Consumers today are being inundated with multichannel marketing schemes from all sides. And with the rise of digital marketing, they are being drowned with more noise than ever. As a result, once efficient marketing channels are becoming less effective, forcing marketers to get more creative in their approach to reach consumers.
Luckily, companies don’t need to reinvent the wheel to do so. Rather, they can easily leverage older, analog marketing strategies, such as handwritten notes, to integrate with their existing omnichannel marketing campaigns and boost effectiveness. Here’s how —
Coordinate the Interplay Between Handwritten Notes and Digital Touchpoints
While today we can reach consumers in any number of ways, email still remains the preferred method of communication with brands — and by far. Nevertheless, nearly one-third of marketers believe their email marketing efforts are average.
In our experience, we have found that complimenting traditional email marketing campaigns with handwritten notes can significantly boost overall campaign effectiveness. In fact, our case study with MongoDB shows how customers who received handwritten notes were three times more likely to open marketing emails from the company and 10 times more likely to forward them.
As synergy plays an important part in multi-touch campaigns, it’s critical to coordinate what you say in your handwritten notes and your email communications, as well as when you send each.
For instance, a retailer trying to drive more in-store traffic could do email outreach to CRM contacts geographically located near its retail outlets, telling them that they will receive a note in the mail with a special surprise. A follow-up personalized handwritten note from the local store manager could then be sent with a promo code for the customer to redeem in-store. If it’s used for a purchase, the retailer could then send a final email or text message asking the customer to share a picture of what they bought on Instagram.
In this example, each communication reinforces the other, and the interplay between analog and digital makes the outreach seem all the more human, thoughtful, coordinated and engaging. This is particularly important considering that 75 percent of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage — on the desktop, mobile or in person.
Leverage Brand Influencers or Thought Leaders to Make a Personal Statement
Over recent years, influencer campaigns have emerged as powerful weapons in marketers’ arsenals due to influencers’ exceptional ability to cultivate loyal and passionate audiences that listen. In fact, influencer marketing has been found to be the fastest growing online customer acquisition method, which explains why marketers are expected to spend up to up to $10 billion on it by 2022.
Currently, one of the most common ways that brands engage with influencers is by getting them to mention the brand’s products online or appear in the brand’s marketing communications. However, while already effective, these kinds of broad-stroke influencer marketing campaigns could be improved even further by using handwritten notes to reach consumers on a much more personal level.
A personalized handwritten letter from an influencer to individual customers generates the most visceral impact you can imagine. The University of Florida realized this when they partnered with us at Bond to send personalized, handwritten notes to hundreds of Gator fans from the football program’s revered head coach in order to boost football ticket sales. The response was undeniable as the campaign generated a 15 percent conversion rate and an 80 times return on investment.
As this example demonstrates, handwritten notes can be sent by both influencers and thought leaders to increase engagement with customers. At the end of the day, people want to feel special, and a handwritten note from someone they look up to is an ideal way to make that happen. In University of Florida’s case, the move resulted in overwhelmingly positive responses from fans who expressed their appreciation not just with their words, but with their wallets, too.
Build Loyalty by Thanking Your Customers
All too often, companies’ interactions with consumers are centered around “the ask.” And the ask, even if it’s cloaked in the veil of a flash sale invite, coupon or new product offering, usually boils down to the company trying to get the consumer to buy something. However, if all of the interactions between a company and a customer revolve around the transaction, how strong can that relationship actually be?
Brands today need to cultivate meaningful relationships with their customers by deeply personalizing their communications, or risk watching them walk away. In fact, a Salesforce report found that over half of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to do just that. Fortunately, handwritten thank you notes have been shown to be a particularly effective way to boost customer loyalty. Wufoo, for example, has made a habit of sending thank you notes to its customers, noting a 50 percent higher customer retention rate as a result.
But in addition to building customer loyalty, handwritten thank you notes have also shown the ability to get customers to engage more with a brand. And in some cases, thank you notes have even prompted customers to become unofficial brand ambassadors who share the notes on their social media accounts.
This type of personalized communication ultimately shows customers that they matter as people, and not just as a source of income. Companies need to acknowledge and thank their customers as individuals for their patronage, knowing that they could have given their business anywhere. And handwritten notes are a great way to express this type of sincere gratitude.
While most of the conversation about personalizing customer experiences these days revolves around artificial intelligence and other digitally-driven efforts, handwritten notes are more than worth their weight in gold. As such, marketers looking to boost the effectiveness of their omnichannel marketing campaigns would be wise to use methods both new and old to engage customers better than ever.