“The more the merrier.” It’s a phrase that people have used for hundreds of years to communicate the benefits of having more options available to them. For some, it’s leveraging as many communication channels as possible to increase the odds of a successful outcome, and for others, a means to gather as much data analytics as possible to make the most informed decision. Then there’s the likelihood of increased engagement, more eyeballs on an important message, and the availability of more options for consumers, citizens, clients, and employees alike.
When it comes to an omnichannel communications platform, it means all the above.
With more than 50% of customers beginning their interactions with businesses online – and a significant 63% of all millennials doing so (Microsoft) – your business communications must be ready to meet digital outreach demands head-on. And when you factor in that 66% of global respondents say they actively use three or more channels for customer service (Microsoft), businesses need this kind of omnichannel reach at their fingertips – just as much as they need a digital platform that can handle them all.
But is that easier said than done? Not at all.
Which communication channels should be in your wheelhouse?
While this may depend on the type of customers you serve – or maybe you’re a local government that doesn’t serve customers at all, but rather constituents – again, the more the merrier. Here are the primary channel communications we believe best serve your outreach.
SMS messages (including bulk SMS)
This one’s no secret. More and more companies are adopting an SMS approach to their business communications thanks to the numerous benefits that come along with it. And you don’t have to think about it from a customer perspective, but rather your own. How many times have you completely ignored an email – no matter how many times you saw it? Now, how many times have you ignored a text message? Odds are, ignoring the latter is very rare.
Now take into account that 43% of millennials (18-34) use their mobile devices to initiate customer service engagements (Microsoft) and 48% of consumers prefer direct communication from brands via SMS text message (SMS Comparison) and the case for you to send text messages becomes even more clear.
With an omnichannel platform that allows you to send bulk SMS and automated text messages, you can all but guarantee to improve the way users feel about your brand or your service. Plus, with SMS links that drive to brand-centric microsites, you can truly guide the user journey without having to jump from one platform to the next.
At the end of the day, if you send a message to an audience that’s already opted-in, shares interest in the product or service you provide and has a 98% chance of opening it (Gartner), there’s no reason not to have SMS messages as part of your communication strategy.
Business email outreach
Whether you’re a legacy business or a startup, it’s more than likely you’ve made email the bread and butter of your marketing strategy. And we don’t blame you. In 2020, 78% of marketers said email is important to overall company success, compared to 71% in 2019. (Litmus) Despite the rise of bulk SMS, mass email is still a great way to contact leads, drive sales, and release company-wide notifications – plus it’s cost-effective.
As of 2022, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months (HubSpot), so now’s not the time to pull back on that audience. What you’ll want to do instead, is complement these efforts with other channels to maximize your engagement opportunities.
After all, what’s better than a standalone email or SMS message? A platform that allows you to send email to text and vice versa to ensure recipients can engage with the message on their preferred medium at their own pace. Not to sound like a broken record, but the more the – meh, you get it.
Social media posts
That’s right, social media marketing – the Pandora’s Box for many an intern. With marketers ranking social second in terms of B2B advertising success, right behind SEM (Content Marketing Institute), why is such a lucrative communication channel so hard for some teams to adopt? Well, it could be for several factors, including not understanding the audience, knowing which platforms to work within, not keeping up with trends, and being unable to staff a team to give consumers the quick responses they demand.
“So, you’re saying social media is a bad communication channel?” No, in fact, it’s just the opposite. When used correctly or for the direct dissemination of information such as crisis communications or announcements, it can work wonders for a brand’s reputation.
And with the right platform, you shouldn’t have to give up on any channel – let alone one that predicts as many as 4.41 billion people using it by 2025. (Sprout Social)
With an omnichannel communications platform that integrates your messages, you can craft a notification, an update, an emergency alert, or anything you want, and share it via SMS, email, and as a social media post – all at once without any more effort involved. Now that’s efficiency any organization can get behind.
Other communication channels to keep in your wheelhouse
If you’re going to add more avenues for your audience to take, make sure they’re low effort and low maintenance.
Communication apps, like WhatsApp, are one such avenue. With more than 1.5 billion users around the world, who check their messages 23 times a day on average, WhatsApp represents the future of messaging for businesses. Tap into the power of communication apps and drive genuine engagement through Whispir for WhatsApp.
Voice messaging and voice to text are two others. With Whispir for voice messaging, you can send custom voice messages to a wide audience or craft compelling text messages that are instantly translated to voice for your recipients.
And don’t forget about RSS feeds. With a digital communications platform like Whispir, you can easily generate RSS feeds and send them out via your preferred channels – including the aforementioned SMS, email, and social media.
Find a digital platform that makes omnichannel easy to set up and execute
Before you decide on the best way to manage your communications, think about the following statistics in comparison to one another:
76% of millennials prefer texting because of the ability to check messages on their own time. (Finances Online)
74% of baby boomers think email is the most personal channel to receive communications from brands, followed by 72% of Gen X, 64% of millennials, and 60% of Gen Z. (Bluecore)
57% of consumers will follow a brand to learn about new products or services while 47% will follow to stay up to date on company news. (Sprout Social)
With each of the main three communication channels demonstrating its importance in ways the others can’t always fulfill, the solution isn’t to focus on one. To truly engage with your audience, to personalize their experience, and to deliver the type of journey that results in positive outcomes, you need to focus on them all. But it doesn’t have to be a headache.
Platforms like Whispir enable you to craft a message (or use a pre-designed template) and send it out to multiple platforms to ensure the message is read at the right time, by the right people, on the right medium. For businesses, this is a time-saver, which also makes it a money saver. For governments and emergency services, it can be a lifesaver.
One last thing: wouldn’t it be great to see how your outreach is going? An omnichannel communications platform should help guide you with insightful data analytics, engagement metrics, and more so you know your efforts aren’t going to waste.
Over 50% of companies report their most critical customer experience issue as being “providing a seamless experience across multiple channels.” (Nextiva)
With “a seamless experience across multiple channels” just a digital platform away, there’s no reason to leave customers or citizens out of your communications. Book a demo with one of our team members and we’ll show you how we make omnichannel work for you.