Ready, set, engage: Why you should consider Amazon Pinpoint now
For data-driven marketers and developers looking for “right-message, right-channel, right-time” customer engagement, the search is often long and full of setbacks. Amazon Pinpoint helps organizations overcome the most demanding digital engagement scenarios.
At 2016’s re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels introduced Amazon Pinpoint as a way for developers to be more selective about which users receive which push notifications. Four years and many features later, Pinpoint has grown into a robust, multi-channel digital engagement platform that powers customer interactions for many of the world’s most innovative startups and enterprises, including Amazon.com itself. With Pinpoint, organizations can understand and connect with their customers across all channels — including email, SMS, voice, and push — in real-time and at global scale.
Is Pinpoint right for you? Keep reading.
Use (and pay for) only what you need
Pinpoint is flexible. Its service architecture allows organizations to use only the components they need for their precise objectives — no complex licensing requirements, no vendor lock-in. Use it as your bulk messaging infrastructure for mass announcements such as COVID-19 alerts, or take advantage of its analytics suite to create different user segments for more targeted marketing messages. You can also use Pinpoint for transactional messages, from purchase confirmations to shipping notifications.
With the ability to deliver anywhere between 1 and 100 billion messages worldwide, Pinpoint is also flexible in terms of scale. The degree to and speed at which it scales has helped customers achieve measurable results, like 4-hour reductions in daily operation routines and the ability send up to 8 million notifications in 60 minutes. In line with many other AWS services, you only pay for what you use, meaning you only pay for 8-million-message capacity when you have an 8-million-message event.
Pinpoint’s flexibility made it an easy choice for a utilities client looking to modernize its communications around power shutoffs:
Together with Slalom, the company developed an application that notifies customers when their power may be shut off for public safety reasons. For example, if strong winds threaten power lines in one of the company’s service areas — a potential fire hazard — customers in that area are immediately sent mobile push notifications via Amazon Pinpoint telling them when and how long they’ll be without power.
With tens of thousands of customers per service area, the utility’s communications need to be scalable — and are, according to Slalom Client Service Partner Tim Stafford. “Our client has to reach customers quickly and accurately to convey critical information about their power during the stress of fire season,” says Stafford. “The ability to have AWS as a trusted technology partner that delivers this with scale is the perfect solution to complement our other customer outreach tools.”
Understand your customers
In the example above, customers are segmented by geographic area. While essential to many segmentation use cases, geography is still the tip of the iceberg. Pinpoint’s suite of analytics capabilities can add deeper relevance to your segmentation strategy, allowing you to send customers communications based on how long they’ve been subscribers, as well as their purchase history and other behavioral patterns.
How can you get so granular? By feeding Pinpoint demographic and engagement data across communication channels, data platforms, and other AWS services. You can import data from third-party services like CRM systems and CDPs, or other AWS services such as Amazon Redshift. Of course, the goal of this data is greater customer engagement, and Pinpoint helps you measure that by tracking and displaying engagement activities, A/B test results, revenue generated from campaigns, and more. Developers can consume this information via APIs and marketers can consume it via Pinpoint’s user-friendly no-code console.
If you want to run custom analytics with Pinpoint data, you can also configure Pinpoint to send information about events — actions that occur when users interact with one of your Pinpoint-connected applications or when you send messages — to Amazon Kinesis. The Kinesis platform gives you more flexible options for data analysis, including access to AWS query services. It also lets you store event data indefinitely; beyond the 90 days that Pinpoint retains it.
Achieve more by integrating with other AWS services
A lot is possible when your engagement platform lives inside the AWS ecosystem — alongside the broadest and deepest set of machine learning (ML) services, an omnichannel cloud contact center, and other solutions that support better customer experience.
Let’s look at ML first. Here are two powerful ways to enhance your use of Pinpoint with ML:
- Tailoring messaging based on personalized recommendations: Are you marketing the right products to the right customers? The Predictive User Engagement solution helps you answer that question. For each of your user IDs, the solution generates a personalized ranking of recommended products, services, or content using Amazon Personalize. Back in Pinpoint, the solution can automatically update your messaging to reflect those recommendations. It can also generate next-best actions.
- Tailoring messaging for customers likely to churn: In the words of one eCommerce expert: “Marketers are focused more on retention than ever before.” If you’re one of them, chances are you’ve already found — or are working on — a way to predict customer churn. To achieve that end, the Predictive Segmentation solution sends your Pinpoint analytics to Amazon SageMaker, where an ML model uses the data to generate a “potential churner segment.” Then it goes a step further, helping you act on that information by sending the segment back to Pinpoint for you to deliver more tailored messages, such as special offers to entice customers back.
Pinpoint can also be part of your contact center. For example, a grill manufacturer using Amazon Connect as its contact center leverages Pinpoint voice APIs to provide a unique customer experience based on the country of origin of each call. By using Pinpoint with Connect, you can achieve this kind of personalization in your contact center environment. The combination also allows you to deliver truly omni-channel customer care, extending service delivery and analytics between your contact center environment and channels like email, SMS, push, and chatbots.
Ready, set, engage!
We’re excited about the opportunities that Amazon Pinpoint presents for organizations that want more control of their customer engagement strategies. To recap, your opportunities with Amazon Pinpoint are:
- Pay-as-you-go pricing and a flexible, scalable service architecture that allow you to use — and pay for — only the components you need
- The ability to segment customers for more targeted messaging and offers based on demographic and engagement data from within and outside of Pinpoint
- Ultimate extensibility with the AWS ecosystem, including add-on solutions for ML-powered product recommendations and churn prediction, as well as contact center integration
So: Is Amazon Pinpoint right for you? Only your organization can make that call, but now you have the insight you need for a more informed answer.
Learn more about Amazon Pinpoint
Want to try out Pinpoint at your organization? Slalom can help you stand up a POC in days. Read more about Pinpoint:
Andrew Holstein is a digital experience management consultant and marketing technologist at Slalom Boston. For more than 10 years, Andrew’s been building and running martech stacks to help companies create great experiences, both for their customers and their internal sales and marketing teams.
Lily Hicks is a writer on Slalom’s AWS Global Growth Platform team, based in Seattle. She turns bright ideas from Slalom’s great minds into stories with actionable advice for technology and marketing professionals.
Special thanks to: David Airth and Tim Stafford