Acquiring telco customers is a fast-evolving pursuit.
Fashion, beauty, consumer electronics, insurance, finance. Name the sector, and eCommerce has totally changed how its products and services are bought.
In telco – the area that actually powers the connections driving the online revolution – it’s no surprise to see digital transformation impacting the customer journey here too.
The inherent nervousness of signing up for a new TV, mobile, or internet contract does see plenty of consumers heading in-store for assurance.
A recent survey from Salesforce revealed that 51% of telecom customers prefer to do all their business online, with 40% of customers still opting for the store.
However, considering that online is the preferred channel for switching providers and continued support, the time to refine this area of the acquisition process is now.
The benefits of online customer acquisition for telcos
The industry should be optimistic about customers being more comfortable using online services. This shift brings numerous advantages for acquiring telco customers, including:
More convenience for customers
Switching telco providers should be easy. Going online saves a trip to a physical location and can be done at the customer’s convenience.
The cost of maintaining and staffing brick-and-mortar locations can be saved by getting more people online.
Opportunities to enhance services and experiences
With online making it easier to collect data on customer preferences and behavior, you can use that insight to make your service even better.
Tips and examples of acquiring new telco customers
There are many ways to improve your online experience to drive more revenue.
In this article, we’ll focus on one of the most important parts of the customer journey: the acquisition phase.
We’ll use knowledge gleaned from working with telcos like AT&T and mobile retailers like Mobiles.co.uk on multi-award-winning customer acquisition campaigns.
By the end, you’ll have plenty of ideas for not only acquiring telco customers but making them more valuable.
First, let’s show you where we’re coming from with this advice:
- All customers have different needs. One might need total clarity on their contract terms. Another might just be after a good deal. You need to cater for all.
- Every telco customer has a unique value. Go deeper than new and existing. If you’re a mobile retailer, think about someone with a premium device in their cart comparing prices elsewhere. You need to find golden segments and convert more of them.
- Personalization is the way forward. Put simply, a tailored customer journey is the only way that online can truly match the benefits of in-store. Yes, people enjoy buying from people but they demand timely, relevant information and offers.
- Your real KPIs (key performance indicators) are important. Chasing new customers only gets you so far. You should structure your promotions to focus on margin, profitability, and customer lifetime value, if they matter.
Now onto our tried-and-tested tips, which will have you acquiring crowds of telco customers in no time.
Segmentation is crucial
Customers carry different values. They’re all interested in different products and services. They’re all after different information. All together now: they need different things to convert.
Providing two different pages for existing customer offers and new customer offers is a start. The next level up is to target customers where they are most receptive to deals or messages about your service.
For existing users, you can leverage support from channels where customers are opted-in to receive communications. Email, SMS, direct mail, and phone calls are all good options, as you’re aware.
For acquiring new telco customers, you have to meet them in the middle.
One tactic is to set up a personalized coupon page like RevPage, which uses pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to retarget customers heading to Google in search of telco deals.
You can then use Google Audience Data to personalize the content based on the original search query. For instance, if the customer is searching for ‘fiber’ or ‘ultra fast’, they should land on a page with greater emphasis on these internet services.
Pro tip: Do the legwork
In addition to targeting deal seekers looking for discounts on Google, you should aim to personalize the experience from the first interaction.
Here is a great example from UK telco TalkTalk.
Entering my address gives me personalized offers and service availability based on my information. If I’m an existing customer, I get directed to an area with deals on my renewal. It’s immediate and effective.
Reassure with information
The best telco landing pages are sleek and streamlined but offer countless opportunities to get more information if needed.
To find the right information to accompany your offers, you have to consider the types of questions your customers will ask.
For mobile, it might be ‘how can I add extra data to my plan?’ or ‘how much will it cost to use my phone abroad?’. For internet, it is invariably ‘what speeds can I expect?‘.
Pro example: acquiring telco customers with personalization
One of the more creative examples of a telco provider delivering relevant information to customers happened during the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
With more visitors heading online to switch service providers due to the closure of physical stores, RevLifter was enlisted by a leading US telco to deliver personalized snippets of information.
The provider had already used RevPage to create a personalized coupon hub. Our solution was to use IP addresses to read the customer’s location and a ‘power bar’ to display an estimate of their speeds.
These featured alongside different products to give an idea of the speed across various services.
Thanks to tactical PPC targeting and the use of personalized deals and content, RevLifter met acquisition targets by over +300%.
For more information on acquiring telco customers through personalized product information, we’d recommend reading the full case study.
Balance delivering value and generating profit
We all know the importance of converting customers with a high lifetime value.
It’s why the best deals are often attached to the longest contracts. Customers are paying for a service for a longer period of time – they justify a bigger incentive.
When recommending a product or service, your task is to hand-pick the options that stretch the profitability of the sale while delivering more value for money.
Pro example: acquiring high-margin telco customers
Mobiles.co.uk, part of the Carphone Warehouse Group, wanted to recommend mobile plans that delivered more value for money and margin for its brand.
