E-mail: The superhighway to multichannel sales







A multichannel customer is worth more to a brand than a single channel customer. Multichannel sales offer an opportunity to create a mutually beneficial relationship with customers, where they can use each channel as appropriate for them and the company can optimize its bottom line. The key is to understand behavior and what model makes the most sense for both parties.


E-mail is your most cost-efficient superhighway for moving customers between and deeper into channels. According to a 2008 survey by ROI Research, 84% of customers like receiving e-mails from companies they’ve registered with. When e-mail is tied into analytics from the various channels, it can cost-efficiently direct consumers to the right channel for the right purchase at the right time. Just keep in mind that you have to balance what you would like the customer to do with what the customer prefers to buy.


Your e-mail service provider should be able to help you map out a strategy to capture e-mail addresses across channels. For example, retail sales personnel can be spiffed to capture e-mail addresses and point of sale (POS) systems can include email capture as a step in the sales process.


Before requesting e-mail addresses, remember to always ask yourself: What is in it for the customer? Their e-mail address is valuable, so customers should garner some benefit from sharing this information with your organization. To determine what will motivate customers to provide email addresses, test offers and see what works best – discounts, invites to special events, breaking news, etc.


There are many examples of how to use e-mail to drive multichannel sales. For instance, use geographic segmentation to test impact on in-store sales and conduct store specific sales. For example, use ZIP code data to segment by a radius around select stores. On Friday, send an e-mail offer to the e-mail addresses of customers who are within the desired radius around one set of stores. Don’t mail the offer to the customers around the other stores. Then analyze the difference in store purchasing behavior over the weekend.

A replenishment program targeted at customers who purchase products that are used on an on-going basis. Simplicity is the beauty and power of these programs. Simply trigger a reminder e-mail a set number of days prior to the date which it is expected that the customer will run out of the product. Test different types of replenishment programs and offers see what works best for your company.


 Segmentation by engagement with the brand. Use recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM) analysis to determine which customers are highly engaged with your brand and which are not (e.g., have not purchased in the last six months). Send a sample offer to a subset of the unengaged segment when you email the engaged segment. The unengaged customers are more likely to opt-out, so to prevent damaging your email reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), keep the unengaged mailing small until you determine what offer works for the group. Lastly, analyze the purchasing data in the appropriate channels and determine whether the sample offer worked to re-engage your dormant customers.


With some creative thinking and regular analysis, brands can harness the power of e-mail to drive increased multichannel profits and results.







Related Posts