Direct Mail Marketing

Offline and Online Marketing Channels for Integrated Customer Journey

March 24, 2020
Autor
Inkit Team

Around 40% of marketers claim that offline marketing strategies are important to their overall marketing efforts. At the same time, nearly 78% of responders opt for online promotions and focus on digital channels. These numbers don’t mean that the two approaches are mutually exclusive. Actually, your offline customer journey can significantly benefit from digital marketing and vice versa – online marketing strategies are strengthened with traditional offline channels.

By integrating print and digital advertising, you can achieve better results at each stage of the customer journey. For example, you may show targeted ads to the people who receive your catalogs. Greet your online loyalty program members with birthday postcards to nurture the existing leads. Or combine offline and online marketing channels in any other way effective for your marketing campaign. The combination of traditional and digital approaches is particularly critical for financial services, healthcare, insurance, luxury goods, and other fields where customers expect the ultimate quality of marketing communications.

loyalty customers

Keep reading for best practices on how to connect offline and online marketing channels in the integrated customer journey. In today’s article, we will talk about:

  • What offline and online marketing channels you should focus on
  • How to create an integrated customer journey with combined offline and online strategies
  • Example of integrating print and digital advertising in a customer journey
  • Why financial companies should use both online and offline marketing channels and how they do this

What Offline and Online Marketing Channels You Should Focus on

Based on the recent findings, 52% of marketers use 3-4 marketing channels. Since the significance of the cross-channel approach increases, this number is likely to continue growing.

In most cases, businesses adopt cross-channel marketing strategies to stay in line with their competitors and marketing trends. The second valid reason is financial benefits from the combination of offline and online marketing channels in a single strategy.

Additional touchpoints help to ensure smoother customer experience and make people more likely to convert. And the higher efficiency your marketing efforts have, the higher return on investment you get.

Now, let’s clarify what offline and online marketing channels are the most widely used by leading marketers and why. Speaking of online marketing strategies, the largest shares of the  marketing budget are usually allocated for:

  • Social media marketing (16%)
  • Email marketing (14%)
  • Advertising (14%)

Web marketing, search engine optimization, mobile promotions, and videos are the other common areas of digital marketing expenditures.

To some extent, the above statistics prove an obvious thing. You should take care of the online presence of your business. Social media profiles and email notifications are essential for your company to stay competitive and increase brand awareness.

But what to do if online marketing strategies don’t yield the expected results? Well, it’s high time to take a look at the integrated approach combining digital marketing with offline marketing efforts. Print marketing, electronic billboards, business cards, and other offline means can increase traffic to your online resources and help in the cases when digital channels are not enough.

When it comes to offline marketing, most businesses invest in:

  • Direct mail
  • Public relations
  • Trade shows and events
  • Radio/television advertising

Print marketing and snail mail seem to be the ever efficient marketing trend. Besides, with advanced direct mail automation capabilities, integrating print and digital advertising to build an effective customer journey is much easier. Automation tools like Inkit integrate with numerous CRMs, marketing platforms, and third-party tools that help to unite and closely monitor the connected channels.

Ready to captivate your customers?

Let us show you how automating direct mail can increase your offline conversions.
Schedule a Demo

5 Steps to Create an Integrated Customer Journey with Combined Offline and Online Strategies

Every case is unique. Nevertheless, we have developed a 5-stage action plan that should help you incorporate multiple channels in your offline customer journey:

  1. Estimate your budget and the effectiveness of the currently used channels. Clearly identify your expenditures and budget limitations, and you will get a better understanding of your limits and capabilities. It’s always better to calculate your marketing budget before initiating any changes in your processes and campaigns. Additionally, you also need to evaluate your ongoing marketing expenses and decide whether their net result is worth the investment.

2. Map your current customer journey to understand where people interact or would like to interact with you. Even if you don’t have a clear understanding of your offline customer journey, it exists. People come to your store, check print marketing, or read your catalogs (if you have any). At this point, your task is to connect the dots and find out how your customers convert and churn. After you detect any obstacles on their path, look for the ways to remove them.

