With today’s omnichannel customer communications opportunities, sometimes the medium is the message – and sometimes it isn’t.
Before self-checkout, before the internet, your customers used to come into the store and spend a lot of time speaking with your employees, who got to know them personally. Now you need to try to build the same relationship electronically.
The variety of customer communications channels – direct mail, email, texts, apps, and social media – is not only overwhelming customers but also marketers themselves. With customer communications, you have quite a few decisions to make: What do you send? How should you send it? What is most effective?
Determining the Channel of Choice
Direct mail provides significant value, but is very expensive. Going digital appears quite easy, but isn’t. Email is cheap, but can actually alienate customers over time. Texts may get opened, but how often should you send them? Your apps may actually be more effective – but only a small percentage of your customers may be using them.
The easiest information to find and the hardest to analyze is in your existing data. You already have the exact response rates across your channels. While your customer initially signed up to get your emails, they may not be responding anymore. If they’ve moved to your mobile app or prefer getting texts, they certainly aren’t going to tell you formally.
Use the data science and analysis within your personalization solution to recognize the shifts in channels of choice that influence their behavior, so you can make better, more efficient decisions.
Determining what to communicate and how often is a matter of trial and error – and the numbers for analysis are also sitting within your loyalty solution. You can analyze what content was open and for how long.
Content is King
Customer communications is about creating the right content for the right person, delivered via the right channel – without the customer officially providing input on anything.
The most critical thing to remember, though, is content is not necessarily offers. Sending your customer a happy birthday wish – without a single coupon – will simply build a good feeling about your brand.
Non-offer focused content is also a way to distinguish yourself in the market and/or fight non-retail competitors. Many of your customers are subscribing to services that deliver complete, easy-to-cook meals, significantly reducing the time and frequency they spend in your store. Sending recipes based on the fresh ingredients your store specializes in can provide a competitive edge over these services, without including a single special offer.
Communications and Cash
You’ve been using omnichannel communications all along – with the right science, you know exactly the channel that drives the best results – and you can target your budgets accordingly.
One million of your customers like email, but you only have the budget to reach 500,000. The same data science tells you on which customers to focus.
Personalized marketing means just that – providing the right content to the right customers via the right channels at the right price for you – all to strengthen long-term loyalty and share of wallet.
Your data will guide the way – and your budget will give you the rest.
Chen Katz is vice president of sales at Sagarmatha.
Edited by Alicia Young