Email & SMS

How to Integrate Email Across Digital Channels

By Tinuiti Team

If your email program is operating in a silo, now is the time to better integrate marketing efforts across channels. Digital marketing channels—like paid search, social, and SEO—can play an important role in nurturing a new or existing email program.

Coordinating efforts across the digital landscape can amplify the results from your accomplishments launching and growing an email marketing program; these channels can help drive list growth, increase conversions, inform testing, optimize the customer journey, and more.

Increase on and off-site traffic to grow your list

The biggest gains in any email program come from increasing the size of your subscriber list. But as you scale your audience it’s important to maintain a focus on quality over quantity. Purchasing email lists or running high-value sweepstakes can result in very low intent leads, diminishing the health of your program. Instead, we recommend implementing an email capture overlay (aka a pop-up) to gather email addresses from all the leads you’re driving to your site from SEM, SEO, social, shopping, and display efforts.

Site visitors have already expressed an interest in your brand or product, and are more likely to eventually purchase. Tinuiti typically sees sign-up rates from 5-8%, but those rates can go even higher with testing of trigger rules and incentives, or based on the quality of leads you’re driving to your site.

Also, don’t forget about Facebook Lead Ads or the new Google ad extension to capture lead data. Both allow email to be captured off-site, meaning the user doesn’t have to interrupt their browsing behavior in order to opt in to stay in touch. These options offer an additional source to garner email sign-ups that you can later cross-sell, upsell, and target on other channels. Sending new contacts an immediate welcome email can drive them to the site to shop immediately, and welcome messages are often among the highest converting email triggers.

Collect more data for better targeting

Email service providers contain a wealth of information you can use across digital channels to maximize personalization and ROI. Utilizing segmentation capabilities within your ESP, you can easily generate audiences for targeting with emails, or export those lists for targeting across the digital landscape. Here’s a few ideas to try with your audience.

Targeting Non-Purchasers: Is someone opening your emails, but not purchasing? Maybe they need a search or social ad to push them toward that first conversion. 

Nudging Recent Browsers: Maybe you have an enticing discount you want to push out across channels, but only to those contacts who have browsed or abandoned a cart recently. 

Giving the VIP Treatment: Use this tactic to reward your best customers; try sending additional campaigns or special offers to your VIPs. 

Re-Activating Lapsed Contacts: Many email programs will have a portion of their list that becomes unengaged, and it’s important to attempt to awaken these contacts, as poor engagement can hurt your deliverability and overall health of the program. If contacts fail to respond to your email re-engagement series, take that list and target it on other channels to try and win your lapsed customers back. If they convert, you will know that email address isn’t abandoned; they just prefer interacting with your brand somewhere else.

With all the click, engagement, and conversion data tracked in your average email marketing program, there is an endless multitude of opportunities for retargeting or creating lookalike audiences for prospecting on other channels.

Optimize the customer journey

It’s 2020; users don’t interact with your brand in a single place, but few brands take time to look at the customer journey across channels. 

Email is a great way to reinforce messaging from other channel ads. Running an ad on social or  search? Serve those leads a specific overlay when they land on the site, mirroring the promotion they saw while browsing (usually by using UTM exclusion and inclusion parameters on the URL). Follow up with an email reminding them to use their promotion before the offer expires. This beats having 2-3 different coupons competing with each other across the web.

SMS is another great way to optimize the customer journey. Users don’t always look at emails right away, so a perfect way to integrate SMS into your journey is by sending time-sensitive material (like your biggest sale of the year or a soon to expire offer) via SMS first, then following up in email, especially to those that didn’t convert. Or, integrate SMS into your cart abandon or welcome series flows to drive urgency.

Gain further insights into channel performance

You’re spending a lot of money to generate leads across channels, but are you looking beyond the initial purchase to determine long-term the success of various lead sources? Your email database is a great tool to monitor LTV by lead source over time. If you see social leads with a higher LTV than search leads, you may want to readjust spending. Email data can tell you which sources have higher repeat purchase rates, stronger revenue per contact, and lower attrition, giving you even more data to inform your future ad spend.

Share testing strategy

Don’t forget to share your testing insights across channels. While the same test may perform differently depending on where you run it, leaning on results from other channels yield some quick wins right out the gate.

Utilize high performing copy and imagery: Top performing creative elements from an email hero might boost performance in an ad. High and low-performing products in ads can help inform layout and merchandising in longer emails, allowing you to position your most compelling products or categories at the top to maximize clicks. 

Implement CRO tactics to maximize conversions for pages linking to emails: Results from CRO tests can also inform email design. Do you find that UVP icons perform well on landing pages? Consider including them in your welcome email or winback series to push that purchase along.

Drive email traffic to high performing pages: Your SEO or CRO channel leads can help you to identify the landing pages that convert best. Prioritize these pages for link testing within email to drive subscribers to the pages most likely to compel a purchase. 

No channel left behind

Consumers are increasingly looking for a better ecommerce experience. Brands that fail to integrate their channels will be left behind. Any strong email program will be driven and informed by other channels and vice versa. If you decrease spend in one channel, you may see your email acquisition and overall program shift. But by working together you can drive even more sales and make magic happen.

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