Where’s your target customer?
Are they browsing the internet from their tablet in the kitchen while waiting for dinner to cook? Are they wasting time at work on social media during their break on their desktop? Maybe they’re checking out videos from their smartphones on the tube?
These days, the path to purchase is more varied than ever before. People don’t just have a single route to follow to the checkout counter anymore. There are dozens of ways for brands and consumers to interact. This is the age of omnichannel marketing.
According to Google, 90% of today’s consumers switch between at least 3 devices per day to complete a task. So, how do you make sure that you capture your audience’s attention?
It all starts with combining multiple marketing channels into a single cohesive experience.
Email and Omnichannel Marketing: Getting Started
As more consumers begin to explore a multitude of ways to connect with brands, businesses have various options to consider. On the one hand, they can just set up advertising campaigns on all the platforms that they know their audience uses.
That could mean having a direct mail, email, social media, and television ad campaign all running at the same time.
The alternative route? Don’t just make those channels available, combine them into a single aligned strategy for boosting brand/consumer relationships. That’s what omnichannel marketing is all about. Omnichannel marketing ensures that consumers can seamlessly navigate between multiple touchpoints with a brand to make a purchase.
Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies maintain a 91% higher customer retention rate than those that don’t. Not only that, but research suggests that omnichannel marketing will be critical to business success by next year (2020).
The key to success with omnichannel marketing isn’t just embracing multiple channels but ensuring that those platforms work together to support a better journey for your customers.
With that in mind, we’re going to explore why email is such a vital part of the omnichannel mix, and ho, you can add this platform to your complex conversion and sales strategy.
Step 1: Use Other Interactions to Inform Email Marketing
The mantra for omnichannel marketing is that no advertising platform should exist in a vacuum. You’ll need to ensure that every advertising campaign is a component of a complete and connected journey. With that in mind, when it comes to personalizing your email marketing, look to your other connection points with customers to find additional data.
Information taken from transactions that the customer has engaged in before, previous conversations with them over the phone, or even actions they’ve completed on your website can make a massive difference to customizing their experience.
Remember, 77% of influential omnichannel companies store customer data across various channels – with their permission, of course.
For instance, look at how Asics nudges its customers further down the sales funnel by reminding them of the products that they’ve left in their basket.
Collecting data about each customer as they continue to interact with your brand will give you the perfect opportunity to create more relevant conversations with your target audience.
Step 2: Use Context in Every Campaign
If content is king in the current marketing environment, then context is queen.
We all know by this point that different kinds of consumers want various forms of content. With that in mind, it’s crucial to think about how you can use context to streamline your campaigns. What kind of material does your customer consume the most?
How do your results look when it comes to things like social media engagement, eBook downloads, or blog post shares? If you’ve got an omnichannel marketing strategy, then you should also have a cohesive way of measuring the impact of each touchpoint you’re using.
You can use what you know about the general popularity of your campaigns and combine it with more intimate data about your audience to transform the buyer journey. For example, Sephora uses insight into its top and trending customer with a bit of personalization to improve its chances of continued sales:
Step 3: Consider Subject Lines Carefully
Subject lines are crucial in any email marketing campaign.
However, they may be particularly crucial when it comes to omnichannel marketing. 61% of customers lament not being able to switch quickly from one device to another and still get the same experience online. If you want to connect with today’s consumers, you need to make sure that you’re reaching them on the right devices.
For instance, many emails today are being opened on mobile devices, rather than desktop computers or laptops. That means that you have much less subject line real estate to work with. You’ll only have a handful of characters to use – even less if your future-focused customers are checking an email from a smartwatch. Keep your emails quick and punchy – using just a few words if you can manage it.
The shorter you can go, the more likely it is that you’ll capture your audience’s attention on any platform or device they might be using.
If you’re struggling to keep your subject lines short enough, at least keep the most important words towards the beginning of the message.
Step 4: Align Your Departments
One of the most crucial assets you can have when it comes to omnichannel marketing is a workplace that’s properly coordinated and aligned.
Various reports suggest that there’s still a severe chasm between crucial groups within the business landscape. If your sales, marketing, and analytics teams can’t connect, then how do you expect to ramp up your reputation with omnichannel marketing?
Email and omnichannel can only work seamlessly together if your teams can collaborate too. Keeping the lines open between different groups in your organization will ensure that you have multiple sources of information to improve your campaigns.
Additionally, when your teams are correctly connected, you can also deliver a more effective customer service experience too. Remember, 89% of customers say that they end up getting frustrated when they need to repeat their problem to multiple representatives.
For instance, look at how OpenTable uses their tracking and sales data to continue the conversation with their target audience and boost their chances of reviews and repeat sales:
Step 5: Integrate Your Marketing Technology
Just as it’s a good idea to make sure that your team members are aligned, it’s also helpful to combine your technology too. The tech landscape for marketing is bigger and more robust than ever before. However, it’s not enough to just have access to multiple tools. You need to make sure that groups of tools can work together to create a marketing technology stack.
Some of the most common tech to add to your email and omnichannel strategy include:
- Customer relationship management software
- Marketing automation platforms
- Email service providers
- Video/web conferencing services
- Analytics and reporting solutions
- Content management systems
When all of your technology is combined correctly, it’s much easier to find the information you need to personalize customer experiences. One report from the CMO council found that any business’s relationship with data has a direct impact on how they understand customer behavior.
Decide what kind of technology will help you to inform your email marketing campaigns, then use that tech to your advantage whenever you can. For instance, Mack Weldon uses CRM and website data with triggered email automation to deliver abandoned cart messages:
Step 6: Strengthen Your Email Deliverability
Finally, it’s crucial to ensure that your email marketing messages are reaching the people that you want to connect with. Email is one of the best ways to track and measure the performance of your conversations with customers; there are challenges to consider.
Just because you hit “send” on your email campaign doesn’t mean that you’re going to reach your audience wherever you intend to connect with them. Around 20% of all emails never reach their destination due to deliverability issues.
If you want your omnichannel marketing strategy to thrive, you’ll need to have a deliverability strategy in place. Think about how you can improve your deliverability chances by investing in a dedicated ISP or cleaning up your subscriber list to ensure that you’re only sending content to the people who want to receive it.
For instance, using a double opt-in strategy might mean that you’re less likely to end up with a vast number of email subscribers every time you look to grow your list. However, it will also ensure that everyone who joins your campaign list wants to hear from you. This reduces your chances of being sent to the junk or spam inbox, which damages your sender reputation.
Using Email and Omnichannel Marketing
So, is omnichannel marketing worth all the extra work?
After all, there’s a lot of struggle involved in making sure that everything is connected correctly.
Although omnichannel marketing isn’t always easy, studies show that it’s well worth your time. Users who shop across multiple channels are up to 30% more valuable in terms of LTV than their counterparts. Additionally, studies suggest that customers who use various channels spend:
- 10% more online than people who only use one channel
- 4% more than their in-store counterparts
- 13% when researching before they buy
In a world where your customers expect to be able to connect with you across various platforms, it’s essential to ensure that you’re ready to take the conversation to them. If you don’t have an omnichannel marketing strategy combined with your email campaigns yet – then you could be missing out on some serious conversions.