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As a term, promotional messaging is fairly self-explanatory, however it can be hard for many brands to leverage this kind of outreach in ways that resonate with recipients. To make the most of this messaging type, we'll cover three strategies to best utilize promotions.

In today’s mobile-driven market, direct-to-consumer messaging strategies are some of the most effective tools at a business’s disposal. And while traditional promotion methods like print and digital ads are still valuable, it would be a mistake for your company to shortchange its digital messaging channels—such as email, push notifications, and more—when thinking through your promotional messaging strategy.

Okay, So What Is Promotional Messaging?

As a term, promotional messaging is fairly self-explanatory. It’s any way you message your consumers to promote or advertise your business, typically by offering sales, discounts, and coupons. It’s distinct from transactional messaging, which are helpful updates, like password reset emails, delivery confirmations, and flight updates that go out on an individual basis and are usually triggered by an action a given consumer takes.

How Can Marketers Send Better Promotional Messages?

While the concept of a promotional message is simple to understand, it can be hard for many brands to leverage this kind of outreach in ways that resonate with recipients. To make the most of this messaging type, keep these three best practices in mind:

  1. Make it personal: Your messages should target what your customers want, and there’s no better way to do that than making sure your messaging is personalized. And because personalization depends on accurate, up-to-date customer information, a thoughtful data collection strategy is critical. Every time your users interact with your site or app, they’re telling you what they value about your product. Keeping track of this can help you adjust your messaging to individual users, creating a deeper connection.
  2. Break it down: Although personalized messaging is great, other kinds of customization can be just as impactful. Audience segmentation can help you adjust your messaging to fit the general categories your users fall into. (Features like Braze Intelligent Channel can allow you to automatically adjust what channel each individual customer receives messages in).
  3. Think outside the app: Depending on your business, expanding your messaging so that it reaches users even when they’re not on your app can be a great idea. Email messaging is great for delivering in-depth promotional offers, and in-browser messaging can nudge web visitors toward greater engagement. Just find the channel mix that makes sense for your specific promotional campaigns and your unique audience.

How Can Marketers Avoid Overwhelming Users with Promotional Messages?

Promotional messages are powerful ways to encourage your users to take action—but only if they’re welcomed by the people receiving them. If you’re overwhelming them with the sheer number of messages you send or sending messages they’re not interested in receiving, you may find that you’re shooting your engagement effort in the foot. To reduce the chances that you’re bugging customers with your promotional campaigns, consider leveraging the following key features:

  • Frequency Capping: Sometimes, too much is too much; with frequency capping, brands can set overall or channel by channel limits on the number of messages a given user can receive, helping to ensure that they get the outreach that matters the most, instead of ending up buried in notifications.
  • Notification Channels: If you’re sending promotional messages via Android Push, consider using Android notification channels to help separate, organize, and manage the push notifications you send out; buy classifying the different types of push you send, you can allow user to opt out of only the kinds of messages they’re not interested in, rather than deactivating push entirely, helping to support a more relevant user experience.
  • Preference Centers: By leveraging a preference center, you can allow your customers to signal what kinds of messages they receive (and how frequently), giving them more control over their experience of your brand and reducing the changes that receiving the wrong message leads them to disengage.

How Can Marketers Make the Most of Their Promotional Campaigns?

A promotional campaign on a single channel can do a lot to drive real results—but Braze research has found that using multiple channels in your campaign can increase engagement by 800%. For a lot of modern brands, this kind of cohesive cross-channel campaign involves the three most common mobile messaging channels: In-app messages, push notifications, and emails. Recognizing how these three types of messages can be used for different effects is critical.

Most of that is common sense. Push notifications are obviously great for short, urgent communications, whereas email is more suited to sending in-depth messages. In-app messages are versatile and somewhere in between: They can be simple and direct like a push notification or richer and more detailed, making them closer to emails in look and feel. Fitting these channels together into a well-executed campaign is where things get interesting.

Take the case of iHeartRadio Australia. Its August 2019 campaign, which took full advantage of the Braze platform’s support for cross-channel messaging, stands out as a perfect example of how a media company can use a cross-channel campaign to provide exciting, in-depth experiences for its consumers. By centering their around a classic radio contest in which listeners were asked to correctly identify five celebrity voices in order to win a car, iHeartRadio used the contest to drive users back to its app, where clues were hidden. The end effect was a clever feedback loop, with traditional media engagement sending users to the app, and vice versa—leading to a 17% boost in monthly active users.

Next Steps

A successful promotional campaign is built on a customer-first strategy. Don’t just message your customers to message them—develop a cross-channel campaign that will provide a valuable experience and keep them coming back for more. For more on customer engagement best practices, learn from 33 winning campaigns in our Lifecycle Marketing Guide.