Channel Crossing: Guiding Customers to Web Sites
When direct marketing companies first invested in the World Wide Web, creative strategies and marketing budgets for online and off-line operations were segregated.
Some executives believed the new medium required different marketing strategies and personnel, while others wanted to keep staffers and budgets detached, facilitating a lucrative Web spin-off.
Today both of these rationales have been debunked. The rules of direct marketing hold fast regardless of channel.
But the fallout from these early missteps continues: Catalogers sometimes measure the success of their campaigns in silos, neglecting the influence of campaigns across sales channels.
“When people try to track traffic to the Web, they see a decrease in response to their mail pieces,” says Paul Imbierowicz, product general manager for Channelview, an application service provider-based tool from Abacus that reports campaign results across multiple channels.
“They aren’t aligning the order on the Web with the direct mail piece,” he says.
Any decline in response is anathema to catalogers, but once sales on the Web site are accounted for, the decline disappears and cost savings become apparent. Channelview provides a daily view of campaign results on a list level, matching sales on all order channels to marketing campaigns in all offer channels.
“When we do the matching we find that up to 70 percent of people ordering on a Web site were sent a catalog in the past three to four weeks,” says Imbierowicz.
Take-away tip: Don’t be afraid to drive traffic to your Web site. Take advantage of the cost savings with a solid marketing strategy that truly crosses channels.
Move Customer Service Online
When Spring Hill Nursery’s new owners resurrected it from bankruptcy, they neglected to bring toll-free, 24-hour customer service back with the venerated garden catalog.
You may not be ready for such a radical move, but you can reduce the cost of servicing your customers by driving them to the Web with order and shipment tracking, lifetime order histories and other customer service bonuses.