your brand, regardless of where they are in your sales funnel.
Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.