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Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Role of Email Marketing Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy Now is always the time to strengthen your marketing strategy. As numerous new channels and platforms are mushrooming in the digital marketplace, marketers must take an omnichannel approach to drive meaningful interactions with prospects and drive better conversions.

Here’s a  chart that supports the importance of a cohesive omnichannel approach.

This implies that marketers must create a personalized and consistent customer experience irrespective of the platform through which the customer engages with the brand.

Email marketing holds the most weight in an omnichannel marketing approach as it can unravel your customer’s digital life and can drive the highest ROI among other digital communication channels. 

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

1. One-on-one communication

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Cut through the noise and talk directly to your customers and prospects. Once a user signs up for your email list, you have permission to engage with them. Based on the information provided by your subscribers and their past interaction with your brand, you can create segmented lists to send valuable and more relevant emails. With the help of artificial intelligence, you can micro-segment lists and hyper-personalized your emails. When emails are carefully tailored to match your subscriber’s preferences, you are more likely to have higher engagement, and therefore, more conversions.

Check out this email by Social Media Examiner. They sent a personalized plain-text email from their founder & CEO which gives the reader a feeling that the email has been drafted exclusively for them.

2. Controlled communication

Email is a permission-based marketing channel. While you have no control over the people who have followed or liked your social media page, you are the OWNER of your (organically built) email list. With both email and social channels, you have to be sure to adhere to the rules and regulations of each region and channel. However, unlike social media, there are no frequent algorithmic changes in email marketing.

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

3. Behavior-based targeting

We’re all familiar with the temptation that comes along with online shopping. Say you buy an article of clothing and are served up with multiple other items that you could purchase to make a complete outfit. You can send behavior-based emails that are triggered after the subscriber performs a particular action—be it purchasing a product or downloading a resource.  Engaging with a customer based on their actions on your website allows you to communicate that you know and understand your consumers. Instilling trust is a vital part of omnichannel communication.

4. Improved experience

Email marketing best practices are always changing, and technology is always adapting to the user’s preferences to stay relevant. Consider how you can make the user experience within your email more engaging and fun using technology within your emails. Visual elements give emails the feel of mailable microsites and ensure a pleasant subscriber experience. Remember to create cohesion between all of your channels to show your customers and prospects that regardless of channel, you’re giving the same experience.

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

5. Customer rewards

Consider building a customer loyalty program for existing highly engaged customers. Referral programs can also help to bring new customers on board and entice them to purchase from you. Thank your customers for being evangelists and delight them with an exclusive offer.

See how Planted leverages referral email marketing to encourage more job seekers to use their services.

Wrapping up

An omnichannel strategy is one of the most important goals for marketers and email is the passport to get there. Keep optimizing your email marketing strategy to create a seamless customer experience that will yield higher growth.

How do you offer a total customer experience through your email marketing? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

How to Read Digital Body Language for Email Marketers

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

The best salespeople pay attention to buying cues from their customers. If there are no buying signals, they move on to a better lead. They are persistent when they sense a deal can be closed quickly but recognize that sometimes timing issues are at play.

By giving their prospect space and following up a little later down the road, they build trust, rapport and when the time comes, they close the deal. To summarize, good salespeople know how to how to read customers/prospects and use timing to their advantage.

Email marketers? Not so much. Despite having increasingly complex data on their subscribers, many marketers continue to treat all their subscribers the same.

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Don’t talk your customers to sleep! If a person seemed bored, do you keep talking until they fall asleep? No? Well, that’s exactly what many email marketers do.

Now in the past, this was forgivable. Marketers didn’t always have a way to tell how people were responding to their advertising. Campaigns were formulated over whiskey and cocktails by “Mad Men” in smoke-filled rooms over Madison Avenue. Back then, a marketer could SELL a campaign that mattered.

Things are different now. For the digital marketer in 2018 and beyond, email open/click and read time data are available on an individual level, and smart marketers are using this data to make their email programs responsive.

Email Deliverability Basics

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Salespeople who are particularly obnoxious eventually have a hard time booking appointments. Email marketers who send emails to people daily who never open/click may start to see their emails delivered to subscribers’ spam folders even for people that engage often.

Many marketers assume that if their open rate is 20%, that means subscribers are on average opening every fifth email. It’s more likely that a small fraction of their subscriber-base opens all of their emails, a more substantial chunk opens an occasional email, and then another subset has completely fallen asleep and has not engaged in months. Eventually, those disengaged people will take a toll on your “sender reputation.”

What can you do to avoid this? Learn to read digital body language.

Build a Responsive Email Marketing Program

All the data you need is already being captured by your marketing automation platform. You just need to put it to work. So let’s get started.

The first step to a responsive email program is to divide your audience into segments based on the engagement level. There are many ways to do this, including using specialized software to predict customers’ engagement level, but let’s look at how you can do it manually.

[9 Reasons Your Emails Get Rejected]

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Step 1: First, figure out how many emails your subscribers typically receive per month. That should include all your channels, blog notifications, etc. For this example, let’s say you send 10 emails per month or two to three per week.

Step 2: Pull a list of all your subscribers that have not opened any of your past 60 emails (or about six months’ worth). We’ll call these subscribers “disengaged.”

Step 3: Pull another list, this time for subscribers who haven’t opened an email in four months, but have opened one the last half-year. We’ll call this segment “low engagement.”

Step 4: Now create a list of subscribers that have opened emails within four months, but not in the last 15 emails, or a month and a half. This is your “moderate engagement” segment.

Step 5: Last, create a segment for “highly engaged” subscribers who have opened an email in the last month and a half.

If your emails tend to be a link- or CTA-heavy and you want to be even more aggressive, you can use clicks instead of opens.

Role of Email Marketing in an Omnichannel Strategy

Customize Engagement Levels

Now that you have broken your audience down by their digital body language, you can engage with each type of subscriber differently.

Assuming your disengaged email addresses are people that have previously engaged, you could simply lower your email cadence, or run a re-engagement campaign. You could also try changing up their send time, or send their emails when they have historically engaged with your emails in the past to increase your chances of them opening/clicking.

For your low engagement subscribers, consider bumping their email frequency down to once or twice a month. For your moderate engagement subscribers, you could cut their frequency down to weekly, etc., and for high, you can keep email frequency the same as before. There are no strict rules here, and your strategy should be guided by your brand’s goals and A/B testing.

[How to Gmail domain email]

Despite sending dramatically less email, you will likely find that your total clicks/opens will fall very little and over time, will actually increase. Remember, most of the people who are receiving fewer emails weren’t opening very many in the first place! Your customers will be thankful for you listening to their digital body language, and your email deliverability will improve as your overall engagement rates rise.

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