WebEngage, the leading full-stack retention operating system launched their annual trends report titled “State of Retention Marketing 2023: Global Trends & Benchmarks in Customer Engagement – Spring Edition”. Drawing on WebEngage’s extensive expertise in customer engagement, this report aims to offer a comprehensive view of industry wise customer engagement strategies across channels and tools in 2022. The data has been culled out through an analysis of 1000+ brands like CueMath, Juicy Chemistry, Alt Balaji, Acko, among others, capturing 992 billion events, ranging across 8+ industries and 6+ geographies, including India & APAC, European Union, Latin America, Middle east & Africa, North America, and Southeast Asia.
In the current macroeconomic scenario, brands today are forced to relook at costs and seek sustainable growth strategies that offer longevity to the businesses and limit cashburn. Customer retention has proven to be an effective strategy in this regard, wherein if done right, it is possible to generate 80% profits from a mere 20% of your customers. During economic downturns, consumers become conservative with spending, but their expectations from brands remain intact, even if the form it takes varies. It is brands that have been able to provide the best engagement even through the toughest of times, that have withstood these downturns and come out the other side successful.
Avlesh Singh, Co-founder and CEO, WebEngage said, “In the face of uncertainty and challenges, resilience and consistency become our greatest assets. Retention Marketing enables brands to navigate stormy seas and connect with customers in a meaningful manner. In fact, we have come to believe firmly that legacy enterprises today must also think about engagement and retention strategies so as not to be rendered irrelevant by the fierce competition in the market today. By investing in data and technology, brands are delivering personalised experiences that help them thrive in complex economic landscapes of 2023 and beyond”.
“We are thrilled to release the State of Retention Marketing 2023 Report report, which we believe will be a valuable resource for brands and other industry stakeholders alike.” He further added.
Chirag Parmar, Lead – Customer Growth & Strategy, WebEngage said, “When everybody changes, change becomes mainstream. With the marketing world bracing for a cookie-less future, zero-party and first-party data become the backbone of user engagement and retention. Brands have not only started building data models, but have also started gaining substantial fruits out of these concerted omnichannel user engagement efforts. While problems with big data continue to persist, brands are moving forward and solving for these challenges – one experiment at a time.”
WebEngage’s report provides a guide for omnichannel marketers and leaders to grasp the current trends in customer engagement across various channels, industries, and markets. Some key highlights of the report include:
Time & place are the key to win customers’ undivided attention
The report highlights that contextual and personalised campaigns are more effective than blast promotional campaigns in building stronger relationships with customers, increasing engagement and conversion rates, and driving business growth. Targeting specific segments of the audience based on their interests, behaviour, and preferences helps brands deliver highly relevant content, resulting in higher conversion rates. The study found that different time bands across geographic regions are best suited for user engagement. In India & APAC regions, the peak conversion times for various channels are as follows:
Emails: 12 pm to 4 pm (30% conversions)
WhatsApp Messages: 4 pm to 8 pm (28% conversions)
Push Notifications: 8 am to 12 pm (34% conversions)
Generic messages are like lullabies – Get straight to the heart of the matter with personalised messaging
Generalised communications by brands regardless of channel can only take brands so far. A deeper look into the performance of personalised messaging across different channels revealed:
Blast emails yield only 1.24% conversion rate, whereas contextual campaigns tailored according to user behaviour were found to be 2.4x more effective. It led to a significant uplift in conversations of 2.98%
Promotional SMSs have a low conversion rate of only 0.17%. However, lifestyle-influenced SMSs have shown a conversion rate of 0.46%. Contextual and personalized SMSes instead led to 2.71X growth in conversion rates
Promotional WhatsApp campaigns have a conversion rate of 0.25%. But by sending personalised and contextual WhatsApp campaigns businesses experienced a significant increase in conversion rate, up to 3.79 times higher; recorded at 0.96% in the report
Sending intrusive and irrelevant app push notifications can cause users to uninstall an app and result in a low conversion rate of 0.15%. Whereas, personalising app push notifications with context and relevance, has resulted in a substantial 7.39 times increase in conversion rate; recorded at 1.12% in the report.
