So you need a big list? May I suggest a three-step approach to build up your list? First, try to get more than just one point of contact - ask for an email ID, a mobile number, and other relevant contact information. Second, get the consumer to confirm what they signed up for by delivering their first confirmation campaign in as near real time as possible (don't let them forget who you are). Third, look at the engagement ratio - not just the number of messages sent. For email, your metric should be to continuously improve your opens and clicks over the total number of sends.
You have to find new names but you also have to keep your open rates and engagement high.
So you want to ask for preferences? What is the point of asking for information if you cannot (or do not) use the information to create a relevant dialogue with your consumer? A successful preference strategy includes capturing three types of preferences - consumer provided preferences, observed preferences, and implied preferences. Use all of the interaction opportunities to build up the amount of information that you know about your consumers.
It is not just about asking for preferences but using and knowing these preferences when you communicate with your consumer.
So you want to build community? Do not get into the trap of just trying to boost the number of "likes." You will find yourself with a lot of "likes" and a small amount of authentic engagement. For Facebook, you should strive to improve the ratio of your "talking about us" divided by the "number of likes." While I do enjoy "likes," I prefer comments, and I really love "shares." I want my community to be active and assume their role as ambassadors that can represent my brand.
It is not just about creating community but about having an active community that can provide different advice to consumers.
So how do you measure ROI? Many brands message their consumers via digital channels (email, mobile, and social) because digital is cheaper and quicker than traditional messaging channels. Some brands are more successful because they leverage their analytics for segmentation, personalization, and to convert on their transactions. The best marketers try to use the power of digital messaging by driving the consumer to multiple channels. Brands need to establish measurement metrics for each channel and evaluate the impact of driving consumers across channels.
It is not just about measuring ROI on the digital channels. You should measure the impact of digital on your other channels.
So you think your channels are trained? Brands spend a lot of time and money on creating posters, comment cards, and surveys to capture consumer feedback. So much of consumer advertising is used to get the consumer to come in and connect with the brand. Brands even provide their employees with legalese and scripts (boring stuff) to read to the consumer to provide their contact information. The bigger opportunity actually lies in training your employees and touch points about the campaigns. If your touch points can speak with empathy, they will successfully connect with the consumer.
It is not just about sending information to your consumers, it is more important that you train your employees and channels so they can become conversational.
Focus on growing your list, but pay close attention to improving engagement. Ask your consumers for their preferences and work those preferences into your messaging. Leverage your community to speak for your brand. Insist on cross-channel ROI measurement. Use digital to let your employees know about campaigns. And most of all be empathetic, relevant, and pragmatic.
Join us at SES Chicago for a full day of comprehensive learning, case studies, and best practices that will help you improve digital marketing. I am hosting a full-day workshop to boost your email marketing to a higher level. Remember, it is all about improving engagement by creating interactive conversations with those you serve.
Do or Don't image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.
He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.
Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.
March 19, 2014