Monday, January 7, 2013
There's no shortage of advice aimed at interactive marketers today. In fact, your inbox probably fills up every day with tips, tricks, and helpful hints. But how much of that advice is really useful?
This week, I'll present a series of posts that reveal some of the top things consumers want from marketers—backed by solid, statistical data. Then we'll go a step further, providing real, actionable recommendations to help you improve your cross-channel marketing program.
Ready to get started?
TIP #1: Consumers want email... but not just email!
Our research tells us that 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications (Source: ExactTarget's 2012 Channel Preference Survey). But that's not the whole story. Although the majority of consumers prefer to receive marketing messages via email over every other communication type, the number of consumer who prefer other channels has grown exponentially in recent years.
This is great news for marketers who are already highly focused on engaging consumers across multiple channels. Now it's just a matter of taking that cross channel approach to the next level. Here's how!
RECOMMENDATION #1: Marketers should offer multiple ways to engage, and cross-promote your social presence.
In today’s real-time world, it goes without saying that your interactive marketing program should encompass multiple channels—email, Facebook, and Twitter. To maximize engagement and consumer satisfaction, marketers should:
MAKE EMAIL AN OPTION FOR ALL MARKETING MESSAGES. Whether they’re opting into a mailing list, requesting services, or entering a sweepstakes, consumers should always see email at the top of the list for communication options. It only makes sense—if most people prefer email for marketing communications, give them what they want!
ESTABLISH A CLEAR VALUE PROPOSITION FOR EACH CHANNEL. As marketers, we’re completely immersed in the world of email, Facebook, and Twitter. But consumers may not always understand why they should interact with brands through these various channels. Help them understand the benefits of becoming a subscriber, fan, or follower!
PROMOTE YOUR SOCIAL PRESENCE THROUGH EMAIL—AND VICE VERSA. Consumers might not even realize you’re on Facebook and Twitter unless you tell them! Add social information to your email opt-in page, and include links to your Facebook and Twitter pages in your welcome email. By the same token, why not include an email opt-in form on your Facebook or Twitter page?
INCLUDE SOCIAL SHARING LINKS AND “LIKE”/“FOLLOW” LINKS IN YOUR EMAILS. Take advantage of some simple techniques for encouraging consumers to engage with your brand across channels. By building “Share This” functionality into your emails, you create an instant connection between your brand and the social channel in the mind of the consumer. And including “Like” and “Follow” links in your email is a no-brainer—what could be simpler?
Check back for more tips and practical recommendations in Parts 2-5 of this series.
Looking for more advice to help take your marketing program to the next level? Check out the Field Guide to Cross-Channel Marketing.