If you’re doing things right, your business should be in constant motion.
The word scalability refers to the capacity of a system to sustain growth. For your company, being scalable can mean accommodating more customers, adapting your offering to an evolving market, and remaining relevant to existing consumers to retain them long-term.
Regarding your messaging strategy, scalability means communicating with a growing user base in a consistently relevant, timely, and personalized way.
Why is creating a scalable messaging strategy imperative to growth?
In 2022 and beyond, your brand’s messaging strategy must be scalable to sustain current and future business needs.
For companies to properly scale their messaging, they need to either build and maintain their own messaging infrastructure or choose a provider to handle the execution.
In weighing this decision, companies must consider the work, cost, and logistics of building their own messaging infrastructure versus using a solution that meets all of the needs that come with scalability.
As part of a scalable and adaptable marketing approach, your messaging channels are your gateway to fostering and growing customer relationships. Every relationship is different, and to meet each user’s unique needs, you’ll need to implement a high level of personalization for each customer’s journey through the funnel.
Here are some reasons why scalable messaging is important:
- To streamline the process of content creation and execution
- To save the Bandwidth of the teams that handle the execution of messaging campaigns (Both technical and nontechnical)
- To ensure that customers receive properly timed and targeted transactional and marketing messages, both of which play a role in their user experience
- To connect the intricate web of touchpoints users have with your brand without exhausting your team’s resources
If you don’t plan for scale, your messaging campaigns will soon lose their human touch, which is vital for maintaining consumer relationships in today’s marketing ecosystem.
A messaging strategy that doesn’t scale well may run the risk of delivering communications that fall short of user expectations and at worst, can prompt user churn. Short of churning altogether, here are some common pitfalls of a messaging approach that falls short of being scalable.
- Delivering batch and blast messages that don’t resonate can lead users to unsubscribe from communications such as push notifications or emails
- Critical transactional messages remaining unsent or undelivered, which can present grave consequences for your business.
- This is serious! Imagine you’re a Telehealth provider and your medication reminder push notification fails to reach its recipient… This could lead to a patient forgetting their medication and suffering a downstream heath issue as a result of not receiving your message.
- Overloading or crashing your servers
- This can occur if, for instance, you’re a large news company and you send a batch and blast message to all of your subscribers during presidential elections. Without thinking through your servers’ limits and adjusting your messaging strategy accordingly (with features such as message throttling) you could suffer a site crash at an inopportune moment when many of your readers are active.
What factors impact scalability?
There are a variety of factors that underly scalability. Here are some high-level considerations that play into scalability.
Speed of message delivery at scale will vary between providers. Speed may be more or less of a concern for you, depending on how important timeliness is to your messaging strategy.
“Something that we really focused on [with OneSignal] was speed. It was the biggest thing, and we wanted to be as close to first-to-phone as possible.”
OneSignal sends over 10 billion messages per day, which requires a high processing speed and exceptional deliverability.
Reliability refers to a user consistently receiving your messages after you’ve sent them. Reliability contributes to the scalability of your strategy, because your messages’ ability to accurately reach their targets plays into developing a trusting relationship with a growing audience.
Volume and Server Capacity
Most companies want messages to reach their customers as quickly as possible. However, let’s say you send an important message to your entire audience, prompting them to simultaneously reengage with your site or app. Your server can become overloaded by the simultaneous traffic, which can lead to slowdowns and crashes.
In order to accommodate the growing volume of messages your business is sending, you’ll need a provider that can consistently deliver your messages at the desired volume and frequency. In considering the best service, evaluate which providers can best accommodate these needs.
When Bitcoin Wallet was searching for a new messaging provider, they were looking for a service that would reduce the lift of manually moderating message volume using a complex workaround, which was taking up a lot of backend resources.
“With [the OneSignal] throttling feature alone, I was able to save myself half an hour a day where I don’t have to monitor whether we overloaded our backend or whether we are able to send another message. And our backend engineers are definitely happier.”
Why choosing the Right Messaging Service Matters
In addition to the factors we’ve just outlined, you should also understand how the following attributes of a messaging service affect your ability to scale your messaging strategy.
Choosing the right messaging service impacts the scalability of your campaigns, because some solutions are stronger when it comes to backend factors such as deliverability, reliability, and performance.
To execute meaningful campaigns using a variety of customer data that you collect within your stack, you’ll need a solution that ingests and processes partner data from data and analytics partners such as Amplitude, HubSpot, and Mixpanel. The more data you can use to enrich your campaigns, the easier it will be to build meaningful segments and appropriately target these audiences through automations and journeys.
Here are a handful of key features that can help you better execute your messaging campaigns at scale.
Properly segmenting your users is the foundation of a scalable messaging strategy because it allows you to build out targeted messaging sequences to different audience groups.
For example, Rapchat segments its growing user base according to their plan type and then executes targeted campaigns for users on the free trial, the paid plan, or the premium plan.
This feature can be useful if you’re concerned about overloading your servers with high traffic volumes. Throttling allows you to control your push notifications delivery so you can match traffic volume with your server capacity. You can specify how many messages to send per minute and drive customer engagement without overwhelming your servers. Set throttling limits for your app with the flexibility to adjust for each notification so you can manage delivery depending on your message.
Journeys allow you to plan and execute customized workflows based on advanced segmentation criteria to meet users at every milestone with your brand. Increase the chances that users engage by seamlessly integrating your messaging into their overall user experience.
How to Automate Your Messaging to Fuel Growth
Automating your campaigns wherever and whenever you can is a significant aspect of a scalable messaging strategy. When you build automated workflows, you save yourself the impossible task of executing manual sends for every campaign sequence that you need. Automations also serve to streamline the user experience and better retain users throughout their lifecycle.
Beyond that, automating critical messaging flows helps you avoid the pitfall of not delivering critical transactional messages —such as a severe weather alert push notification from your news app, for instance—at precisely the right time.
With the right messaging provider, you can automate message sequences based on triggers for a variety of significant milestones in the customer journey—from onboarding to logistical messages to targeted upsells and more.
For example, your business may need an onboarding flow, transactional messaging such as abandoned cart notifications, and time-sensitive promotions.
Here are some concrete examples of automations you can set up with the help of the right messaging service.
Types of Messaging Workflows to Automate
An onboarding sequence serves users at the start of their journey with your product or service. Your fitness app’s automated onboarding sequence might include an introductory push notification to excite users that have just joined followed by a three-email welcome series showcasing the various workout types they can do on your app.
By automating re-engagement messages at crucial time-based falloff points in the app journey, you can bring them back to your platform and excite them about your offerings. Companies can pinpoint critical churn windows and automate re-engagement notifications to be sent at these times to bring back inactive users. For instance, you might create a drip campaign in which you send users an automated message after two, seven, and fourteen days of inactivity.
In industries such as eCommerce, abandoned cart flows are important sources of conversions. When users add an item to their cart in your site or app but fail to complete check out, you can trigger a helpful reminder message to follow up and prompt the final purchase.
How Personalization Impacts Scalability
Using personalization allows you to scale up your messaging while still ensuring that messages are contextually and personally relevant to a user so that they resonate.
Nowadays, a personalized messaging strategy consists of an orchestrated Omnichannel approach, given that users now need and expect your communications in many places and across different milestones in their customer journey. Executing this for a growing audience might seem intimidating, but with the automations, advanced targeting, and cross-channel capabilities we’ve discussed, you can customize messages for your audience based on their unique interactions with your product or service across their lifecycle, all while your company sustains growth.
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