While many organizations are embracing social media marketing, email still remains one of the most effective tools for ecommerce and subscriber engagement. However, in today’s increasingly growing networked economy, improving customer relationships requires that you interact with them via multiple customer-facing channels.
Previously, when the industry spoke of subscriber engagement, we were referring to an “engaged subscriber” as one who opened, clicked or otherwise interacted with an email. This was a well-established engagement metric for email marketing. Today it’s a little more complex, in that subscribers to your email program are not likely to be engaged with your business via a single channel. It’s possible that segments of your subscribers are also members of your brand’s social community: they may have “liked” your brand on Facebook and could be following you on Twitter. To measure true engagement at the subscriber level, you must aggregate data from multiple sources.
Challenged by constrained resources, marketing departments are being asked to do more with less, and to prove their value by how effectively they can generate actionable results for their company’s bottom line. Developing and maintaining long-term customer relationships will be the lifeline of your business; and, due to the ever expanding access to information, fragmented media landscape, and power shift from brand to customer, customer expectations are driving multi-channel integration.
Today, customers are being more cautious and selective with their spending dollars and they are significantly less loyal to any one brand or company. Customers have expectations that you will treat them uniquely and engage with them in ways that give them more control over the dialogue. When it comes to their online marketing strategies, companies must increasingly rely on interactive marketing solutions to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
Simply put, a single channel approach to customer engagement is not as effective as multi-channel engagement. As customer communication has evolved beyond email to include blogs, microblogs, social media timelines, SMS and mobile-optimized messaging, you must integrate email with multiple customer-facing channels to increase engagement levels. Meeting customer and subscriber expectations will be the key to maintaining long-term customer relationships and loyalty.