There are various forms of communication for which mobile is an interface. Phone, email, websites, SMS, apps and social media being the main channels. This article takes a closer look at the opportunities of each interface.

Phone

A phone call can sometimes provide the human connection that’s required but the strategy and messaging need to be right.

The impact of the pandemic office exodus has been felt by those dependent on corporate membership who only had office numbers for their membership organisations, many of whom weren’t able to redirect calls to those working from home. Being able to obtain mobile numbers in circumstances such as these has been a focus of many recent valuable email campaigns as staying in touch and relevant to a remote membership impacts retention rates.

For membership organisations with mobile numbers, perhaps your membership department could have a flag set in the CRM to call your members 6 months into their membership to gauge the sentiment towards your organisation and check that they are getting the best value out of their investment (thereby securing engagement and retention for you). Highlighting the benefits they should be accessing and opportunities you can see might be relevant based on the data you hold on them, or even using it as an opportunity to grow your data and insights into your membership with brief surveys, picking up the phone can be an important part of your strategy.

Email and websites

More than half of people now access anything from the internet on their mobile phone and that trend is set to increase by an estimated 25% by 2025! Making sure that your website appears appropriately on a mobile device should just be a given and ensuring that your emails are easy to consume on mobiles is another equally important consideration. Shorter, more visually driven email content often performs better with links through to your website for content. This technique should also enable you to track who from your email campaigns is clicking through to what content to be able to follow up knowing what’s of most relevance to them at this point in time.

SMS

With the advent of apps and the free nature of push notifications, some may consider SMS (around since 1992) to be a bit ‘old school’ but engagement metrics prove otherwise. With 70% of consumers happy for businesses to use SMS marketing to get their attention and 82% of people opening every text message they receive clearly SMS can open up a wealth of potential opportunities.

As with any form of marketing, SMS messaging should be well targeted, well timed and relevant to avoid any negative impact. One of our ClearCourse partner companiesinstaGiv provide engagement and fundraising services via text distribution. Aside from offering their SMS services at great rates they have achieved some impressive campaign outcomes for organisations like:

  • Macmillan cancer support (£4.5 million raised through their ice bucket challenge social media campaign and hundreds of thousands raised through SMS giving at their annual coffee events).
  • Tearfund (85% monthly donor retention rate after 24 months)
  • Amnesty International (Send SMS to 160k supporters within seconds, achieving excellent response rates and actioning of petitions. 2-way conversations established for registrations, detail verifications, supporter upgrades and petition support)

They also use SMS campaigns for running competitions which can increase engagement and raise funds for your organisation. Thinking outside of the box about how SMS could be used to increase engagement can be really beneficial. For example, 50% of consumers say they would opt into an SMS loyalty program if they were offered flash sales, deals, or coupons in return. 98% of SMS are read within 3 minutes of being sent. Another benefit is that SMS marketing is currently not a saturated space, with only 61% of marketers not using SMS marketing. If you have an idea, let's talk about it, if you need an idea, we may well be able to come up with one!

Apps

With 90% of mobile user time now being spent in apps it’s no wonder that retailers are taking their revenue-generating potential seriously. Apps can:

  • Encourage brand loyalty (being ever-present on their phones home screen)
  • Be there when needed (bored moments, scrolling through an app)
  • Be tailored to the users preferences
  • Promote specific things to the user based on connected data (upsell)
  • Send the user push notifications to motivate action
  • Provide access to facilities such as augmented reality

For membership organisations it's worth considering how an app could play a part in your communications and engagement strategies. Are there certain aspects of the user experience that would be better delivered on an app for example:

  • Delivery of CPD with the ability to upload photographic evidence from their phone)
  • Mobilising members to participate in petitions or campaigns with digital signatures
  • Access to member benefits (with scannable QR codes to track member uptake)
  • Member identity verification (digital membership cards that can be scanned to register at events)
  • Learning experiences
  • Ability to make a payment or donation
  • Notify volunteers of slots that need filling and mobilise support

Apps can also cater for those that would rather consume information via an app (with ability to bookmark and share) rather than on your website. Sometimes users are more comfortable with updating their information, contact and content preferences in app which can provide a more satisfactory tailored engagement for them and administration and cost efficiencies for your organisation. Simply click on the links to take a look at our recent case study for RMT and find out more about how we connect organisations and their users with an app,

From our experience of developing both websites and apps, apps don’t have to be expensive. Through creating the ‘Connect’ app platform (which can integrate with existing CRM and CMS technologies for further efficiencies) we are able to get organisations started on their app journey for as little as £10k.