Customers today are bombarded with messages from brands on all communication channels. This information overload leads to fleeting attention spans – there's just too much content flooding in for customers to consume properly. So, how can you get your audience to focus on your specific message and take the actions you desire?
Repeatedly approaching customers in an ordered way is vital. This article explains the concept of cascading messaging and how you can use it in your marketing strategy.
What is cascading messaging?
Cascading messaging is a sequential targeting strategy that involves approaching customers to convey the same message via a range of channels. For example, you might first send your message by email; if it goes unnoticed, you send it again on another channel like SMS. If that doesn't work, you try again on another channel – and so on – until you know your customers have noticed your message.
The goal of cascade campaigns is conversion – convincing customers to take a certain action or make a decision, like placing an order, clicking a link or submitting a review. It's most commonly used for promotional messages and automated trigger campaigns.
Why do you need cascading messaging?
Converting your target audience into paying customers takes time and effort. If you only use one channel, you won't achieve maximum results. Imagine you decide only to use email... Part of your target audience may not check their email regularly or could miss your message among the influx of other emails they get every day. What if this group prefers SMS as texts are short and easy to read?
Omnichannel is the way forward, according to Messente's demand generation expert Katria Komp: "To get the highest number of customers to notice your brand, it's imperative to use multiple communication channels – and monitor which customers are most active and responsive on specific channels. Then, you can segment your audience and adapt your approach, starting with the channels customers prefer to use. Sequential messaging is an excellent strategy for getting your audience to really listen to your message while allowing you to learn more about their behaviours."
How to build an effective cascading communication strategy
The first step is to create compelling marketing copy for each channel. It shouldn't be exactly copied word for word everywhere, but the crux of the message should be the same. For example, your SMS copy must fit within 160 characters with no media attachments (tricky if you have a complex message and a challenging conversion goal). If customers don't read or respond as you'd hoped, create a more detailed message, perhaps with images, a video, stickers or emojis and send it via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Viber (OTT messaging).
If you still don't achieve the results you want, try an email cascade, where you can be flexible and generous with wording. But avoid overly long content on email or any other channel, as this is often ineffective – information overload leads to exhausted minds!
Other cascading messaging best practices
Don’t spam customers who respond in the first round of messaging. Let's say your communications cascade starts with a text message offering a special discount for the first 100 buyers of a newly launched product, and some customers place an order via SMS immediately. In your second round of communication, which you've decided will be WhatsApp, don't contact those people who've already purchased. That will annoy them – it's a waste of time (for them and you).
Remove anyone who opts out of your cascading campaign subscriber list. This is a legal requirement for marketing communications.
Don't automatically opt for the cheapest channel to start with. Tailor your cascading communication strategy according to what you know about your audience. If you already have proof that a good majority of people are most open to text messaging, start with SMS. You could actually save money and time by avoiding channels that may be cheaper but are less reliable, such as email or instant messaging apps.
Find the right message frequency and timings. While choosing the right channels is essential, you should treat each round of communication as a separate campaign. Ensure you comply with marketing laws in your customers' region or country (e.g. in the US, it's unlawful to carry out telemarketing – which includes texting – before 8am or after 9pm at the recipient's location). Send key messages at appropriate times when you're least likely to inconvenience your recipient. Also, don't message all customers on all available channels simultaneously or within a short timeframe. Decide how long to wait for conversions on one channel before moving on to the next one.
Track the effectiveness of each channel and campaign using analytics and reporting tools. This will help you make data-driven decisions and optimise future sequential advertising campaigns to achieve the highest ROI at the lowest cost. Listen and act on any customer feedback too.
Four powerful benefits of cascading communication
The main reason you need cascading messaging is to get customers to notice your communications against a crowded landscape. But here are some additional benefits this strategy will bring:
Cascading communication adds adaptability to your marketing strategy. You're not restricted to just one or two channels but can work with whatever channel each customer is most accessible through. It enables various degrees of personalisation and the freedom to experiment with different content types to see what works for you and your target audience.
2. More targeted communication
By properly segmenting your customers according to the communication channels you think they prefer and would work best, you'll achieve the maximum possible responses (and conversions). If you see a specific channel working better for one campaign, you can use that one for your first round of messaging next time.
3. Greater reach
Omnichannel messaging ensures that even if you can't reach customers on their preferred channel, they'll still get your message on another. For example, if your recipient has lost their mobile phone, they won't receive your SMS. However, they may still be able to check their email on their laptop.
4. Maximum response
By making your cascade marketing efforts repetitive and consistent, your audience will eventually notice you. This gives you better chances of customer engagement and successful conversion.
Use cascading messaging to cover all bases
Cascade marketing helps you reach the majority of your target audience. If one communication channel proves ineffective for reaching specific customers, you can switch to one that's more impactful.
Depending on what messaging software you're using, you may be able to automate your cascade message campaigns so if one channel fails, the message is automatically sent via another. For example, with Messente's omnichannel API, you could first send your cascade communication on Viber, and if the recipient doesn't have a Viber account, it'll use SMS as a fallback option.
Messente also gives you plenty of other benefits, including worldwide coverage, reliable routing, transparent pricing, user-friendly campaign creator tools and helpful analytics.
Discover more about our business text messaging service today.