Why cross-channel is the future of email marketing
Customers are engaging with your brand across an increasing number of touchpoints – websites, social media, in-store, mobile and tablets; but regardless of how they engage, they expect a customised, personalised, and consistent experience.
The modern marketer must be able to drive contextually relevant customer experiences to understand a customer’s behaviour across channels and action these immediately. It’s no longer good enough to simply send a one-off message or deliver inconsistent content: today’s campaigns must spark continuous cycles of interactions that build a foundation for long-term loyalty and engagement.
Cross-channel campaign management (CCCM) describes a lifecycle of personalised content and interactions across any digital channel, fuelled by a 360-degree view of customer behaviour and delivered in real-time.
The CCCM market is evolving as more B2C marketing professionals build on their cross-channel capabilities to be able to deliver contextually relevant customer interactions. Vital capabilities to achieve CCCM include advanced analytics, real-time interaction management (RTIM) and digital channel delivery versus traditional marketing automation tools.
A good CCCM platform coordinates contextual customer experiences from one asset canvas delivered in real-time to any channel a customer is interacting in, or in their preferred channel at the right time, whether it be email, in-store, ecommerce, retargeting display, social or mobile.
The lines between CCCM and RTIM are blurring as marketers transition from executing scheduled campaigns to orchestrating contextually relevant interactions with individual customers.
The days are long gone when companies didn’t need to personalise and they could still be successful. Personalisation in 2016 needs to go one step further.
All marketing needs to be connected and feel the same across every channel and every message. Connected personalisation enables a company to personalise every marketing message for a particular customer.
Therefore, the website products they get recommended or the in-app message that pings on their phones should all be tailored to them and their preferences.
With customers now expecting this sort of joined up thinking, we are going to see it growing, as more companies find ways to make all their marketing messages highly personalised and homogenised.
The ability to gather large amounts of data will increase the level of communication that customers have with companies
One way to do this is by combining social and brand content in your marketing communications. Social media has completely transformed the way people create, consume and share content.
With this new behaviour of how people interact with one another, brands need to adapt how they communicate, market and position products accordingly.
There are tools out there that have been built with this change of behaviour in mind and provide marketers with the tools they need to leverage user generated content (UGC), to increase conversion and customer retention.
It is reported that retailers who use UGC in email see a 43% increase in click-through rates and a 2-3 times conversion rate plus 86% of customers look to UGC as an indicator of product or service quality. Using on-open live UGC in email results in 43% increase in click-through rates, up to 3x conversion rate improvement, and 86% consumer trust rating as an indicator of product/service quality.
Using data in smarter ways
The next step is using the massive amounts of data that is collected by enabling next level proximity marketing, highly targeted in-store beacon messages (now virtually enabled) and connecting all marketing channels together.
This data can be used to leverage previous interactions, purchase history and current interactions to deliver real-time personalised one-to-one communication that will actually lead to an increase in sales.
Segments of groups will now become singular segments and marketing will be targeted to the individual instead of to customers with similar profiles. The ability to gather large amounts of data will increase the level of communication that customers have with companies.
All of this will eventually lead to the connected consumer; the consumer that is so integrated into a business, who receives such highly targeted offers and messages, they will not shop anywhere else. These connected consumers will interact with businesses more and more through their phones, tablets and wearables.
Integration is a must
It is going to be very important for companies to get all their marketing channels integrated and offer content to customers through the device and in the manner that they prefer instead of the other way around.
The more integrated and connected a consumer is with a business, the more they will use their services and shop for their products and ultimately drive revenue. Nowadays if a customer doesn’t find a business or a retailer on their chosen device or if content is not offered in the manner they want, they will run to the open arms of the competition.
This year will be the year when companies use all their different avenues of marketing in the most targeted way to communicate the most relevant and powerful messages to their customers.
This will include contextual emails, responsive websites, mobile marketing, social media, ambient proximity and big data to create the truly connected customer.
By having a two-way conversation, companies will find they have engaged customers that are so integrated with a company’s products and services, they will be loyal brand ambassadors, being less likely to shop elsewhere and ultimately helping to increase sales and revenue.