What is Omnichannel Marketing and How Does It Work?
Omnichannel marketing (also spelled omni-channel marketing) is a cross-channel marketing strategy designed to offer consumers a consistent, seamless shopping experience across a brand. What exactly does this mean, with regard to email marketing? This means establishing customer-centric communications with your target audience by using different channels in addition to email campaigns, be it web push notifications, mobile push notifications, SMS text messages and instant messages through Viber or other messengers.
Multichannel and omnichannel definitions are sometimes confused with each other. However, despite their similarities, the two strategies are quite different. Indeed, just like omnichanneling, multichannel marketing uses a variety of channels for marketing purposes. However, the primary goal of multichannel marketing is to offer consumers a choice, not a consistent cross-channel shopping experience.
So, what exactly is omni-channel marketing?
Omni-channel marketing is grounded in a somewhat deeper concept. It doesn’t simply imply using all the communication channels available. Omnichannel marketing strategy involves integrating the channels so that each channel becomes a part of a single, wholesome omni-channel shopping experience.
Benefits of omnichannel marketing
Makes everything more convenient for your subscribers. To make your omni-channel campaigns work, you need to build an integrated communication system that would allow you to communicate with customers across different channels and devices, at each stage of the customer journey. In this way, your customers will always receive new information from you in a way that is most convenient for them.
Allows you to always keep in touch with a customer. If a customer has specified their email address and phone number when subscribing, this means you can reach out to them using emails, SMS messages, and messengers. Most likely, they’ll read these messages either from their desktop during office hours or from their smartphone on their way home, in the evening or during the weekend. Thanks to the omnichannel approach, your promotions and other messages definitely won’t go unnoticed.
Minimizes the risk of losing subscribers. If a customer suddenly stops being active on one of their channels, this still won’t mean that you’ve lost them forever. Even if a person changes their phone number, you’ll still have their email address and push registration token. If a person changes their email address, you can still use their phone number to reach out to them.
Allows for hyper-personalization. An omnichannel marketing approach implies tracking and collecting all of the customer’s interactions with your brand, in a single system and in real time. This will allow you to personalize all your messages no matter what the channel is, increasing the customer’s brand loyalty as a result.
Allows for deeper segmentation. By analyzing behavioral factors and using the obtained data, you’ll be able to properly segment your customer database and come up with different interaction strategies for each segment.
Increases the brand’s reach. Omni-channel marketing allows you to reach out to anyone who actively uses at least one of the marketing channels with relevant messages, which helps you drive sales and revenue as a result.
Offers unlimited automation possibilities. You can automate your main marketing tasks by using all the data you have on a customer in your marketing automation system. This approach is just as convenient for your customers, as they can engage with your brand through different channels and eventually pick the ones they prefer the most.
Helps identify the stages of the customer life cycle. By collecting and analyzing data on all the customer’s interactions, you can get a clear view of their preferences, come up with relevant offers, and send them through.
How omnichannel marketing works
Just as we’ve mentioned above, to some people omnichannel marketing might seem to be another definition of multichannel. However, the two definitely aren’t synonyms. Omni-channel marketing campaigns rely on deeper integrations, combined channel usage, and building the communication with the audience based on their previous actions and purchases. An omni-digital marketing strategy is more difficult to implement, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Collecting more data
To make your omni-channel marketing strategy work, you need to identify your subscribers properly. This will allow you to find out who is the person who took certain actions and what is their entire customer journey. Take for example:
A user sees your company’s Facebook page and likes it.
Next, they proceed to your website and are offered to allow web push notifications.
They click ‘Allow’ and receive a series of welcome web push notifications.
The next time the user visits your Facebook page, they see an email newsletter subscription form and subscribe to receive emails from you.
In the first email, they see a link to your mobile app and install it.
In this way, you get the user’s social media profile, their email address, and their web push subscription token. You also know what devices they use to visit your company’s website.
You can also collect some additional data by adding a few more fields in the subscription form. However, this might make the form look too complicated to the potential subscribers and drive them away. That’s why it would be better to send your subscribers an email offering to complement their account on your website with some additional data, such as a phone number.
Web tracking: combining the data on a user’s activities
A user’s contact data is usually not enough to make an omni-channel approach as effective as it can be. You also need detailed data about each user’s interactions with your organization. For that purpose, you can employ web tracking.
When you build omni-channel communications using the information you have about the prior user’s activities in emails, on a website, offline, and on other contact points, you get an opportunity to increase average order value and boost your company’s total revenue by considering your customers’ preferences and delivering them the most relevant content adapted to fit their needs.
