Set the Groundwork & Build a Cross Channel Promotion Strategy that Works!

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Emily Keye

Cross channel PromotionsToday I’ll be discussing the foundation work that must be put in place so that you can begin to implement cross channel promotions and market to the ever changing consumer.

Did you know that a consumer who browses and buys via multiple channels is the most coveted for any organization? Think about it! No matter your industry, anyone who visits your website, opts in to your email program, provides permission to be communicated with via SMS text messaging and is connected with you on Facebook and Twitter is someone you should know. You could infer this to be your highest value consumer segment.

So, what must you have in place in order to implement a smart cross channel strategy?

First, you’ll need to make sure that all of your channels are optimized.

Are you portraying a consistent brand identity across ALL of your channels?

Portraying a consistent brand identity is crucial. It is amazing to me how different the communications image is for many companies from site to email to social spaces. The lack of brand consistency is troubling and confusing to customers. All the design elements — layouts, use of color, typefaces, quality of photography, copy voice or “persona” — must look as if they are coming from the same company, not two to three companies. Content should be versioned and distributable across multiple channels. You will lose customers fast with inattention to branding detail.

Do you have the resources to manage these channels?

You must have dedicated resources in place to manage each channel. As Kestrel Lemen mentions in a recent blog post titled You’ve Built It, But Are You Ready, “Once you have put the effort into building some kind of social outreach, then make sure you can back it up by engaging with that traffic. Believe it or not, every reaction a contact gives you socially is a chance to enhance your company, so take advantage of it. When a company invites me to like them/follow them via email, print or television, and I go to their wall only to find it filled with complaints, I cringe at the thought of the time/resources it cost to drive me to take that action only to find a negative channel. The worst is when a social follower will ask a company where/how they can buy the product, and then NEVER gets a response. Talk about leaving money on the table!”

Now that you have built optimized marketing/communication channels and you have the resources to manage them on an ongoing basis, you’ll want to begin to drive traffic to these channels and secure permission.

Are you making it easy for consumers to connect to all of your channels?

Cross-channel promotion can only begin with the capture of consumers’ permission, contact information and preferences for multiple channels. Build bridges between the various ways that people can connect with your brand. Remember, when customers are engaged with a brand though multiple channels, they generally spend more. So using one channel to secure opt-ins to other channels is a wise strategy.

Here are a few ways to start building bridges between your marketing channels:

  • Add an email sign up form on your Facebook Page. Fawn Young provides step by step instructions in her blog post, Growing Your Email List on Facebook: How to and Real Life Examples.
  • You can encourage your Twitter followers to sign up for exclusive email only deals or newsletter information. This is actually perfect for longer-length information you wouldn’t receive via Twitter.
  • Take advantage of the popularity of smartphones and have people signing up for email via text. Kristen Gregory highlights the benefits of using SMS or text messages to build your email list in a post titled, SMS May Be Your New Favorite Way to Gain Email Subscribers.
  • Introduce website visitors to your social media spaces. Most all websites have the social icons visible somewhere on the site. I think it’s really important to take it one step further and briefly explain why someone should join your social networks.
  • Take the opportunity to ask for the “Like” on the order confirmation page. I don’t think you’ll find a higher engaged audience.
  • Dedicated promotional emails are a great way to encourage engaged subscribers to join your social communities. I have clients that have tripled their Facebook following by promoting via their email channel. Caroline Smith outlines best practices for this in her post, Please “Like” Me: Social Request Through Email. Also consider asking for social permission in your Welcome Message or in your Welcome Series.
  • Ask for mobile permission by asking consumers if they’d like to get daily deal alerts sent to their phones, get notifications of flash sales or participate in limited-time events. You could also give people updates on their orders – especially when it comes to in-store pick-up or delivery of packages. Kristen Gregory outlines some additional ideas for communicating with customers via text-message.

There are a plenty of other ways to begin to capture permission to connect with consumers via multiple channels. Make sure you’re laying the proper foundation before you attempt cross channel promotions. Please share some of the unique ways you’ve been able to build bridges between your marketing channels and connect with consumers.

Emily Keye
Marketing Strategist at Bronto

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