It’s time to spice up your marketing strategy with an integrated multi-channel customer journey.

Huh?

Ok, I know that sounds like a lot of jargon, and if you’re not a marketing person, it likely is. Simply put- let’s evaluate your strategy to increase its effectiveness ultimately resulting in a greater impact on your business’ bottom line.

Better?

It’s not about being creative; it’s about re-imagining what your customer journey looks like and breaking the hypnotic spell the internet has cast onto your audience.  For over a decade now marketing spend has ‘slowly’ shifted from offline to digital.  Businesses have poured billions of dollars into digital with hopes that sales increase, become more measurable, scalable and targeted; which in fact it has.

So what’s the problem?

Businesses of all sizes are seeing marketing costs increase and conversions go down.

Why is this happening?

The challenge with digital is the constant bombardment of advertising and we (all) are becoming numb to banners, social media, emails and content overload just as we did in the past with TV, radio, and print.  Essentially, this means you have to spend more to reach your target consumer with your message, increasing the cost per conversion.  And if you’re not one of the big guys, it’s even more challenging to break through the clutter by pumping money into the ether.

So what’s the solution?

…well, before I get into that, let me preface with this – ever since the time we all started pouring money into digital, we stopped doing what has worked in the past.  I’m not referring to TV, radio and print, but to the secret weapon not many people talk about anymore: direct mail and now mobile.

Ok, now that you have this in the back of your mind, let’s continue.

You see, the customer journey shifted from offline to online and now the pendulum is starting to swing back. It is shifting from a purely digital focus to a multi-channel approach that should break your prospect’s attention and get them focused on your offer.  Keep in mind, the strategies that I am about to tell you are no more or less complicated or costly than the strategies you are currently employing, they are simply a shift.

Here is the first example that you may apply to your business.

Let’s assume that your company buys data or already has a sizeable database of past, inactive clients that would be in the buying cycle once again.  Rather than sending them an email, which may end up in junk or likely get deleted, you can acquire a physical address (many reverse append services that attach the physical address from email data).  Send your prospect an enticing offline time-sensitive offer, which can be customized with your prospects name and even a personalized URL (PURL) which will increase response.  Now, once the prospect lands on the personalized the page, the prospect requests the offer and instead of doing what most companies would do, which is to send the prospect an email, you will respond to them offline again since that is the way the prospect initially responded to your offer.

Ok, this sounds confusing…

Let me break it down. Offline, to online to offline, then sale.

It may seem like extra work, you are already getting an indication of interest as prospects are jumping through these hoops.   In this next offline piece, you deliver the same report framed as your companies sales letter, including testimonials, FAQs and a call to action, which can be a phone call or a unique discount code the prospect can use to redeem online (and can be tracked).

This initial piece is followed-up by a postcard and then subsequent offline follow-ups for a period of time or until the prospect is converted to a customer.

Why does this work?

See, most people don’t really get much mail since bills are now paperless and most mail is junk.  Your offers are framed as exclusive, value-adding materials that were requested, making them exciting to receive and read.

Here’s the second example you can implement in your business.

It’s likely that you have done local or even national advertising in a magazine or publication and thought it was a waste of money.  The problem is that most businesses don’t have a proper call to action or simple way to engage.  Most people who read magazines are not in front of their computers and are an arms-length away from their phones.  Using a text-based service, ask your prospect to text in a short code (tracking conversion) and start a conversation with them from there…

Huh?

There are plenty of text services that create an automated conversation, i.e. “Thanks for requesting the report, what’s your first name?” Then the prospect text back their first name.  You can then say, “Great, thanks very much {FirstName}, so I can send your free report to you, what’s the best email for you?” Then you collect the email and send the report.

This works great because it leverages mobile marketing and you won’t catch people without their phone anymore, which will increase conversion and response rate.

Now, rather than emailing your prospect reply back with a text message link, ideally a catchy video they can quickly take action and watch, then send the prospect an email at a later time.  And since you have their phone number you may even have a call center reach out to the prospect after they watch the video or take further steps down your funnel.

This may all be new to you and sound complicated.  It’s not about complicating marketing, it’s about throwing that proverbial ‘curve ball’ and having your audience take action. Because it’s out of the norm, you will be surprised by the effectiveness and increase in response rates.

Best of all, you will see conversions increase and cost go down.  These strategies are equally tracked and measurable.

You have a choice, continue dumping your money into banner ads and saturated social media, or attract your audience in a memorable, exciting, and valuable way by enhancing your customer journey.