Blog Digital Marketing 16 Customer Engagement Strategies You Must Try (+ Examples)

16 Customer Engagement Strategies You Must Try (+ Examples)

16 Customer Engagement Strategies You Must Try (+ Examples)
Joe Tobin
16 Customer Engagement Strategies You Must Try (+ Examples)
Joe Tobin

After bouncing around tech start-ups and university literature programs, Joe has finally settled down as Billo’s Head of Content. Joe now spends his days writing ads about ads, teaching clients how to craft killer content, and combing through our web copy with a bold red Sharpie.

Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė
Klaudija Janužytė

Seasoned copywriter, promoting the Oxford comma one sentence at a time. Skilled at writing internet-friendly copy, optimizing user journeys, and educating clients on the ever-changing ways of communicating effectively. Worked with brands like Coca-Cola, Adidas, Samsung, Nord Security, and many more.

customer engagement examples

Imagine walking into your favorite local cafe, where the barista knows not only your name but also your order by heart. That feeling of being recognized and valued? That’s the gold standard in customer engagement, and it’s what every business, big or small, should aim for.

But here’s the thing: achieving that gold standard doesn’t only mean sticking to the tried-and-tested methods. The digital era has flipped the script, offering endless opportunities to not only reach out to customers but truly engage with them in meaningful ways.

Think about it––when customers feel listened to, understood, and appreciated, they’re not just happy; they become loyal fans and vocal advocates of your brand.

This is where the magic of modern customer engagement strategies comes into play. By blending creativity with technology, businesses can create experiences that resonate deeply with customers, making them feel like part of a community rather than just another transaction.

16 Customer Engagement Strategies & Examples

Whether you’re a startup looking to make your mark or an established brand aiming to rejuvenate your customer connections, we’ve got something for you. From leveraging the latest tech to putting a new spin on classic techniques, these customer engagement examples are designed to spark ideas and help you forge stronger bonds with your audience.

After all, at the heart of every successful business, is a happy customer.

1. Build a Distinct Brand Voice

Building a brand voice is like choosing the perfect outfit for your brand; it’s about expressing who you are in a way that resonates with your audience. This strategy is all about consistency and personality.

Whether your brand is playful, serious, or somewhere in between, your voice should reflect that across all channels––be it your website, social media, or even your customer service interactions.

But how does this work with customer engagement?

Imagine your brand as a person at a party. Your brand voice determines how you introduce yourself, how you tell your stories, and how you connect with the people around you.

It’s about using the right tone, words, and emotions to make every interaction feel personal and genuine. This not only attracts people to talk to you at said ‘party’ but also makes them want to get to know you better outside of that setting as well.

Duolingo, the viral language-learning app, is a masterclass in having a distinct brand voice. From their playful reminders to practice your skills to their unique social media presence, Duo feels more like a supportive friend than a software application.

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2. Craft Engaging Welcome Email Campaigns

This strategy is all about making a great first impression right after someone signs up or makes a purchase. It’s your opening move in what you hope will be a long and fruitful relationship, so it pays to make it count.

Personalized welcome emails go beyond a simple “Thanks for joining!” by tailoring the message to the recipient, acknowledging their interests, and setting the stage for future interactions.

Why are welcome emails so crucial? They set the tone for the kind of communication your customers can expect from you. A well-crafted welcome email can boost engagement by making recipients feel seen and valued, not just as another email address in your database.

It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce them to your brand story, values, and what makes you different, encouraging them to engage further.

Drift’s approach to welcome emails truly stands out as a beacon of personalization and engagement. With a staggering 75 percent open rate and a 25 percent response rate, which reflects actual replies, not just clicks, they’ve cracked the code on making customers feel seen from the get-go.

While we can’t be certain if Drift is still sending out this exact email, the essence of its success lies in its conversational tone and the personal touch that almost feels like a one-on-one chat with Dave. No fancy graphics, no big slogans, no grandiose promises––just a warm, friendly, and direct conversation starter that prompts a genuine dialogue.

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3. Personalize Your In-App Push Notifications

Personalized in-app push notifications can take the mundane buzz of a phone alert and turn it into a moment of delight for the user. These are not your standard, cookie-cutter messages; they’re cleverly crafted notes tailored to the individual, sometimes with a dash of humor that can bring a smile to a user’s face.

