Finding New Ways to Reach Customers with an Omnichannel Strategy

When platforms consider how to engage with customers, a chief consideration should be the specific avenue they choose to communicate with their users. Traditionally many global companies have taken advantage of CPaaS companies to help them contact end-users with SMS and voice-based messages. The rise of over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook messenger and entirely new protocols such as RCS have expanded the platforms’ width when trying to engage with their user base. The question is, how can businesses leverage an omnichannel strategy, and where do users want to be reached?

What is an omnichannel strategy?

When evaluating companies that leverage programmable communications, omnichannel is a cross-channel, contextual content strategy used to provide continuity in messaging across multiple channels, delivering accurate and reliable information where your customers want to receive it most. These separate ‘modes of transportation’ work in a collaborative, complementary way. When used effectively, omnichannel can increase reach and improve the user experience by driving higher levels of customer engagement.

A robust omnichannel strategy would leverage all available one and two-way communication paths to engage with customers. The market, user preferences, and message may affect channel distribution.

Which channels are used?

With the transmission of marketing messages, the proper channel often depends on the platform and the market. In some countries such as India, a platform may use WhatsApp for marketing automation. India has an extremely high adoption rate for WhatsApp. Other regions may see a low adoption on the WhatsApp channel and need to seek different avenues for customer engagement. This disparity can make things tricky for global companies. The main pain point product managers will have is ‘only X% of my marketing messages are reaching my customers.’ A customized omnichannel approach then for platform, industry and market makes the most sense when increasing overall reach.

In addition to legacy formats like SMS, email, and voice, many companies will look at other OTT platforms popular in the chosen market. For example, OTT open rates are as high as 85% in Brazil, so targeting a customer on this channel makes sense.

The type of message also indicates which path the message would take. SMS can have as high as 98% open rates in markets such as the United States but a coupon, for example, would make sense to reach users through RCS or email. Images and branding deliver a more effective experience when they can be displayed attractively. A simple reminder or notification might reach the most users when sent over SMS. In a market without widespread SMS availability, platforms may choose voice for maximum penetration.

Your trusted advisor with omnichannel

The strategy of omnichannel messaging can be encapsulated by maximizing reach and deliverability over a variety of formats. But trusting a partner that has a reliable network and excellent delivery rates is not enough. When discussing reach, we will revisit specific deliverability statistics by market. Your platform may see 85% OTT deliverability in Brazil and assume that is a strong reach, but looking at the US market, this number drops to 61%. US deliverability numbers with SMS are 98% so an omnichannel strategy in the United States would rely more heavily on SMS while still peppering in OTT content where appropriate.

As mentioned above, it is important to contextually layer your content. Your users don’t want to be carpet-bombed with the same message on every single one of their devices, so it’s essential to trust a partner to help consult on your programmable communication needs. By creating a customized strategy, you can touch your users with different messages optimized for the proper channels of which your customers would like to be contacted. Increasing your reach will increase customer engagement, and as we all know, an engaged customer is a valuable one. Omnichannel strategies also improve customer satisfaction by 42% and lower costs for platforms. In short, a platform can increase the customer lifetime value, improve CX, reach new users, and lower costs. Omnichannel is a homerun.

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