Depending on the experience, maturity of processes and integrated marketing activities, ever more businesses are looking at how e-mail marketing fits in the cross-channel communication and marketing mix. Often, this exercise starts with building a single view on the customers, by connecting analytics, databases and the e-mail marketing software.

Customers (and prospects) get profiled and segmented in order to be able to engage in more personalized and relevant cross-channel interactions, driven by customer data, behavioural profiling, buying journey and typology.

Profiling, segmentation and targeting are well-known recipes for conversion success in e-mail marketing and cross-channel scenario-driven marketing. However, they go beyond that.

Segmentation and scenario-driven conversion optimization

Segmentation is also an important task to improve marketing efficiency after the click. Grouping e-mail subscribers and visitors into scenario-oriented segments is often done when launching online activities to define conversion optimization processes (defining personas is in a way pre-activity segmentation).

Many businesses only start doing it when they already are active in e-mail marketing and want to take their activities further by optimizing their content and landing pages.

The more you know about the buying behaviour, needs and information sources of your customers and prospects, the more landing pages - that are adapted to individual needs and buying journeys - you can build to improve conversion and serve the proper context and content for every scenario.

Doing all these exercises to improve the efficiency of cross-channel and integrated e-mail marketing and conversion optimization activities, is not enough for businesses that wish to build real cross-channel marketing interactions and start with lead management processes, often the next step in a more efficient marketing that brings sales even more into the equation.

The limits of e-mail marketing software

Lead management and the whole process of lead nurturing, in a way looks like building an integrated interactive marketing strategy, using several channels, with e-mail often being the predominant one. This way, for instance:

  • Content plays an important role in the lead nurturing steps.
  • Profiling is key to define lead scoring, together with sales.
  • Pre-defined scenarios are important to move from a contact to a sales-ready lead.

Traditional e-mail marketing software does not offer the necessary possibilities to do this:

  • There often is a lack of integration possibilities and scenario-driven features.
  • The cross-channel marketing approach is absent or very limited.
  • There is no strong data and page flow technology that connects with CRM and customer databases.
  • Communication is not customer-centric but message-centric.

Lead management and profiling: the buying journey perspective

When moving beyond e-mail marketing and setting up a lead management program, profiling and targeting are at least as important as they are in e-mail and conversion marketing. But the ways you profile, segment and target are different.

You don't only look at interaction scenarios and communication behaviour but most of all you look at how your customers buy, what makes a valuable customer and what drives customers to buy from you.

Doing this is not only the first step in setting up a lead management program, it is also key in defining lead scoring and looking at e-mail marketing, conversion marketing and other marketing activities from a different angle: the buying journey instead of the communication and interaction journey. It shifts the focus from the way your business communicates and your customers interacts to the way your customers buy. And that, in the end, is what conversion, as well as lead nurturing, are all about.

Do you want to engage the multi-channel consumer?

Today's customer is cross-channel and he/she is at the centre of sales and marketing.

Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.

Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.

Download our white paper "Moving towards integrated interactive marketing".  

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