For brands, providing concrete value is key: it’s hard to build and maintain a strong, loyal user base without showing your audience the benefits that come with patronizing your brand.
But while showing how your product can functionally improve your customers’ lives is important, there’s also something to be said for improving your user’s day or even just a moment of it. We’ve seen some companies dip their toes into the waters of personalization with personality through the rise of emoji marketing, but there’s a whole lot more brands can do to to enhance their personality and connect with their users—after all, making someone smile can do a lot to strengthen your relationship.
Our increasingly mobile-first world has opened up a whole new realm of possibility for marketers. While offline marketing may need to stick to a one-size-fits-all approach because the audience and targeting is less defined, digital marketers can and should truly excel at customer relationship building on the individual level. If you’ve been doing your homework, you have all the data and insights you need to understand what makes each recipient tick—be it a fun message, a free gift, an easter egg for users, or a number of other tactics.
For inspiration, here are five brands—including B2B, social media, and messaging companies—that each have found ways to insert some fun and personality into their messaging across platforms and devices.
There’s almost nothing better than payday—and digital payroll system Gusto knows the feeling. With each transactional email and in-browser message they send about getting paid, they celebrate that occasion alongside each employee. Typically, transactional emails tend to be pretty dry, so it’s refreshing to see a company take an approach that’s not only visually appealing and fun, but might make users more likely to read and understand the contents of each email.
Our recommendation? Gusto should consider A/B or multivariate testing variables like the copy, imagery, and send time to optimize their campaigns and see what type of messaging their users respond to best.
Here’s another socially savvy payment company that knows transactional messaging doesn’t have to be a bore. Venmo wasn’t the first app to make sending money via mobile possible, but it just might have been the first to make it fun for its users, in part by leveraging mobile messaging powerhouse activity messaging and gamification.
Venmo’s activity campaigns are multifaceted: Customers can broadcast who they’re paying (and, more fun, for what reason) within the app or website and share these updates to Facebook. On the activity alert side, the payment recipients may receive notification of the payment via the app and Facebook (as will friends of either the payee or payer). The gamification comes in inherently with how the app is setup, encouraging payers to come up with cleverer and cleverer reasons for payment. Challenge accepted?
Google is famous for its Easter eggs (yes, there’s even a Wikipedia page about them), and its web and mobile-friendly instant messaging app, Google Hangouts, is known for packing these goodies in, gamifying messaging—an already inherently fun and social activity. Users can type in phrases at random, and wait and see if they’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon amusing animations. (Or, fine, go ahead and click the previous link to get a list of the latest Easter egg cheats.)
It’s not intuitive, but being social doesn’t necessarily come second nature to social media apps (let alone other kinds of companies), even though their customers are socially motivated. While social apps send tons of activity messaging notifications to their community members about new followers, messages, event invites, and more, these often come off as dry and dull as the snoozefest transactional messaging we’ve been bemoaning. Tumblr rises to the occasion with pithy commentary to accompany their activity messaging updates, like Finally/ Swoon <3/ ^ _ ^. And, for an added touch of personalization, Tumblr takes the time to celebrate milestones, like members’ anniversaries of joining the community.
What tricks does social app Bitmoji have up its sleeves to engage their community? Fans have a lot to run with with the app’s attention to personalization and multichannel messaging (web and mobile web friendliness for the win) and multi-platform ubiquity (integrating with messaging giants like your text messaging service, Snapchat, Gmail, Slack and more).
To be truly next level with its mobile marketing strategy, Bitmoji is mastering segmentation, testing out mobile messaging options and features to see how they resonate across user segments.
Go Beyond Memorable
By now you know what goes into making your marketing messaging stick in your customers’ heads, but do you know what will entice them to stick around and stay engaged? Loyalty means everything, and that’s why we’ve created a starter kit for building customer loyalty with step-by-step guides, so you can make those extra connections to keep your users engaged.