(Spoiler: It’s thanks to marketing automation.)
Customers don’t just ‘buy’ from companies or brands anymore. They want something much more than that. They want to be heard. They want a great experience. They want to be taken on a journey that meets and even exceeds their needs and expectations.
This is a pretty fundamental thing, and every marketer knows it. The statistics show it. Gartner reports that 70% of the B2B buying process happens before the customer even interacts with sales.
This leaves a whole lot of room to engage potential buyers and draw them to your offering.
When brands use three or more marketing channels in one campaign, they can reach a 287% increase in purchase rates. The cumulative effect of interesting, exciting experiences in an omnichannel journey is what moves people down the funnel, from prospect to buyer.
In order to work, omnichannel marketing must rely on automation. Why? Because it covers so many different channels and tactics, both online and off. By mapping and optimizing the gifting workflows within the customer journey, and integrating them with marketing automation tools, you can create a workhorse constantly operating to engage potential customers and generate leads.
The right gift, at the right time
In a digital world saturated with ads, messages, and offers, it is hard to make customers notice you, really take notice, deep enough to move them to action. It’s not just grabbing attention. It’s creating a compelling feeling, so the customer is driven to take the steps that bring them closer to purchase.
Direct mail gifting is becoming a preferred tool in the B2B marketing box for two key reasons:
- It works. The combination of online and offline experiences in a direct mail gifting campaign is proven to involve customers cognitively and emotionally, increasing engagement between 35% and 92%.
- Marketing automation now makes it completely possible and even quite easy to integrate direct mail gifting as part of the omnichannel customer journey.
The way customers feel, behave and respond to marketing campaigns will be very different, depending on their relationship with your company. That’s why it is necessary to gear the journey differently and creatively to each stage. Let’s take a quick look at how direct mail gifting can fit into the customer journey (and how marketing automation is your friend):
Potential customers are just getting to know you. Now is the moment to create great feelings and associations with your brand. Being at the top end of the funnel, you are casting a wider net, attempting to engage a larger audience, so you’ll want to be creative and eye-catching, assertive but not aggressive in your email marketing workflow. You also won’t be investing big dollars in direct mail gifts; rather, entice customers to your landing page with digital, gamified gifting experiences that are memorable but not too costly.
At this stage, the potential buyer has already interacted with your brand, and they like you so far! This is the time to bring out the bigger guns, and invest more in building a deeper connection. Direct mail gifting is an opportunity to show the potential buyer that you are invested in what they want and need. Show them with a creative gift experience that asks for their participation. Have fun with your voice. In this way, you become partners together in the brand experience. With a gifting landing page template, you can quickly and simply build an engaging, interactive direct mail campaign, and automate it with integrated tools, to help fire up the excitement that leads from consideration to purchase.
The customer is getting ready to buy, or has just closed the deal. It is much cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one (5X cheaper!), so make sure the relationship lasts. A gift that addresses the customer’s pain points, provides them with added value, or creates a participatory experience that deepens their connection to and appreciation of your company is a much better way than just sending out standard swag or a logo-embossed coffee mug. Automating the gifting process as part of the purchase or post-purchase stage can help keep the customer engaged and satisfied in the long term. And who knows? Besides staying on as your customer, they may even become an ambassador, recommending your company to family and friends.
A step in the right direction
Baby steps. The omnichannel journey is about capturing interest and engaging customers, little by little, one step at a time, more and more with each touchpoint. And it works. Add direct mail gifting to the mix, automate it with email marketing software integrations, and you can significantly uplift your omnichannel journey, without much effort at all. That’s what we call true marketing ROI.