Key CONNECT Features that Solve Multichannel Marketing Challenges

In my last blog post, I promised to show you how CONNECT, our messaging software, solves multichannel marketing challenges like those facing one of our clients, a global financial-services corporation.

I’ll focus on six of CONNECT’S features that address the issues that many companies face as they move their messaging programs into multiple new channels. They include:

1. Pinpoint segmentation for mobile customers

2. Dynamic segmentation for real-time database subsets

3. Real-time database synchronization for targeting and personalization

4. Event-triggered messaging across channels

5. Automated follow-up message tracks

6. Conversion tracking

Below, I’ll explain these features in more depth. As always, feel free to ask questions or post comments on these blog posts and share them with your colleagues who also are looking to solve some thorny multichannel marketing issues:

1. Pinpoint segmentation for mobile customers

Now that mobile is finally coming into its own as a marketing channel, we’re learning that mobile customers often engage differently from desktop viewers. Use CONNECT to identify and segment out your mobile viewers so that you can track their click and conversion rates and test specialized message tracks.

Using CONNECT’s built-in analytics, you might learn that your mobile customers respond better than your desktop to a certain kind of promotion – say, a flash sale. With this information you can create highly relevant campaigns and track the performance in different segments, all in one dashboard.

Another bonus: CONNECT detects which device your customer is using to view your emails, such as iOS or Android, and can automatically deliver the mobile-optimized version that will render best on that device .

2. Dynamic segmentation to identify active customers

Segmenting customers by activity is standard practice for measuring the health of your customer base and creating targeted messaging, but the information gets old fast. The most active customers in your December segmentation might well have fallen off the radar by March.

With CONNECT, you can define your targeting rules. CONNECT uses those rules to dynamically compute your subsets.

If your digital marketing program relies on recurring campaigns, you can potentially drive better results by identifying subsets within your customer base and creating special messages just for them.

For example, you can identify your best customers according to purchase activity – order size, frequency or recency – or create a subset of people who have downloaded materials or apps from your website or browsed specific pages in your website.

Using dynamic segmentation, CONNECT will automatically add or subtract customers from these subsets as time moves on. No more writing rules over and over!

3. Real-time database synchronization

Having all of your marketing systems housed on a single dashboard eliminates the synchronization problems that can crop up between your in-house database and an outsourced provider.

Take list hygiene, for example. Your provider likely has the most up-to-date information on email addresses, such as which ones have been removed through unsubscribing, spam complaints, or hard bounces.

However, you still have to pull all that key data upstream to your own database. Even a day’s delay can make significant portions of your database temporarily out of date. This lag time makes your dynamic targeting programs less effective. It could even imperil email deliverability should you continue emailing to undeliverable or unsubscribed addresses.

Real-time data synchronization means your marketing systems can react in real time to customer behavior.

4. Event-triggered messaging across channels

Transactional emails – service-based emails triggered by behavior or transactions – are a major opportunity to build trust and engagement, but many marketers still aren’t capitalizing on them.

Research shows that recipients value these messages because they’re so relevant. Transactional emails also can make up more than half of your email volume. Also, you can add a limited amount of promotional content to a transactional message  or service reminder, such as a cross-sell offer or invite to sign up for your email program.

So, what’s the problem?

Often, the email system isn’t integrated with ecommerce or CRM engines that register behavior such as a purchase, abandoned shopping cart, download, call-center contact or bill payment. Or, the marketer can send triggered messages but isn’t sending them in real time, upgrading them with additional content or optimizing each message template for a specific channel.

CONNECT’s Event Triggered Messaging feature allows you to set rules for triggered messages that detect not just the behavior but also the channel in which it occurred.

You can, for example, send an email confirmation for a website transaction as well as a location-based real-time message for your mobile app users who pass a coupon-dispensing kiosk in your store or check in for a flight at the airport.

5. Automated follow-up message tracks

“Drip” campaigns are an essential element of customer-relationship messaging because they focus on long-term relationship building, not just one-off broadcast promotions. Email content can vary according to your customer’s previous email activity, where they are on the purchase path, their preferences, and a hundred other options. That can be a logistical nightmare.

CONNECT’s Event-Triggered Messaging feature automates this process with follow-up message tracks. When your customers act on a launch email, CONNECT will use your rules to automatically sort them into messaging tracks.

This helps you build follow-up messages that reflect their activity or preferences automatically without having to create fresh messages each time. It’s close as you can get to one-to-one marketing.

Most helpfully, CONNECT helps you build multiple tracks to manage complex relationships where customers have more than one preference or engage with you across different devices, business units or communication channels.

6. Conversion tracking

Ultimately, it’s all about conversions, right? Did your customers buy from your messages? Did they download your whitepapers or request more information? Did they create new accounts, pay their bills or update their preferences when prompted by your email or a text message?

CONNECT’s conversion tracking feature tells you not just who has converted from your messages and who hasn’t but also the monetary value of that conversion and other key information. You can incorporate that information into highly personalized confirmation messages and other follow-up messages (reminders, cross-sell/upsell campaigns, etc.).

Using conversion tracking, you can find your most valuable customers and best leads and measure the success of your multichannel marketing campaign across a multitude of factors. You aren’t marketing in the dark anymore or crossing your fingers and hoping everything works as soon as you hit “Send” on your next campaign.

What’s Next?

Naturally, this quick series of blog posts isn’t enough to lay out all the benefits that CONNECT’S messaging feature offer to marketers who are trying to find more effective ways to communicate with their customers in this new and complex messaging world.

What’s your biggest multichannel marketing challenge? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll show you how CONNECT can help you solve it.

Image credit: Duncan Hall via Flickr

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