Which customer engagement metrics matter for business success?

Magith Noohukhan, customer engagement evangelist at Braze, explains how brands can use the three metrics to define and measure business success.

Pens and a ruler on top of a piece of paper with a graph drawn on it.

The recently published 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review found that 88% of marketers believe their teams have excellent or good customer engagement practices, but 74% still worry their metrics don’t translate into tangible business outcomes.

One of the main factors contributing to the problem is that teams within an organisation will likely disagree on what success looks like. According to the Customer Engagement Review, ‘only 26% of marketing leaders say their firms have a shared, company-wide definition of success when it comes to their customer engagement campaigns’.

Strong customer engagement strategies can have a direct impact on business goals tied to activation, monetisation, and retention, but only if brands define and measure the appropriate metrics. Without the right metrics, marketers will struggle to quantify the effectiveness of their engagement against company goals.

The report identifies new metrics for customer engagement around three growth levers: activation, monetisation, and retention. Let’s explore each growth lever and see how these apply to the real world.

Activation

Once a brand acquires a customer, how do you get that customer to act? Depending on your business, this can range from basic onboarding actions like building out a profile to recommending content based on that person’s interests. The two most essential activation metrics are likelihood to make a purchase and session frequency. The likelihood to make a purchase skews more towards retail and ecommerce, but also applies to any business that sells a product, such as a newsletter subscription. And session frequency will display how important your brand is in their life.

GetYourGuide, a Berlin-based online travel platform, was hit hard at the start of the pandemic as borders around the world closed and restrictions on travel were put in place.

After seeing numbers drop up to 99%, it knew it needed to pivot in order to engage customers and provide continued value to a customer base which was stuck at home and unable to travel. To showcase what it has beyond the marketplace, GetYourGuide made sure users were aware of promotions and important information, if and when travel became possible again. The brand communicated with its customers to provide them with new types of content like online cooking, yoga, and dance classes. Not only did it engage with existing subscribers, but it helped them generate new leads (both organic and paid), with the business seeing a 45% open rate for action-based messages.

Monetisation

Once your brand has an active customer, how can that customer contribute to the bottom line? There are many ways a brand can encourage customers to make a purchase, but driving higher purchase volumes, more quantity, and more frequency will lead to a much healthier business. There are three metrics that matter for monetisation: customer lifetime value (e.g., average revenue per user), repeat buyers, and purchases per user. ​

Rosetta Stone , the language-learning platform, was looking for ways to bolster its engagement amongst existing users. It promoted a new Live Lessons program, where language coaches offered streaming video lessons on conversation, grammar, and pronunciation. By creating campaigns and sending cross-channel class-reminder messages,

it could drive more subscriptions among their segment of highly engaged users, seeing a 25% increase in revenue from this key segment.

Retention

Over the past year, one of the biggest customer engagement trends has been the decline in customer brand loyalty. According to ‘The Future of Retail Report’ by Braze, customers acquired during COVID-19 have an 82% lower retention rate than those acquired during a non-COVID period of time. This year, retention will be the new growth strategy for all businesses. Brands should focus on their industry standard for days of retention and average user lifetime if they want to improve their overall retention.

PureGym , the UK’s largest chain of gyms, delivered a targeted campaign encouraging former members to re-join, resulting in a 69% increase in email open rates, an 89% rise in clickthrough rates and a 206% higher conversion rate, compared with emails sent to all users. To achieve this, PureGym used a cross-channel campaign that involved sending personalised content to former members, including targeted offers such as 50% off memberships for the first month and a £0 joining fee.

With the right customer engagement metrics in place, brands will be able to create better strategies and campaigns that drive real business value. If your brand doesn’t have the right metrics in place, it’s not too late to have these discussions now. It will even help your company prepare for the great acceleration, as consumers and businesses alike prepare for a return to normal this summer.

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