By leveraging user data, apps can send notifications that resonate on a personal level, whether it’s a nudge about an abandoned cart with a witty remark, a birthday greeting with a special discount, or a playful reminder for an event the user showed interest in.

The power of these notifications lies in their ability to feel less like a broad blast and more like a message from a friend. It’s a smart strategy to keep users engaged, not only encouraging them to open the app but also to build a positive association with the brand.

When done right, these notifications can transform a moment of interruption into a welcomed interaction.

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4. Deploy AI Chatbots for Round-the-Clock Support

AI chatbots are always ready for a chat, no matter the hour. They have revolutionized customer support by being available 24/7, ensuring that whenever a customer has a question or a hiccup, there’s someone—or rather, something—there to help.

But these aren’t just any old robots spitting out canned responses. Today’s AI chatbots are savvy conversationalists, learning from interactions to provide responses that are increasingly personalized and on-point. They’re like the barista who remembers your regular order, but they can do it for thousands of customers simultaneously, and with the added charm of emojis if that’s your thing (refer back to point #1).

This round-the-clock availability and personalized touch don’t just solve customer issues—it builds relationships. Customers come to know that your brand is there for them, rain or shine, which is a huge comfort and a massive boost for customer loyalty.

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5. Create Loyalty Programs That Reward Engagement

Loyalty programs have evolved from the simple punch card; they’ve gone digital and become way smarter.

Today’s loyalty programs are about rewarding engagement, not just purchases. It’s a way to say ‘thanks’ for how they interact with your brand, whether it’s writing reviews, sharing your content on social media, or just sharing your birthday date.

63% of US adults who shop online say they’d share their personal information with companies for perks like loyalty program points, early access to new products, etc.

This approach turns everyday interactions into opportunities for customers to earn points, badges, or even exclusive access to special events. These programs create a game out of engagement, and who doesn’t love a good game, especially when there are perks involved?

UK’s activewear brand Oner Active has a loyalty program that rewards not just purchases but also interaction and brand advocacy. Customers earn points for a variety of activities, ensuring that every interaction with the brand is recognized and valued.

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6. Launch Win-Back Campaigns

Win-back campaigns are strategic moves designed to re-engage customers who have gone silent or inactive. By analyzing customer behavior, businesses can identify lapsed customers and reach out with personalized offers, messages, or reminders that reignite their interest.

These campaigns often leverage past purchase data and preferences to craft compelling messages that resonate on a personal level, showing customers they’re valued and missed.

The goal is to remind them of what they’re missing out on and to win them back as active users, thus strengthening customer loyalty and increasing lifetime value.

In his TED Talk, Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn revealed the surprising efficacy of what he termed “passive-aggressive” push notifications. He highlighted how these reminders serve as a powerful tool in nudging users to return to their language learning.

The humor and personification playfully guilt-trip users back into the app, capitalizing on human psychology to boost engagement and foster a unique bond between the user and the app.

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7. Engage Users Through Social Media Interactions

Navigating the world of social media can seem daunting, but it’s all about finding your groove. Think of your social platforms as a café where your followers gather—not just for the digital espresso shots but for the atmosphere as well.

It all starts (and ends?) with engagement.

When it comes to social media, there are endless ways to engage your users: responding to comments and DMs, hosting live Q&As, sharing UGC, running contests and giveaways, creating polls and quizzes, offering exclusive deals to followers, using augmented reality filters and effects, engaging in trending challenges, promoting hashtag campaigns to name a few.

A few brands that could serve as a social media inspiration for you: Starbucks, GoPro, Nike, Dove, Duolingo, GymShark, Shopify, RedBull, Glossier, Airbnb.

But you don’t need to be a major global brand to make a significant impact. A perfect example of that––Ugruzina, a small Georgian-Azer restaurant in Vilnius, Lithuania. They’re taking TikTok by storm with their unique mukbang videos, most having way more than 1M views and thousands of comments from people all over the world who are eager to visit and taste that food for themselves.

Remember, the most engaging content often comes from just being authentic and relatable. Keep it real, keep it consistent, and your social media will thrive with interactions that are both meaningful and impactful.

