Email should be the first channel for implementing Attention Messaging. No opportunity should be lost to collect email IDs from customers – even if they are only using the app. In fact, even for customers coming in via marketplaces, brands should offer a reason to build a direct relationship with the brand – for example, additional warranty on products, future discounts, or even just rewards in the form of Mu. Collecting first-party data must be one of the most important priorities for every marketer.
Once the email channel has been set in place with the push messages, marketers can explore other channels. SMS and push notifications (PNs) are two obvious ones. While SMS will work for all marketers, PNs will only work if there is an app installed. Both SMS and PNs, like email, allow brands to control the flow of messages to customers. By prefixing info about Mu (the symbol and the total count), brands can reward customers for their actions (clicks). This will encourage more customers to be receptive to incoming messages from the brands. Not every message needs to have Mu – the idea is to make reading messages a habit and offer Mu selectively for important communications and offers.
WhatsApp can also be used in conjunction with Mu. While a very powerful channel, it does have some limitations – the cost of pushing a message is 10-30X of an email and the use cases are controlled by WhatsApp. The rapid interactivity of the channel enables chatbots to engage with customers for shopping and service. (This is where TRAI and Indian telcos missed a trick: by forcing brands to use alphanumeric sending codes, they disabled interactivity. Ironically, a decade or so ago before TRAI made its interventions, interactive SMSes on shortcodes were very popular. They used to cost Rs 3 which limited the length of the session. I wish TRAI would open up interactive SMS once again – so many interesting use cases waiting to happen! The good news is that RCS is likely to help bridge some of that gap, even though it will take some time for widespread availability.)
To summarise: Mu should become an integral part of every push messaging channel. They are a way to elicit and reward customer attention. Over time, brands can differentiate and segment customers and allocate Mu appropriately. The important thing is to get started and convert atten-shun to attention!