In perfect harmony: e-mail works in-sync with other channels

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In perfect harmony: e-mail works in-sync with other channels
In perfect harmony: e-mail works in-sync with other channels

E-Loan, an online consumer direct lender, has strived to deliver relevant and timely communication to customers of the Pleasanton CA-based company throughout its 11-year history.

Because Federal Reserve interest rate adjustments directly impact its customers, the announcements trig­ger immediate communication from E-Loan. In the past, these e-mails were coordinated with Web site content, but for the January rate cuts, E-Loan linked e-mail with both Web and paid search efforts. The tactic resulted in a lift in conversion and applications.

E-Loan devel­oped this type of “fusion marketing” to share knowledge across channels, says Siara Nazir, E-Loan's director of online/offline marketing and cus­tomer retention. “We saw an oppor­tunity to create a united [marketing] front — all messages were the same type, and they went out at the same time,” she says. The campaign results offered enough of a lift to implement the tactics for the March rate cut.

E-mail need not stand alone

JupiterResearch reports that cou­pling e-mail with other channels has delivered remarkable results. A 2007 study found campaigns improved for 90% of marketers who integrated third-party data, for 74% who inte­grated with off-line direct marketing and for 85% who integrated Web site analytics. Overall, e-mails are four times more effective when targeted and integrated with other data.

Scott Olrich, CMO at e-mail service provider Responsys, works with E-Loan on its e-mail campaigns. He explains that adding channels and driving an integrated experience helps marketers' dialog with customers.

“Sophisticated marketers need seg­mentation, relevant content, and to consider timing and behavior of the consumer,” says Olrich. Consistent messages are important, he adds, but points out that it's more important to let the conversation evolve.

“E-Loan is successful because it doesn't just think about a single campaign or channel,” he explains. “It thinks about what it wants customers to do and builds a program.”

The goal of an e-mail campaign, Olrich says, should determine which channels are used in conjunction with it. Segmentation helps marketers deliv­er personalized information, while testing can inform decisions about channel mix as well as content.

E-Loan segments customers based on the type of product they use, such as mortgages and car loans. Language and keyword strategy is tailored across channels.

“Fusion marketing coupled with rigorous testing is the era we're head­ing into,” Nazir says. The first step, she says, is a unified message. “The second step is [acquiring knowledge] from online media buys, search mar­keting, traffic data, and click data, and applying that to e-mail subject lines, content, and links,” she continues. “What we've already done and tested in other channels is applied to e-mail and [vice versa].”

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