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8. Implement Gamification Strategies

Injecting a bit of fun into the mix, gamification strategies can be the secret sauce that makes interactions with your brand not just engaging, but downright enjoyable. Think about it: who doesn’t love a good game?

But it’s not just about making things fun. Gamification taps into psychological principles that drive motivation and engagement. Whether it’s through earning points for every purchase, unlocking badges for various activities, or playing actual games, gamification transforms mundane interactions into exciting milestones.

Casper’s gamification campaign used a series of riddles in their ads, presented without any context other than the company’s logo. This sparked curiosity and motivated people to visit Casper’s website in search of the answers.

By mixing the allure of a mystery with the simplicity of their branding, Casper crafted an engagement strategy that did more than just draw eyes; it invited active participation. Instead of focusing on immediate sales or customer retention, the campaign aimed to embed Casper’s name in the minds of potential customers.

Through this strategy, Casper demonstrated that gamification could be a powerful tool in building brand familiarity, driving direct traffic to their website, and setting the stage for long-term engagement.

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9. Streamline Customer Experience with Omnichannel Engagement

Omnichannel customer engagement is about creating a seamless customer experience across all channels, from your website and app to social media and in-store interactions. This approach ensures that no matter where your customer chooses to engage with your brand, the experience is consistent, personalized, and accessible.

An effective omnichannel strategy breaks down the barriers between different channels and departments, facilitating a unified brand experience.

This means using CRM systems, analytics tools, and AI-powered solutions to understand and anticipate customer needs, preferences, and behavior patterns. By doing so, businesses can create a cohesive and immersive experience that resonates with customers at every step of their journey, ultimately driving engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

A great example is Target teaming up with Pinterest to bring the innovative Pinterest Lens technology right into their Target app. It lets customers snap a photo of any item they like and instantly find similar products available at Target, offering a seamless bridge between inspiration and shopping.

Also, Target’s See It In Your Space feature leverages augmented reality to allow customers to visualize how a piece of furniture or decor would look in their home, before making a purchase decision.

These initiatives mark a significant leap towards omnichannel engagement, providing a cohesive and immersive shopping experience that connects digital inspiration with real-world application.

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10. Offer Personalized Recommendations

In the world of retail, personalized recommendations transform the shopping experience into a curated journey uniquely tailored to each customer. By harnessing the power of analytics, retailers are now able to sift through vast amounts of data, picking up on patterns, preferences, and behaviors that paint a detailed picture of what each shopper might be looking for next.

Behind the scenes, sophisticated algorithms analyze past purchases, browsing history, and even social media activity to anticipate your desires.

It’s a win-win: customers enjoy a highly personalized shopping journey, while businesses see increased engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, sales.

E-commerce giants like ASOS have mastered the art of personalized product recommendations. By analyzing browsing history, purchase patterns, and customer preferences, ASOS delivers customized suggestions that resonate with individual style choices and needs.

This personalized approach not only simplifies the search process for users but also significantly enhances the likelihood of discovering new products that match their tastes.

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11. Foster a Strong Community Around Your Brand

Building brand communities is a strategic effort that transforms customers from passive buyers into active participants, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support.

Effective community building often involves using social media groups, forums, or dedicated platforms where customers can connect over shared interests. Brands can support these spaces by organizing events, creating exclusive content, and offering members first access to new products or services.

Moreover, brand communities act as powerful advocacy channels. Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors, sharing their positive experiences and attracting new customers through word-of-mouth.

When we talk about successful brand communities, one of the first names that pop into mind is Harley-Davidson. It stands as a titan in the motorcycle world, not just for its iconic bikes but for the community it has built over the years.

Harley owners dive into a culture of group rides, rallies, and brand-centric events, fostering a deep bond and shared identity. The Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) elevates this experience, offering members exclusive perks. This approach has not only solidified customer loyalty but has also established one of the most dedicated brand communities around.

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12. Celebrate Milestones

Milestone celebration messages transform customer interactions into memorable experiences. By recognizing and celebrating key moments in a customer’s journey, brands can deepen relationships and demonstrate appreciation for their loyalty.

Whether it’s acknowledging a first purchase, a one-year anniversary, or a significant achievement like a 20th order, these personalized messages resonate with customers, making them feel valued and seen.

