Much has been written about the increasing importance of omnichannel marketing. The most successful brands have crafted an experience that seamlessly follows the customer as they move from one channel to the next throughout the customer journey. I’ve come to appreciate these omnichannel strategies not just as a marketer, but as a consumer who benefits from the convenience they create.
An Omnichannel Experience Needs an Omnichannel Strategy
As an example: These days I can shop online, receive a text message when the order’s ready, and pick up the item at the store, rather than wait for the package to be shipped. Or if I decide to shop in-store, I can check how many of a certain product are available at any of the store’s nearby locations before leaving the house.
But the real magic happens in-store, when I can use the store’s app to tell me in which aisle I can find the light bulbs (which are without exception always buried in the most obscure location possible). I can also scan each product that catches my eye to see if there is an active “deal” I can take advantage of. Once I reach the register, the cashier scans a barcode on my phone, not just to redeem the coupon codes, but also to pay (since my credit card information is integrated into the app’s wallet).
These features are just scratching the surface of the experience, and over time I’ve noticed a major shift in how I shop, especially as more and more retailers develop an omnichannel strategy. I’m definitely loving all the time and money I’m saving as a result.
That sounds like a great omnichannel success story, right? It is—but the truth is that you’d have to rewind much further to understand how I became a customer in the first place.
Why an Omnichannel Strategy is Essential for Customer Acquisition
A strong omnichannel strategy doesn’t start with the customer experience. It starts with the “prospect experience.” How does the consumer first hear about you? A direct mail piece? Search? TV? A recommendation from a friend? And once they know about you, what do they do next—and what do you want them to do next? Do they go directly to your website? Do they type your company name or your product name into Google? As marketers, it’s our challenge to lead them down the ideal path, without consumers feeling like they’re being led. That’s why omnichannel marketing is an especially powerful approach to customer acquisition.
Key Components of an Omnichannel Strategy
At IWCO Direct, we frequently help our clients develop these omnichannel acquisition strategies. A few of the core components we start with include:
- Data – Ensuring you’re talking to the same person across disparate channels has a direct impact on the relevance and usefulness of your message.
- Creative – Presenting a confident, consistent look and feel across channels creates a natural progression of engagement.
- Timing –Timely follow-up with the consumer across channels keeps your brand present and top-of-mind throughout the consideration and purchase process.
- Measurement and Attribution – Considering how fluidly consumers are moving between channels, clarity around which channel should ultimately get credit for driving the conversion leads to more effective budgeting and prioritization of efforts.
In addition to helping our clients sort out these big questions, we have a variety of specific offerings that help align direct mail with other channels as part of an omnichannel strategy, including:
- Pixel-to-Postal Trigger Mail: Reach website visitors (and abandoners) with a targeted direct mail piece within a matter of days with content relevant to the pages they visited, or actions they took on your site.
- Email-Listening Trigger Mail: Powerful database matching technologies send a triggered direct mail piece leveraging email activity from across the web, based on URL wording within email links.
- Direct Mail + Digital Overlay: Proprietary solutions trigger social and display ads to the same audience that’s receiving your direct mail, within a very specific timeframe to align with the actual (not estimated) direct mail in-home delivery
To learn more about how we can help you build a successful omnichannel acquisition strategy drop me a line.
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