Native overlays powered by RevConvert highlighted improved tariffs once the customer had an item in their cart.
It worked as follows:
1. The customer adds the handset and tariff to their cart at Mobiles.co.uk.
2. The technology recommends a tariff with more data, which provides more value for money than their current product.
3. On pushing the ‘unlock your special offer’ button, the cart changes to automatically switch the old tariff for the suggested one.
As well as producing great results, the campaign claimed several awards, including Best Use of Data at the UK Performance Marketing Awards and Best eCommerce Campaign at the Global Marketing Awards.
For more information, read the full case study.
Given how considered a telecom purchase is, any customer with a product in their cart is a good sign.
Your task is to maximize the potential of these high-intent visitors by recommending items that complement the existing order.
We love the use of accessories for this one.
Pro tip: push the basics
Modern handsets don’t always come with accessories. Some customers know this, but others might not.
Reminding customers to purchase charger cables if they don’t come with their new handset is an easy way to cross-sell mobile customers. Simply identify the stock-keeping units (SKUs) where chargers aren’t included and use an overlay to push the right cable.
Even when the basics are included, there is always an opportunity to use this tactic. We’ve seen many telco providers offering Airpods for an extra monthly fee, or a case for their device.
Telco brands are naturally cautious about pushing extra services when a valuable conversion is in the balance. Recommend with relevance and you’ll get more from your sales.
Create special rules to acquire high-intent telco customers
Sticking on the mobile theme, we’ll raise a tip about a major event in the telco calendar: new handset launches.
When the launch date of a new device from Samsung, Apple, or Google is announced, a line of customers will head onto your site to find a deal.
You should have special rules and competitive pricing for converting those in the know. Let’s call them audience one.
Alongside the high-intent visitors in audience one, there’s another line of customers – audience two – examining older devices. These probably aren’t aware of the new handset launching, but they could be persuaded into a bigger purchase.
Your success rests on three factors:
- Driving awareness: On a basic level, you need to alert audience two to the availability of a new device or the chance to pre-order.
- Advantages of the new device: More storage? More features? Highlight whatever sets the handset apart from the older devices, especially to audience two.
- Value of a new device: Is there logic in paying a little more for a better device? If so, demonstrate it.
Pro tip: act early
For building awareness around a new handset with audience two, we’d recommend serving the alert via an overlay on the product page.
A cart-level alert seems too late in the journey and consideration phase. With an alert that pops a few seconds after the customer starts browsing an older device, you catch them at the right time.
Avoid offer bombardment
We all know that price speaks volumes for telco customers. In broadband, for instance, nearly a quarter of consumers switch provider because they found a better deal. Just 18% did this because of poor service.
Due to the market’s hunger for a great deal, telco websites are full of offers, messages, and recommendations. The sheer volume of callouts makes it hard to take everything in.
Overlays streamline your UX by giving you a way of grabbing visitors’ attention when you notice a signal, like signs of the customer getting ready to leave your site.
Many telcos have ‘deal’ sections of their sites to keep everything in one place. However, we like the idea of taking things one step further with a virtual offers hub.
Pro example: acquiring telco customers with RevWallet
‘Sticky’ solutions like RevWallet make it simple to centralize your offers, recommendations, and alerts.
When an overlay pops, the deal gets stored in the sidebar for when the customer is ready to use it.
As they browse the site, the tool learns valuable information about their preferences. It can then use these signals to recommend the best tariff and accessories.
RevWallet is also for responding to your priorities. Let’s say one device isn’t selling as well in a certain color and you need to move the stock. Or perhaps you have a deal on a TV package for new broadband customers. RevWallet puts everything in a highly visible place.
Here’s a great example of a sidebar at Mobiles.co.uk
Don’t forget to follow up
The best outcome happened: you got the customer. For telco providers with broadband, mobile, and TV, that isn’t where it ends.
Many providers will send deals and recommendations via email if the customer has opted-in to such communications. Even before this, showing a deal on the purchase confirmation page enables you to strike at an opportune moment.
Pro tip: use post-purchase offers
Deals on accessories are a good way to maximize revenue from an in-market customer, provided the offer is competitive and relevant.
Be prepared to move onto email at a later date, but don’t miss the best opportunity you’ll have for catching customers in the purchasing mindset with deals on the order confirmation page.
Acquiring telco customers: final thoughts
The telco customer journey is one of the longest going. It can take months for someone to decide that a new provider is worth a year or two of their money.
Does that mean you can’t speed up the consideration phase? Of course not.
As we’ve seen above, there are lots of clever plays to acquire telco customers and make them more valuable. You also need to cover the basics that all eCommerce sites should fulfill:
- Speedy site
- Concise product differentiation
- Clear information on products and services
- A choice of additional contact methods (e.g. email, chatbots, instant messenger)
If you’d like to learn more about how RevLifter’s technology responds to telco’s unique challenges, book a free demo of our platform.