The eSputnik system monitors the subscribers’ behavior in the messages sent by the system, and captures the external data through API integration.
Thanks to profile unification, eSputnik allows you to massively (2 times and more) increase the number of identified sessions on your company’s website. The subscriber’s ID is coded and sent in the URL they click through. As soon as a user visits your website by clicking a link in your email, the data about the actions they take on the website and the device they’re using (be it a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop) is recorded with the help of cookies. Matching this data allows you to identify more website visitors and reach out to them with relevant offers. In addition, if you use profile unification in combination with the User ID feature, you can make your omnichannel marketing system even more advanced.
Launching omnichannel campaigns
Let’s say a subscriber comes to your website from an email, views a certain product but doesn’t buy it. In this case, you can launch a series of triggered messages offering a discount code or an installment payment plan for that product.
mobile push notifications
browser push notifications
Viber or other messengers
Here’s how you can build an omnichannel browse abandonment workflow.
First, you need to have web tracking enabled — this will allow you to collect real-time data about what visitors do on your website. You can send a browser push notification immediately after the browse abandonment event was registered in the system. Most likely, at that time your potential customer will be checking the prices and products on your competitors’ sites — that’s when they’ll see your notification. In 20 minutes, you can check whether they’ve read your notification and send a mobile push notification to the users who haven’t. If both of your notifications went unread, you can try sending the potential customer an email within the next 3 hours. The following day, you can check whether your email was read or not and send a Viber reminder that a discount code on a product is about to expire.
Examples of integrated omni-channel marketing
Triggered email workflows may be simpler, yet no less effective. Here are some good examples of omnichannel marketing in online retail.
Use case: Sending promotional offers via email, Viber, and SMS
Emails are not the only way to inform your customers about your promo offer. Take a look at the case study below.
A company selling automotive products used multiple channels: Viber, SMS, and email, to inform the subscribers about their offers and products.
Here are the examples of a behavior-based promotional offer shared via each of the channels.
An interesting thing to note here is that there wasn’t any competition among the marketing channels. Those сustomers who’ve provided their email addresses got an email, opt-in Viber users got Viber messages, and the ones who don’t use Viber or haven’t provided their email address, received an SMS message. This way, a company managed to inform all the contacts obtained using different acquisition channels. This is a great example of how behavior-based omnichannel marketing helps increase revenue along with the number of transactions.
Use case: email campaigns and service notifications
At eSputnik, we also use omnichannel to communicate with our clients. For instance, we need to inform the clients that the old version of the eSputnik email editor soon will no longer be supported. When a client starts creating an email template using an old version of the eSputnik editor, they see a pop-up message offering them to try our new responsive editor and check out its benefits.
Still, this doesn’t mean that all clients have ceased to use the old email editor. That’s why, if the user hasn’t switched to new editor within a week after seeing the pop-up message, the eSputnik team sends an email to all the system’s users informing them about the date when the non-responsive template editor becomes completely obsolete.
The pop-up message appears again the next time the client uses the old editor. If the client does nothing, they will receive another email reminder.
After that, the system keeps tracking the client’s activities within the interface. If the client doesn’t cease to use the deprecated editor within a specific period of time, the sales manager will call them directly via the phone to help switch to the responsive editor.
Final word: How to adopt omnichannel marketing in your business
In order to develop a successful omnichannel strategy, companies can use different channels: email, SMS, Viber and other messengers, browser and mobile push notifications. The list can go on and on. There are no strict rules on what tools a business should use and how to use them: it depends on your business model and the audience you need to communicate with.
However, the key here is to be creative and take an integrated approach to customer communications. These days, people can interact with brands using a variety of channels, such as email, phone, website, social media, instant messengers and apps, on their desktop and mobile devices. Yet in reality, a person uses only a few of these channels to communicate with a brand — the ones they find the most convenient. Therefore, companies should include more and more channels in their marketing strategy in order to reach out to more customers. All these channels should be integrated using an omnichannel platform, such as eSputnik.
Customer data platforms enable you to collect data about your users, their behavior, their purchase history, and the touchpoints that they interact with. You’ll be able to use this data to improve the customers’ experience by sending relevant, personalized offers to each customer segment, and ideally, to each customer, if possible.
The omni-channel digital marketing strategy involves establishing close connections across all the marketing channels and building the detailed customer profile basing on their previous interactions with your company.