No matter the channel, successfully converting prospects to customers directly correlates to recency and frequency. While optimizing the lifetime value of every customer is key to success in business, starting with the time they sign up, the truth is that minute one is when they actually deliver the highest return on investment.
Sometime in 2012, Google is going to surrender its position as “the” place for search on the internet. I'm quite serious. What will replace it? Chatter marketing engines will. They're going to be the leading source of online customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value sometime over the next year-and-a-half.
Can your website hold an intelligent conversation with consumers each time they return to visit? Can it analyze their behavior individually and respond with appropriate navigation? Can its follow-up emails best meet their needs and objectives, and in a time frame short enough to keep their attention?
Customer relationship management (CRM), especially the relationship piece, is in a serious state of flux. Marketers can no longer do the same old thing because new technologies are throwing up roadblocks to the relationship. Daily-deal sites like Groupon offer consumers shortcuts and pricing advantages that bypass marketers completely. Consumers make purchases on auction sites based on product reviews, keeping shoppers away from your website and eroding the relationship even further.
At some time or another, most Internet users — especially those who make purchases online — ask themselves just how much of their personal information is “out there.” Are we coming dangerously close to living with a Big Brother who knows everything about us? It’s a valid concern, but as marketers are aware, the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them. Be the Big Brother, not who spies on them, but who looks out for their best interests. Web site re-engagement, sending e-mails to opt-in customers who visit your site but leave without making a purchase, is one example of a helpful approach to being a Big Brother.
The biggest online challenge for multichannel marketers is the ability to acquire large numbers of new customers and prospects quickly without jeopardizing e-mail deliverability and/or reputation scores. Traditional methods used to acquire new online customers and prospects — such as banner advertising, co-registration, list appends and even search marketing — all fall short when pushed beyond the inherent limitations of best practices.