The evolution of digital devices and channels is rapidly changing the media landscape. With a deluge of new options available to them, advertisers are racing to find the best way to reach consumers across unexplored content channels and new means of communicating.
As these channels become saturated with countless competitors, marketers might find that already established means of communication deliver the most impactful strategies. What’s old is made new again, thanks to technology now providing more nuanced insight into customer behavior. For marketers looking to try something “new,” SMS, direct mail, and triggered email may have the appeal they’re seeking. Taking a smarter approach to these existing marketing methods has the advantage of being both innovative and tried and true.
Email marketing is a tried and true tactic that is used by brands large and small. With the addition of user-specific data, such as on-site activity and purchase history, brands can engage with their email audience on an experiential level. Through personalized messages, retailers can send promotional offers on the customer’s birthday, or a periodic reminder when it’s time to reorder a frequently-purchased product—disposable razors, for example. Personalized emails can also provide data-driven product recommendations: retailers can target customers who recently purchased sunglasses with an email offering sunscreen, a beach towel, and flip-flops.
User data can also predict an individual’s intent to leave a site, which marketers can pre-emptively respond to with a triggered email. This method reminds the shopper of items left in their cart and offers an incentive to complete the purchase. Email marketing that proactively engages with each customer’s habits and needs has the potential to boost conversion and establish brand loyalty.
An extension of email marketing, SMS messages can establish closer contact with the customer than an email might. Since the average digital shopper carries their mobile device wherever they go, retailers are able to reach their customer base in an instant. One challenge in implementing this tactic might be that SMS marketing is a strictly opt-in process: it requires the customer to share their personal contact information. However, the decision to do so is a positive indication of the customer’s trust and connection with the brand. Retailers can build upon this connection by sending texts with weekly in-store specials or reminders to use loyalty points.
Catalogs and flyers may seem outdated to a digital marketing operation that targets users in real-time. Even so, direct mail has not lost its value and is immune to spam filters, ad blocking, and banner blindness. Many retailers send physical catalogs to customers who make online purchases, but brands can elevate their efforts by delivering personalized content, often as simple as a postcard or flyer.
For many brands, this tactic will extend their digital efforts as well as their one-to-many TV messaging. Every glance at a catalog or postcard is an impression—when a brand can personalize that impression based on customer-specific data, it makes an even larger impact.
As marketers continue to compete for the most innovative ways to capture consumers’ attention, we often forget some of the most obvious avenues. Every consumer checks their email, their texts, and their mailbox. By taking new data-driven approaches to some of the most basic forms of marketing, brands can elevate their messaging and outperform their competition.