Integrated multichannel marketing campaigns yield better results than campaigns conducted via individual channels. Within multichannel marketing campaigns, email plays a central role as a communications channel and in binding channels together, and its uses are limited only by the imagination of the marketer.
That multichannel marketing produces better results is borne out in studies by Aberdeen Group, Forrester Research, eConsultancy and other analysts. These studies show multichannel marketing yields better campaign performance, more revenues and higher customer retention rates. Forrester Research found effective use of multichannel marketing improves campaign performance by improving clicks and conversion rates and increasing customer engagement, with more than 60 percent of the mature multichannel practitioners achieving more than a 10 precent increase in campaign payback and 40 percent seeing a 15 percent increase.
The terms “effective” and “mature” are important here. There are many ways email can be used to complement other channels, including the web, social media, mobile and offline channels. To realize the big gains requires devising a sound multichannel marketing plan and executing effectively.
Many Shades of Email Integration
Email’s function in a multichannel marketing is central and manifold. Email can carry content, link to other resources, alert users to news and special offers, and invite users to participate in events. Emails are used to welcome, thank, inform, remind and confirm.
Uses of email in multi-channel marketing include:
- Embedding social media icons in emails
- Sending alerts when new blogs, whitepapers and other content are published
- Sending personalized emails triggered in response to social activities
- Sending alerts when deals are available or about to expire
- Inviting users to webinars, seminars and live events
- Delivering blog commentary updates
- Linking to videos posted on the web
A multi-channel integrated campaign (such as ad campaigns, special offers, seasonal sales or new product introductions) will use multiple channels to convey and reinforce the core messaging and provide interlocking support. Email is used to carry its appropriate version of the core marketing messages, including deals and special offers, and to provide links to related content on other channels, such as product literature, catalogs, social media pages and videos on YouTube or the corporate website.
Because email is such a key medium for all types of communications, email addresses should be included in print ads, banner ads, billboards, trade shows, marketing materials, web pages and all other marketing collateral. On an ongoing basis, requests for whitepapers, case studies and other marketing collateral can be confirmed and delivered via email, along with thank you messages and follow-up nurturing.
A guiding principle in conducting campaigns across multiple channels should be maintaining consistency of messaging, style and tone. While each medium will offer its own nuances and strengths, the combined effort should work together to promote the message, persuade and convert the prospect.
Multi-channel marketing capitalizes on synergies among channels, and the integration of email with social media has become especially important. Email and social channels are used to advertise one another’s presence, steer users from the one medium to the other, share content and offers and grow the number of followers and subscribers in each medium.
As more and more activity takes place in social media venues, triggered email in response to users’ social activities is driving real-time marketing. The opinions, interests, behavior and habits seen and expressed on social venues can be collected to profile prospects and customers, which in turn can be used to personalize messaging, segment customers and prospects.
Profiling information is used to personalize triggered messages dynamically in response to real-time social activities. Coordinated marketing among channels (including TV, radio, print, and online ads) can be used to drive users to social sites where they can experience further campaign content and express opinions and interests, which in turn can trigger email cascade campaigns and real-time personalized email messages.
Mobile in the Mix
The synergy of email and social media is now extended to mobile devices. With smartphones becoming pervasive and much social activity and email access occurring on mobile devices, multichannel marketing efforts that fail to format emails for mobile devices will miss an opportunity and undermine the potential of the overall campaign. Similarly, the websites and landing pages linked in email messages should be formatted for mobile devices or the customer experience will be off-putting and users will tune out.
With people carrying smartphones throughout their daily routines and buying journeys, real-time campaigns based on mobile, social and email activity can boost sales and upselling. Triggered emails can be sent to mobile devices in response to social activities, with promotions, special offers and product locations beamed to prospects as they approach or enter locations.
Multichannel Contact Data
As in all email campaigns, quality contact data is key to success in multichannel marketing efforts. Many businesses conduct multi-channel marketing that includes coordinated outreach among email, postal mail and telephone channels. Any missing contact information needed to reach customers and prospects for a particular channel can be obtained via data appending services (email, phone and postal data).
Quality email data can be obtained and maintained via appending, validation and email change-of-address services. Demographic appending services can be used to reach the desired audience and to create richer customer profiles. A highly recommended and effective way to capture contact and customer data across multiple channels is via real-time data appending services at the point of entry.
The free guide “3 Ways to Modernize Your Email Marketing with Email Intelligence” offers even more ideas on taking your email strategy to the next level. Download it here.
Photo Credit: Bill Selak