Multi-channel started as a buzzword, though it’s evolved to become a necessity for all types of online businesses. In a sense, multi-channel messaging allows you to connect with your customers on their preferred networks. This is a potent strategy, and every company can benefit from it.

Expanding to multi-channel messaging is virtually impossible without automation at the core. Chatbots and instant messaging can help you serve your customers where they are without forcing you to hire more employees. 

When you reach your audience across multiple channels, you receive these benefits:

  • Better ROI
  • Increased engagement
  • More brand awareness
  • Improved targeting
  • Better customer service

Today, you will learn about a few of the many channels available, including live chat, email, in-app messaging, push notifications, social media messaging, and chatbots/instant messaging.

But before we dive into that, let’s start with the basics of multi-channel messaging – your audience. How do you reach them where they are with your messaging? 

Understanding Your Audience

Companies often rely on contact forms, emails, and phone numbers to communicate with customers. However, in order to really understand them, you need to know what motivates them. 

It’s crucial to identify your target audience, and a telephone number or email address doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead, you should focus on their preferred communication channels. Each one has different limitations and benefits, and you must communicate effectively with the people interested in your products or services.

Your target audience is the group of people to whom you aim your marketing efforts, services, and products. Typically, you will pinpoint your preferred platforms by analyzing these three things:

1. Demographics

Demographics focus on certain traits, such as gender, age, income, challenges, goals, and interests. Millennials prefer to engage online, though Gen X might like to reach out by phone or email. 

Those with less money might also like shopping and communicating online because they’re not pushed by salespeople who may try to get them to spend more than they can afford.

Understanding your target audience’s demographics will help you learn their preferred communication methods.

2. Online Behavior

Behavioral targeting helps you gather data from the visitor’s browsing habits. This includes search terms, purchases, and websites visited. With the information, you can display relevant ads and offers.

When you pair the person’s online behavior with their demographics and usage patterns (which we discuss below), you can determine which communication methods they prefer. 

3. Usage Patterns

Imagine that you walk into your favorite coffee shop; the barista knows your usual order. Think of a time when you received a recommendation from an online retailer that immediately met the need you had. Such experiences aren’t coincidences; the business effectively segments customers based on their habits and usage patterns.

Customer segmentation divides people into groups based on various characteristics. These include psychographics, behavior, and demographics. When you do this, you can understand your client’s preferences and needs, tailoring your messaging strategy accordingly.

To fully understand your audience, you must differentiate between the generations and their preferred communication channels. 

Baby Boomers often prefer phone and face-to-face interactions because they’re not as familiar with online messaging. However, Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen X like digital channels, including social media, email, and chat.

Within the younger generations, Millennials prefer live chat tools, whereas Gen Z likes instant messaging. Gen X loves a good email. Knowing these things can help you determine when to use WhatsApp chat versus email or live chat.

Exploring the Multi-channel Messaging Landscape

Companies often wish they could use a single channel and reach all of their potential clients. However, this isn’t beneficial long-term. Instead, you should explore the multi-channel messaging landscape, which includes any of the following channels :

Live Chat 

Live chat is a tool connecting customers to human representatives. Users can resolve issues faster and get answers quickly. Therefore, they wait less and don’t have to sift through your website’s knowledge base. Below is an example of the live chat software Chatway on a website.

Chatway live chat app displayed on a website


Electronic mail allows you to receive and send messages on any device. Because of the advancements in technology, users can send emails to companies within a few minutes. However, responses can take time, depending on when the message was sent and the information required to answer.

In-app Messaging 

In-app messages are delivered to users while they’re active in your proprietary mobile app. These are much different than in-app chats, which focus on one-on-one service. Generally, in-app messaging nurtures app users toward conversions.

Push Notifications 

Push notifications are alerts (often pop-ups) generated by your application when it isn’t open. This tells the user of an update, new message, new post on social media, and more. Though push technology is helpful, it’s not really there to help customers answer questions; it’s more for notifying them of flash sales and the like.

Social Media Messaging 

Social media messaging focuses on how you communicate with your audience on various platforms. Each one has a different style. For example, TikTok and Instagram use a more informal and short-form approach. However, Facebook and LinkedIn can have long-form content. Plus, social media messaging includes private messages (DMs), comments, captions, and posts.


A chatbot is a computer program used to simulate a conversation with humans over the internet. The user isn’t talking to a real person. This is great for frequently asked questions.

Instant Messaging 

Instant messaging (IM or IM’ing) allows the exchange of virtually real-time messages through embedded software or a standalone application. WhatsApp Chat is a great example of this style.

Building a Successful Multi-channel Strategy

Your goal as a website owner, agency, or marketer is to build a successful multi-channel strategy that encompasses all your audience’s possible needs and interests. While you should take the time to determine if this approach is right for your needs, it typically is. Therefore, you must focus on these steps:

1- Set Clear Objectives 

Know what your marketing goals are and which KPIs (key performance indicators) you’ll use. Establishing measurable targets that align with your goals will help you keep your efforts purposeful and focused.

2- Know Your Audience

You learned earlier that researching your target audience is crucial and offers deep insights into their behaviors, pain points, and preferences. When you understand their needs, you’ll tailor your marketing strategy to resonate with them.

3- Channel Selection 

You’ll need more than one channel to talk to your audience. Select a mixture based on message type, goals, and audience. Popular options include email, social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), and instant messaging (WhatsApp Chat).

4- Content Optimization 

Compelling content is crucial for your marketing campaigns. You must tailor each piece to suit the platform’s format and your audience’s preferences. Use a mixture of images, text, interactive elements, and video to capture attention and encourage organic sharing of the information. 

5- Personalization 

Find ways to personalize your interactions with customers. Content creation speaks to a broad group of people, though they’re likely interested in some of the same things. When communicating through multiple channels, make sure to get the person’s name and use it to make them feel cared about and comfortable discussing their issues.

6- Integration and Consistency 

You want your customers to have a smooth experience when communicating with you, regardless of their chosen method. Though Gen X might prefer email, they may also use WhatsApp Chat to get information faster. Use the same brand voice and offer consistency across the board.

7- Measurement and Analysis

Once you know which channels you’re using to communicate, it’s time to launch those campaigns. However, you must continuously monitor and evaluate them to be successful. Use analytics dashboards and key metrics to refine your strategy based on the insights provided.


Reaching your audience where they live is crucial, and multi-channel messaging can help you do this. However, it won’t happen overnight.

If you don’t already have a messaging style, you’ll need to set it up. Focus on strategic planning, personalized content, and ongoing optimization. Growth only happens when you continuously review your strategies and tweak them to meet your needs.

WhatsApp Chat is an excellent instant messaging tool, though you will likely use email, live chat, and other styles, as well. Don’t neglect the power of communication. Adopt an effective multi-channel messaging strategy, nurture and develop it, and reach your audience where they live.