3. Analyze offline and online marketing channels and think about the ways to connect them. Note that you don’t need to start working in all of the directions. Just pick several offline and online marketing channels that are the most suitable for your business. For example, if a blog nudges potential customers into buying your product after they heard about it on TV, think about incorporating blogging into your customer journey.

(Source: Primary Intelligence)

4. Use marketing automation software to implement a smooth customer journey. You won’t be able to smoothly connect offline and online marketing channels without martech tools. Select a marketing platform that supports multiple integrations and analytics to later connect it with the necessary add-ons.

5. Test the effectiveness of the newly developed integrated customer journey. Test the connected channels, evaluate the results, and make your final choice. If one of the channels doesn’t work as expected, modify the strategy to tailor your offline customer journey.

Remember that an online and offline customer journey isn’t something static. The target audience constantly changes its behavior across all channels depending on the global or locals trends and other factors. Your task is to keep an eye on them and never stop perfecting their customer experience.

Example of Integrating Print and Digital Advertising in a Customer Journey

Mail automation and its role in cross-channel marketing campaigns may confuse traditional marketers. Many think that integrating print and digital advertising is extremely complex (if not impossible). If you are one of them, sorry for the truth, but you are mistaken.

To start integrating print and digital advertising, you just need to connect your marketing platform with a mail automation tool like Inkit. Supporting hundreds of integratons, Inkit allows you to bridge online marketing with offline mail in a bunch of ways.

For example, you can match the IP addresses of your customers with their mailing details. As a result, after Inkit sends a mail piece offering a specific product or service, customers will see the same offer online. Display ads are known to be effective at every stage of the customer journey, from building awareness to loyalty programs. Just make sure to inform people about the potential uses of their personal information and get their approval. This will help you comply with the laws regarding direct mail marketing and market more responsibly.

Why Financial Companies Should Use Both Offline and Online Marketing Channels and How They Can Do This

As we have already mentioned, the balanced combination of offline and online marketing channels is particularly important in finances. Traditional offline approaches ensure more personalized contact and help to build trust between customers and financial institutions.

That’s why financial services use direct mail much more frequently than other industries. 89% of insurance companies and 68% of banks regularly connect with their customers through direct mail. It can help both with sending regular communications, such as bank notices or adverse action letters, and financial services marketing.

When financial institutions use direct mail for official communications, they usually combine it with email notifications. Emails regularly update customers on the changes within their accounts, whereas mail is used for sending critical messages. Mail communications are highly personalized and prove that important notifications were delivered. Besides, if you use mail automation, you obtain an additional record of every mail piece shipped. For example, Inkit allows you to track all mailing campaigns with exact timing and the delivery progress.

insurance mailer

Concerning the marketing uses of mail in finances, there are many other ways of integrating print and digital advertising. Apart from direct mail, financial marketers launch content, SEO, and social media marketing strategies with the following results:

  • 77% of financial marketers implement SMM marketing strategies, 62% – digital display advertising, and 53% – video content marketing.
  • 80% of banks use Facebook to monitor customer comments and 79% respond to them
  • Facebook (84%), Twitter (63%), and YouTube (54%) are the three most popular social media channels used by financial institutions
  • Finance email marketing has an average 32.6% open rate and a 3.1% CTR
  • Blogging helps financial advisors increase lead generation by 67%
  • 47% of website budgets are allocated for SEO

As you can see, when integrating print and digital advertising, financial marketers use different combinations of online channels. Some of them decide to power mail pieces with blogging, others fully focus on web marketing.

We hope that our action plan on building the integrated customer journey with multiple channels will help you find the right approach.

Want to start integrating print and digital advertising in your marketing campaign? Check Inkit’s demo to test how everything works.

Ready to captivate your customers?

Let us show you how automating direct mail can increase your offline conversions.
Schedule a Demo