We have seen a layering of new digital channels on top of existing digital channels to create a rich tapestry of ways to connect with customers. At the same time, we are witnessing the evolution of traditional channels like direct mail to be more 1-1, on-demand and experiential by becoming more tightly integrated into our CRM, email marketing and marketing automation platforms.
Direct mail is being reinvented before our eyes—as a seamlessly integrated layer of the digital experience. As brands look to create remarkable customer journeys, experiential direct mail is proving to be a trending topic amidst marketers making plans for 2016.
So, here is how you might start to think about the customer experience and apply it to your business.
The Experience Today
Let’s say you are in the market for a new sofa. You shop online, poring over colors and styles. You narrow it down to four options, but to pull the trigger you ask your husband. He nixes the white one—white?—and is unenthusiastic about the baby blue option. Dark leather will be best, he says: low maintenance and durable. Plus how do the other fabrics feel?
Exasperated, you give up hope and abandon the search. Maybe the old couch is fine. You move on and don’t think about it again—until the furniture store you visited online sends you a catalog. Reignited, you may visit the website again with new determination. You may or may not buy.
The Next Generation of Customer Engagement
Let’s revisit the above example. The catalog is a great touch, but what if instead, the furniture store was to send you a package …
Inside you find a beautifully curated brochure, fabric swatches, and a personalized offer. Delighted, you open the brochure and magically each of your top four choices is laid out in a spread, showing new angles that you hadn’t seen before. It’s like it was printed just for you. (Because it was.)
The fabric swatches correspond to your top styles, so you can imagine exactly how the blue option will work with your rug. Your husband can experience the texture for himself. And the personalized offer is just the push you need to make the purchase.
Shortly after, you receive a thank you email inviting you to share your feedback.
Now that’s instant gratification – and a tangible token of customer engagement.
Print Is Now a Layer of the Digital Experience
With the advancements in marketing technology, we can now create fully integrated and connected experiences between digital and print.
The best part? Seeing our customers get excited and take advantage of this strategy. “Through the extensibility of our platform, our partner PFL is helping brands integrate tactile marketing using the same data, content and workflow into the customer journey alongside email, web, mobile and any digital channel,” says Eric Stahl, SVP of Product Marketing at Salesforce.
For industries as diverse as Financial Services, Non Profit, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketing, the possibilities that come from implementing experiential direct mail are endless.
Check out the video to see how direct mail integrates seamlessly with digital to create next level customer engagement.
What does great customer engagement mean to you? Tell us how you’re planning to up your customer engagement game in 2016!