Generic Web push campaigns can yield a conversion rate as low as 0.01%. By sending contextual and personalised web push notifications instead, businesses saw an impressive 34 times increase in conversion rates
In-app push campaigns that take into account factors like previous response rates and past transactions resulted in a high conversion rate of 26.52%. Businesses that opted for personalised in-app push notifications saw a 2.2 times increase in conversion rates.
From B2B to Entertainment: different sectors, different strokes:
The WhatsApp Revolution: How B2B Companies are Transforming the way they communicate with customers-
In 2022, B2B companies sent 1 billion messages and continued to invest heavily in push notifications, but have also started using channels like email and SMS more frequently. WhatsApp remains an important focus area for B2B companies and message volumes have steadily increased. Across all channels, the industry had an average open rate of 41%, click-through rate of 0.7%, and conversion rate of 0.4%. The report analysed Sulekha, a prominent online platform in India that connects local service businesses with users in over 40 cities. By leveraging retention marketing strategies, Sulekha experienced significant growth in revenue, saw an increase in services by 7%, and won back 4% of its lost users.
Edtech Giants Prioritise Email and WhatsApp in 2022 Messaging Strategy, Achieve 24% Average Open Rate-
The Ed-Tech industry sent over 12 billion messages, with email and app push notifications comprising 93% of all messages sent by Ed-Tech giants. They have shifted their strategy to focus more on email and WhatsApp, with increasing volumes of messages being sent through these channels. Across all channels, the sector saw an average open rate of 24%, click-through rate of 0.4%, and conversion rate of 0.6%. Shaw Academy, an online education platform was able to catalyse a 100% increase in class attendance, decrease membership cancellations by 20%, and generate a 25% revenue boost through personalisation and elevated customer engagement.
Media & Entertainment industry sends over 62B messages in 2022, with focus on App and Web Push Notifications-
In 2022, the Media & Entertainment industry sent over 62 billion messages, with App & Web Push Notifications being the primary channels, accounting for 99% of all messages sent. Media & Entertainment companies have been increasing their focus on Web Personalization. On average, these companies experienced an Open Rate of 22%, a Click Through Rate of 0.07%, and a Conversion Rate of 0.02% across all channels. ALTBalaji, a leading player in the Indian OTT media market, saw a 30% boost in user retention, a 75% increase in day 7 retention, and a 9.5% uplift in conversions.
WebEngage is committed to providing innovative solutions and thought leadership to its clients and the industry as a whole. The release of the State of Retention Marketing 2023 is just one example of its dedication to advancing the marketing industry’s knowledge and driving positive change through actionable insights on customer engagement. To read more about the report, click here.
Ranked #1 consistently across all review platforms on ease of use and comprehensiveness of the platform, WebEngage is used by 800+ brands across India, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Southeast Asia markets. WebEngage is on a unique mission to ensure that no business should ever have to work hard to retain its customers. WebEngage helps them scale through a robust customer data and analytics platform – unifying data across silos, the best-in-class journey builder enabling automated triggers and campaign orchestration across channels. The third piece of the stack is the personalization engine that includes all the data in the system and AI/ML-driven product recommendations that boost the conversion for all channels including the web and mobile apps. This puts immense power in the hands of marketers as they try to live up to the consumer expectation of a personalised user experience, a habit formed by the Amazon and Netflix of the world. The company is working across several industries like E-Commerce, Edtech, Fintech, Foodtech, Media & Publications, Gaming, BFSI, Healthcare, and Online Retail. The key clientele includes marquee brands like IKEA, eXtra Stores, HNAK, Vezeeta, Tabiyat, Unilever, L’Oréal, Bajaj Auto, Unacademy, Myntra, Pluralsight, Pepperfry, Junglee Games, HT Media, FirstCry, GoIbibo and many more.