Testing Customer Engagement

If you’ve ever been in a marketing role, sat through a business class, or attended an industry conference, you’ve probably been introduced to the concept of “customer engagement.” 

But what does that mean, and why should you care about it? 

Simply put, “customer engagement is a customer’s ongoing interaction with your brand through single or multiple platforms.” 

How engaged your customers become over time determines a brand’s: 

  • Reach 
  • Impact 
  • Revenue 
  • Awareness 
  • Retention 

In the fall of 2020, we set out to help the Ohio DNR test customer engagement and establish a push notification baseline for their new HuntFish OH Mobile App which we launched last summer. 

Our starting place was simple, we needed: 

  1. A reason to be reaching out to these customers (aka why are they hearing from us). 
  2. An action for them to take allowing us to test the process all the way through (sign up, buy now, do this, etc.) 

Through the execution of hundreds of campaigns, we knew going into this that “nothing converts like a free giveaway.”

Leveraging a “free giveaway” opens a lot of doors because:  

  1. You have a broader audience compared to a specific content opt-in or sign-up request 
  2. Everyone wants to win something of value, for free 
  3. It encourages those who read but never take action to participate 
  4. People are not out anything if they don’t win 
  5. You can drive a lot of organic or paid traffic to the free incentive cheaper than any other offer — period 

Knowing this, we quickly got to work, and this is the offer we came up with.  

“Be 1 of 10 people to win a $25 Visa Gift Card with our Year-End User Appreciation Giveaway!” 

The prize was inexpensive to the Ohio DNR but still allowed multiple participants the chance to win. It encouraged content that was relatable to the Agency. But, most of all, it gave us a reason to be reaching out with an offer that didn’t raise any red flags.  

Our strategy was to send out a series of push notifications over the course of seven days that leveraged different copy and send times, allowing us to find out if shorter messages performed better and if there was a pattern in the time of day that encouraged participation.  

Within moments of pushing send, participation began to roll in, providing clear and useful results for analysis and campaign modification. 

Overview of push notifications sent, open rate, form completions, and form abandonment:

Android vs. IOS: Android users outperformed IOS users on all performance measures. Android users were much more likely to open the push notification at 27.1% (IOS = 15.2%) and access the landing page from the push notification at 13.75% (IOS = 6.4%). However, when it came to total conversion, the gap narrowed to just a 3.67% difference. Abandonment rates among Android users were also higher, leading us to believe that Push Notifications perform better with Android users but incorporating an inbox function to store the message on the device is critical to increasing response performance.

Male vs. Female: When comparing gender (excluding not specified gender), male and female performance was relatively similar. The standout would be the abandoned rate, indicating that female participants were less likely to convert from the inbox cached message after not receiving or opening a push notification.

Comparing Age Groups: Gen Z and younger Millennials underperformed older generations in almost every metric. Open rates increased with age, with the best performing age group being 46-55 years old.

The 65+ age groups were the second-best performing age group. However, when it came to total conversion, 65+ dropped off, only outperforming the 18-24-year-olds. Overall, the 30-65 were the most likely to fill out and complete the form. 

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