By Anthony Wilkey
Join online and offline
Increasingly, we’re seeing the offline world connecting to their customers through the online world. Online retailers like ASOS are seeing rising profits and the high street is looking for more ways to adopt digital strategies more effectively. The prevalence of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, means people have the Internet with them at all times. Companies like Starbucks, Bella Italia and Boots are all using prize draws on receipts with financial incentives to ask for feedback on customer experiences, which are proving to be an especially effective technique.
If you do want to drive your audience to your online channels, it is important to be aware that often the first point of call with a brand will be your website or landing page. Make sure it is optimised for mobile users on the go – if you’re directing someone to your website whilst they’re still in your restaurant or store, it’s likely they’ll be doing so on a mobile device.
When you do get customers onto your online channels, you need to find ways to keep them, and carry on bringing them back. Taking people from the offline to the online world is not just an opportunity to get feedback, which is of course valuable for any company, but it’s the perfect opportunity to explicitly ask for permission to bring these people into your email marketing channel. But as ever, make sure you state the benefits of signing up to your list and ask for marketing permission.
QR codes are another way to take your customers directly from offline to your online, digital world. QR codes have been used effectively by brands like McDonalds and Mercedes Benz to engage with customers by extending their experience out of the store and therefore connecting them more deeply with the brands. Other tools which encourage online interaction and that are beginning to be used more frequently are Augmented Reality and Layar, which again both require the use of a smartphone or tablet to access further data from a still image or location.
Drive social with email
It’s no surprise that there’s been a big drive around social media marketing. A lot of brands have developed large followings and fan bases, engaging in conversations and encouraging people to talk about products, services and experiences. Your email campaigns can help bring people into these conversations, turning relatively disengaged customers into advocates on your social networks.
Alerting your customer base to a competition you’re running on a social media platform through an email campaign can drive more social engagement and give those who were not currently interested in buying the opportunity to interact with your brand socially. Running a competition on Twitter for example will drive viral activity, spreading your brand name across your customer’s networks. As a way of encouraging more Twitter followers, this approach is fairly straightforward, and can be easily applied to most email campaigns.
Don’t hide your social links at the very bottom of the email – to drive more social engagement create a big, bold call-to-action ensuring you demonstrate the benefits – the competition, prize draw etc.
Drive email with social
You can also increase your email subscriber database through your social campaigns. A key challenge for any marketer is converting social chatter into revenue – turning conversations into conversions.
One way to do this is to guide your social followers and fans into the email channel – whilst social media is great for conversation, email is even more effective for conversion. As a channel, it continues to perform extremely well at delivering strong levels of ROI and it’s also known to be a far higher commitment channel for prospective and existing customers.
A simple approach is to advertise the ability for people to sign up to your email campaigns. Again – incentives are key, so be clear with your call-to-action.
Twitter, Facebook and other social channels don’t always allow much space to highlight benefits, so a landing page which sets customers’ expectations is crucial. Let them know what they can expect to receive in your communications and how frequently – exclusive offers, latest news, etc.
Extending the reach of your marketing campaigns is about ensuring all of your channels link up, so it’s important to make it an easy journey for your customer to navigate between them all.
About the author and Emailvision
Anthony Wilkey is Regional Director, Account Management Group, at Emailvision.
The smartest relationship marketing campaigns are powered by Emailvision. With more than 13 years of research and development, Emailvision is delivering SaaS solutions for the next-generation of relationship marketers. The organisation provides pioneering software for customer intelligence and relationship marketing. Every month Emailvision’s marketing cloud platform delivers 600,000 campaigns on behalf of 3,200 clients. Emailvision is located in 20+ countries around the world.