Spotify Wrapped stands out by turning streaming data into a storytelling experience, cleverly intertwining music, memories, and community, which resonates deeply with users, making it a much-anticipated annual event.

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13. Host Virtual Events and Webinars

Virtual events and webinars have become vital tools for engaging customers. By hosting these online events, brands can reach a wider audience without the geographical constraints of physical venues, offering convenience and accessibility.

Virtual events and webinars allow for a two-way dialogue, making customers feel more connected and involved with the brand. Additionally, these events can be tailored to various interests and needs, ensuring that content is relevant and engaging for all participants.

Slack hosts live webinars that help users get more from their platform by covering basics like “Slack 101” and offering tips for using Slack more effectively. These webinars are not just informative, they’re interactive––you can ask questions and get answers right away.

Slack also makes sure there’s something for everyone, whether you’re new to Slack or just looking to get better at using it. They even tell you who each webinar is best for, making it easy to find the ones that match your needs.

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14. Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors with Referral Campaigns

This strategy leverages the power of personal recommendations, which are often way more trusted and effective than traditional advertising.

By encouraging your customers to share their positive experiences, you’re not only expanding your reach but also building a community of loyal supporters. Many companies incentivize this process with rewards, discounts, or exclusive offers for both the referrer and the referred, making it a win-win situation.

This approach not only boosts customer acquisition rates but also enhances customer loyalty, as people enjoy being part of a brand’s growth and success.

Tesla’s referral program is a standout example of how referrals can dramatically amplify a brand’s reach and sales, at one point even boasting a 42x return on every dollar spent.

Over the years, Tesla has creatively varied its referral rewards, offering an array of incentives that range from free Roadsters and $1,000 discounts to innovative perks like solar panel chargers for car roofs, free supercharger miles, and even the unique opportunity to have your photo launched into space.

Through this program, Tesla not only accelerated its customer base growth but also strengthened its brand loyalty and reputation, demonstrating the power of leveraging satisfied customers as brand ambassadors.

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15. Connect with Customers Using SMS Marketing

In recent years, SMS marketing has witnessed a remarkable resurgence, re-establishing itself as a great tool for engaging users.

The key to its effectiveness lies in personalization and relevance. Modern SMS campaigns harness detailed customer data to tailor messages that resonate with individual preferences and behaviors, ensuring that every communication feels uniquely suited to the recipient.

From exclusive promotions and instant updates to important reminders and solicitations for feedback, SMS allows brands to maintain a conversation that feels both personal and immediate.

Moreover, the integration of SMS into broader marketing strategies amplifies its impact. It complements email, social media, and other channels, creating a cohesive user experience. The simplicity of opting in or out of SMS communications further enhances consumer trust and compliance with privacy standards.

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16. Drive Engagement with User-Generated Content Campaigns

UGC campaigns stand at the forefront of building a brand community, encouraging customers to contribute their own content that resonates with the brand’s message.

Leveraging UGC not only amplifies brand visibility through authentic customer endorsements but also enhances trust, as potential customers see real people enjoying and advocating for the brand.

These campaigns can take various forms, from hashtag challenges on social media to customer testimonials and beyond, each serving to create a vibrant, engaged community around the brand.

A prime example of a successful (you can even call it a hit) UGC campaign is Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” initiative which started way back in 2015 and is still active to this day.

This campaign highlights what kind of photography is possible with iPhones, using images and videos taken by customers themselves. It not only showcases the product’s capabilities but also celebrates the creativity of iPhone users, encouraging a broader community of customers to share their own content under the campaign’s hashtag.

For brands looking to kickstart their UGC campaigns with high-quality, engaging content, platforms like Billo offer a unique solution––connecting brands with a network of creators who can produce custom UGC videos on demand.

Starting your campaign with videos from Billo can serve as a powerful inspiration for your customers, encouraging them to participate and share their own stories as well.

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The landscape of customer engagement is continuously changing, with new technologies and platforms emerging regularly. This dynamic environment challenges brands to stay innovative, adaptable, and always in tune with their customer needs and preferences.

From personalized recommendations to community building, virtual events, and user-generated content campaigns, each strategy offers unique benefits and opportunities to connect with your audience.

Remember, the future of customer engagement is bright and full of possibilities for those ready to explore and embrace it.

Update your marketing strategy with Billo's UGC and video ads

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