The Importance of Email for Multi-Channel Marketing

With social media and so many other marketing tools being used successfully, you may have thought that email has gone the way of the Dodo. However, the truth is that email is just as powerful a marketing tool as it ever was; it is simply being used differently today than it used to be.

Multichannel Glue

The email of today is being used to entice online shoppers back to abandoned shopping carts and wishlists. And it’s proving to be quite useful. Today’s consumer is using more than one device to shop for the items they want. As a result, it can take longer for a purchase to be completed.

A shopper registers with a website using their email address. The company then uses their email to keep in touch with a customer and remind them of their visit.

Tracking Made Easier

Email is also being used to track customers. Companies now do this by embedding links and short landing pages in their email messages. These specially-coded elements allow a company to gather data about the customer. This data is used to improve the customer’s experience, both when they revisit the website and as they interact with future emails.

The path between online and offline data is also being defined with email. Email is already responsible as a means for consumers to access services. Since then, however, companies have realised that they can offer a slew of valuable products to offline consumers. These offline offerings improve the consumer experience, as well as provide companies with better data access to continue the improvement of their offerings.

Aggregate Qualities

In addition to being the common thread of all marketing channels, email is also a terrific content aggregator, pulling in the content found on other channels and presenting it to the consumer. This boosts relevance as well as engagement from subscribers. And the relevance of emails continues its ascension, with many companies now including more social features in their email messages.

Some examples of social features are opportunities to follow companies on Facebook or Twitter, notification of upcoming company broadcasts and promotions, or a requesting of subscribers to vote for which advertising campaign a company should choose.

Trouble in Paradise?

There are barriers to using email for customer engagement. Many companies are unable to measure the actual level of engagement with their customers, and not very many companies are able to discern which channel their customer is using most of the time when they interact with that company. Further to this, it is difficult for all but a small percentage of companies to tell whether or not the use of one marketing channel benefited the results of another.

While it’s clear that better customer engagement visibility tools are needed, it cannot be ignored that email remains a powerful way for a company to gain the advantage over their competitors. What’s needed for success is more coordination of channels, as well as marketing to stronger channels.