5 Unusual Ways to Increase User Engagement (They Work)
User engagement has become quite a quagmire for online businesses. In today’s competitive environment, a number of websites are struggling to keep visitors around and failing to make any meaningful conversions.
Think of it this way —if a thousand customers come into your shop every day but don’t actually buy anything, what’s really the point?
So it’s essential not just to get clicks but have the visitor interact with the website, explore its pages and hopefully, purchase whatever is on offer.
How can one go about making this happen?
Below, I have singled out five unusual strategies to increase user engagement and fuel conversions.
1. Remove the Clutter
Imagine going to a store that has such a confusing layout that you’re unable to find your desired product. No one would blame you for never returning again.
This happens with websites too. Sites with too many features end up overwhelming the visitors and the result is an increasing bounce rate and loss of potential business.
Marketers need to start by using analytics to determine which features have almost zero engagement. Once that’s done, you have two options:
A. Survey customers to find out why they’re ignoring this feature and invest further resources into fixing it.
B. Get rid of it altogether and focus your attention elsewhere.
Of course, removing something you’ve invested time and effort in isn’t an easy decision. But you sometimes you’ve to cut your losses.
In any case, keep your menu at the centre stage. If your layout is all cluttered up, consider switching to a simpler design.
Here are two things you should make certain:
- Focus on your menu so the visitors easily figure it out.
- Select font and text size that is easily readable and utilize white space.
You may call it gray space in Samsung’s case but it serves the same purpose. Customers don’t like being bombarded with CTAs and pop-ups. It’s important to keep the spotlight where it belongs so visitors can easily navigate the site.
2. Use Gamification for Better Engagement
Q: How do you engage a customer?
A: Play a game with them.
Confused? Let me explain.
People love taking part in competitions and more so, they enjoy being rewarded. Brands can use this to their advantage by applying gamification in the following ways.
- Hold sweepstakes and contests; give the winners a 10-20% discount. Get the participants to fill in their names and email addresses.
- Send visitors on a scavenger hunt to find the deal of the day. If they succeed, provide them with an exclusive coupon or loyalty points.
Digital coupons are everywhere these days and for all the right reasons. Smartphone users in particular have taken a liking to them. The usage of mobile coupons is expected to see an increase of 56.5% and more brands are using them to influence customer’s purchase journey.
Gamification can also be used to get visitors subscribed to the company’s newsletter. Add an interesting and relevant quiz into your most visited page and place email signup just before the results.
While quizzes are the most common forms of gamification, several websites have taken it a step further. Habitica, an online task management application operates completely as a role-playing game.
Although it takes different shapes, the core function of gamification remains the same; to provide a fun and interactive way of generating leads and eventually, driving conversions.
3. Spread out the Content
“Chunking is critical for presenting content that users can comprehend and remember easily,” writes Kate Moran of Nielsen Norman Group.
Here, chunking means dividing content into small pieces. Most people lack the time and interest to read a block of text, especially if it goes to 2,000 words.
Breaking the content up keeps things interesting. To make the content even more appealing you should use:
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
Keep the paragraphs short and have noticeable white space in between them. Don’t forget to add relevant and high-quality pictures to make the entire piece even more aesthetic.
Consider the online marketing guru Neil Patel’s example.
Notice the abundance of white space with the use of short paragraphs and bullet points in his article ‘Which Social Media Sites Really Matter and Why’. The content here is designed to keep the user scrolling.
In contrast, if you attack a visitor with a barrage of unending text, they will likely run away. More people will skim through your content rather than read it. Write with them in mind and you will generate a great bit of user engagement.
4. Be Consistent
There are two areas in which you need to be consistent:
While both need consistency, the way it’s implemented differs slightly.
Let’s start with the design. Visitors need to feel there is a flow. Everything from the type of fonts to the colors hues and the layout designs should have a certain level of similarity.
But that isn’t to say you should stop being creative. Just have enough uniformity to help users understand your brand voice and how your website works in general.
If your brand has a fun and playful voice, run with it throughout the website. Customers would be extremely confused if they land on a homepage that’s informal but as they move on, things get super conventional.
The VPN service TunnelBear does a great job of maintaining a consistent, on-brand website.
TunnelBear’s mascot welcomes you at the homepage.
And it stays around as you navigate to other pages.
But consistent design needs to be complemented by consistent content.
For better engagement, it’s important to maintain a schedule. You need to post blogs after a certain interval of time so visitors know exactly when they should be expecting the next article.
“It’s a cliche, but consistency is really the key when it comes to content,” says Alex Reynolds of EMUCoupon. “People on our website are mostly interested in fashion, store reviews, online shopping and money-saving so I make sure to post a blog at least once a week on these niches.”
A visit to EMUCoupon’s blog section shows how this strategy is being implemented. Regular content helps with website engagement. If you’re providing something of value to users — they will come back with a great level of interest. And these are the sort of users you should’ve no problem converting.
5. Utilize Proactive Chat Messaging
It’s impossible to discuss user engagement without mentioning live chat. After all, nothing says engagement quite like real-time conversation. But this can be taken a step further.
Proactive chat messages work on a trigger-based system. Brands place a number of chat triggers on different pages and start conversation with visitors based on where they are.
Here are some of the ways chat triggers work:
- Customers are proactively helped on strategic pages and problematic spots (where visitors are leaving).
- Visitors that keep returning are given personalized support.
- The devices, countries and cities of visitors are taken into consideration.
- Potential customers are offered support after they’ve spent some time on the website.
- Users are reached out based on their source or referrer URLs
- Whenever visitors move their cursor towards the back button, they are provided with a last-minute offer. This is called an ‘exit intent’ trigger’.
To the user, a proactive auto message looks like than any other message from a company’s support agent. The difference is that they’re based on visitor behavior and personal information.
MobileMonkey provides proactive chat messaging service to thousands of clients. Its website gives you a demonstration of how this mode of customer support works.
You get relevant messages based on the page that is open and how frequently you visit them. It is this sort of personalization that makes trigger based chat messaging extremely effective in engaging users and driving potential leads.
Till date, no one has mastered user engagement and perhaps no one ever will. User engagement isn’t something that can be perfected because it’s constantly evolving.
However, these five strategies have proven to keep visitors around and help businesses achieve their end goal. It’s all about studying your userbase at the end. Understanding their behavior, priorities and expectations from your website is the key to increasing user engagement.