Use Multi-Channel Communication to Engage Customers

How to use multi-channel marketing tactics for your offline business

Multi-channel marketing uses several different channels to reach customers. But, multi-channel marketing is about more than the number of channels you use, it’s about how you use them.

Successful multi-channel marketing uses a blend of communication tools to reach consumers with personalized, consistent messages that represent your brand. All of the channels and messages work together to engage and retain customers.

To help offline merchants create a multi-channel communication strategy, we’ll explain the benefits of this marketing approach and explain why email, text, and push notifications are the trio of channels you should rely on.

What are the benefits of multi-channel marketing?

Multi-channel marketing is a game-changer. Committing to this kind of holistic marketing strategy provides a lot of benefits:

  • Greater customer engagement

Multi-channel marketing gives you the ability to create and send personalized messages that drive engagement.

Think about it. When customers get a personalized email, for example, they’re more likely to open, click, and convert. An email with a customer’s first name in the subject line, suggested products inside based on past purchases, and a 10% off coupon gets noticed.

In fact, personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates than those that aren’t personalized.

Multi-channel marketing is the key to personalized communication that sparks engagement and perhaps a little joy.

  • Increased customer loyalty

As you connect with customers on a more personal level, their loyalty grows. When you send targeted and relevant messages that are personalized based on your customers’ behavior and purchase habits, each email and text builds a relationship that’s meant for the long haul.

You can reward that loyalty and give consumers a reason to come back again and again. Through well-timed, personalized offers and memorable customer experiences, your engaged customers become loyal customers, and if you’re lucky, they will refer others to your business.

Loyal customers are 17x more likely to refer your business to family and friends.

Through multi-channel marketing, you build the kind of customer loyalty and trust that every business desires.

  • Get ROI that impacts your bottom line

Multi-channel shoppers spend 3x more than single-channel shoppers. Simply put, multi-channel marketing brings in revenue and provides a strong ROI.  

But, to know exactly how much revenue your multi-channel marketing is driving, you need to measure the right things.

With robust, easy-to-use analytics, you should be able to see how effective your multi-channel marketing strategy is.

Tracking reports and analytics across different channels can be a beast, so consider an all-in-one solution. You want a single platform with a comprehensive and easy-to-understand dashboard that shows you how each campaign is performing and what kind of revenue each one brings in.

A multi-channel marketing strategy is only as effective as the analytics you have to measure it by.

What channels should a multi-channel marketing plan include?

The ways to reach consumers in the digital age are endless, but most marketers (52%) focus on three or four channels, according to Invespcro. Which ones work well for offline merchants? We suggest using email, text, and push notifications.

1. Email marketing

Consumers love email. An estimated 3.9 billion people have an email address, according to a report from The Radicati Group, making it a great marketing channel.

·      Pros

Email marketing is one of the most visual forms of communication. Your company is visually represented in an email with your company logo, brand colors, and product images displayed prominently.

You also have a lot of real estate. An email doesn’t have character limitations like push notifications, for example, so you can take the time to explain a new product or craft a meaningful letter to customers.

Email also gives customers a reference. Let’s say you’re hosting a flash sale, customers can double check the email to make sure they have the right day and time.

·      Cons

Email open rates are falling. The average open rate hovers around 31%, which is a 3% drop from last year, according to Marketing Charts. Of course, sending personalized emails or triggered emails based on a consumer’s buying behavior does improve response rates.

The other downside? Emails can sit in an inbox for hours or even days. An email isn’t usually read the instant it arrives like texts or push notifications.

·      Best way to use email marketing

Email is the perfect communication channel when you want to communicate something that’s not time sensitive. Since an email can get ignored for a while, it’s best to use email for non-urgent matters.

If you’re having a two-week-long holiday sale, want to invite customers to a future event, or just want to say thanks – email is the perfect option. And, the results of every email you send can be measured not just in vanity metrics like opens and clicks but in the revenue it generates for your business. That’s powerful.

2. Text

If it seems like everyone is texting, you’re right. Research shows 97% of smartphone users regularly text. Since text messaging has become the go-to form of communication for many, it stands to reason that it’s part of your multi-channel marketing efforts.

·      Pros

Text messages enjoy an extremely high open rate. We’re talking a 98% open rate. Most people get an alert when a text comes in and typically read that message within two minutes of its arrival, according to TxtSignal. Talk about fast communication. Just look at anyone’s cell phone and it’s rare to see a bunch of unread messages. People react quickly when they get a text.

Another plus? You can personalize text messages with an offer that’s based on a customer’s behavior.

And, text messages have a fairly low opt-out rate, with less than 5% of consumers asking to be removed from text-based lists.

·      Cons

Text messages aren’t usually visual have a more limited character count to get your point across. They’re short messages meant to convey a simple, cohesive thought to your customer.

Merchants sometimes overuse text messaging. Texts are widely accepted, but you should always send them wisely.

·      Best time to use text

Text messages are a great way to convey something of urgency. If you’re hosting a limited time offer or want to give customers first crack at a new product, you can text the information and perhaps follow up with an email.

3. Push notifications

The newest digital form of communication, the push notification, should certainly be part of your multi-channel marketing plan. Customers that opt in to push notifications are more engaged and often more loyal to a company; all the more reason to reach customers through this channel.

·   Pros

Like text messages, push notifications are received quickly. But, unlike texts, push notifications are a little less “pushy.” They’re not as intrusive as a text. They simply show up in the alert bar and relay the information.

Consumers that opt in to push notifications are retained at nearly 2x the rate of others, according to Invespro.

·   Cons

Push notifications are sent through an app, so there is a tech-barrier here. To send push notifications, your company has to have its own app or work with a company that does. For instance, your company doesn’t need its own app if you work with a customer engagement platform that has its own.

·   Best time to use push notifications

Use push notification when you want to drive traffic to your business. For example, if you want to advertise a sale, introduce a new menu item, or remind loyal customers of a reward they can redeem on their next visit.

Wrap up

Only 30% of markets say they’re “highly confident” in their ability to deliver a multi-channel marketing strategy. That’s why you need a single platform where you can send emails, texts, and push notifications all from one place – and measure it all in one place, too.