The power of communication has reached unparalleled heights. From desktops, smartphones and tablets to emails, text messages and mobile apps, there are countless ways to interact with consumers. The problem many businesses face today is harnessing that power so they can always know what their consumers want and produce content that’s relevant to them. How can a business guarantee that it produces dynamic, relevant content to its consumers on all platforms?
This month we’re excited to have Brooke Beach, marketing manager for Silverpop partner Kevy, discuss ways to transform your customer communications into richer engagement programs through the use of integrations:
Email marketing still reigns king as the most effective way to reach customers, accounting for higher conversions than search and social combined. In fact, the rise of mobile has helped reinforce email. With a cell phone or mobile device glued to the hand of essentially everyone, the likelihood of your email reaching your audience is higher than it once was.
But are they reading it? Consumers can be fickle — I know because I’m also a consumer. I consider myself loyal to a brand but can’t refute the lure of a sale or coupon from a possible competitor. One thing I can’t deny, however, is the appreciation I have for brands that know and speak to me. No, we don’t have conversations in a practical sense, but I can tell they pay attention through the messages I receive.
Truly personal content that generates engagement and loyalty stems highly from your data. But there’s one factor that seems to be consistently missing from many of these efforts. This link is something we call integration.
I’m sure you’re familiar with integration, but do you know all the things you’re able to do and accomplish when you integrate a digital marketing platform such as Silverpop to your ecommerce platform? Just to name a few, here are four simple ways integration can transform your business:
1. Be more human.
“Humanized Branding” is not a new concept, but the execution is often missing from online retail stores. Too often we treat our brand as a “thing” rather than a person. Whether you realize it or not, your brand does have a personality and reputation. Audiences pick up on the tone of voice, messaging, content and style of your brand. This “personality” is often what draws, or prevents, customers from buying from your store.
Integration enables you to truly be more human when it comes to your messaging. When you’re tracking not only behavior but also order data, you’re able to get a better view of your customers’ likes, dislikes and wants. This helps you, as a marketer, create messages that are more in tune with your audience’s personality.
2. Be relevant.
There’s nothing worse than getting an endless stream of batch-and-blast emails that have nothing to do with your interests. Being relevant with your audience is pivotal to engaging and growing your customer base. Through integrating information like order data, contact information and past purchase history, you can create targeted, personal and relevant messages that cut through the noise of your customers’ inbox.
And just to note — I’m sure we can agree that there’s an obvious difference between a truly personal message and the generic emails masquerading as personal. A “Dear <name>” email is headed in the right direction but can be just as impersonal as a nameless one. The difference is in the content.
Imagine, as soon as someone checks out in your ecommerce store, being able to send them a thank you email with coupon for the next purchase. In fact, studies have shown that as many as 70 percent of people make use of coupons or discounts from post-purchase marketing emails within one month of their first purchase. And these messages can be triggered automatically through the right integration.
3. Know (really know) you have good data.
Have you ever created an email and literally held your breath as you click the ‘send’ button. I know I have. Before my time at Kevy, I worked for a different company and was part of their email marketing team. We would spend hours creating a campaign that we felt good about. The problem? We didn’t feel good about our data.
Because we didn’t have the proper integrations in place, we had to manually download and import .csv files into our email marketing outlet. Sound familiar? No matter how long we spent, we’d still get high bounces, spam ratings or even opt-outs. We used multiple systems across departments, which meant we were never positive the most up-to-date and accurate information was reflected in our lists. Sometimes we’d even end up sending emails to people who had already opted out from a different system (ouch!).
But this doesn’t have to happen! With integration that runs consistently behind the scenes, you can be sure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information across all platforms. You can even take advantage of what we call bidirectional syncing. This lets you update fields (like opt-in/opt-out) across both Silverpop and your ecommerce platform, for example. So no matter what system you use to send an email, you’re positive the data is correct.
4. Use behaviors.
Being able to leverage your data effectively is the most important aspect of engaging your customers. Or, as Admiral Grace Murray Hopper put it, “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.” In other words, no matter how much “expert advice” you hear or read, the most value will come from taking full advantage of your cloud apps and the data they hold.
In the past, it was difficult to fully take advantage of all our data because too often, it existed in silos. You might have great order information in your ecommerce platform or great contact information in your digital marketing platform, but how do you marry the two? With seamless integration you’re able to make your separate apps act as one powerful, unified system.
Track customer behaviors across channels to give you a better pulse on your product, website and messaging. How long were they on your site? What products did they look at? How did they find you? Combine this information with your ecommerce order data, and you’re poised for great success.
A few weeks ago I was talking to an online retailer, she made a comment that really stood out. She said that ecommerce businesses have to rely on numerous software platforms, so it’s essential they’re able to talk and share information between them. Exactly! No matter how you use it, integration is a powerful tool that will have tangible impacts on your business.
Kevy produces cloud integrations that help give people back their time and investments through making integration fast and simple. In less than 10 minutes you can integrate your cloud apps – simply select which apps you want to integrate, how often you want them to sync and the best part … absolutely no coding on your end. For more information on Kevy and our Silverpop integrations visit www.kevy.com or our Silverpop integration page.
1) White Paper: “7 Digital Marketing Strategies Made Better Through an Integrated Marketing Platform”
2) Blog: “4 Ways to Serve Up Individualized Content on Your Website”
3) Ebook: “15 Post-Purchase Emails That Build Loyalty and Drive Revenue”