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Customers today expect personalized service on every channel where they connect with businesses. To provide this, businesses need a centralized data hub that helps every team understand the customer journey across channels.
This is what an omnichannel communication strategy provides—and email is a crucial component.
Email allows you to send personalized communication straight to customers’ inboxes, enhancing your omnichannel approach. So how do you make the most of this channel?
This post will go over how to use email marketing as part of your omnichannel strategy. But first, let’s discuss what omnichannel means and why it matters.
Omnichannel customer engagement means that every channel you use to communicate with customers is connected, with data flowing back and forth, so you can provide a consistent experience.
While often used interchangeably with multichannel, the term omnichannel doesn’t mean the same thing. A multichannel approach uses various channels to connect with customers, but these are not connected. This means employees can’t easily access customer data or the context of previous interactions to provide a personalized experience—like they can with an omnichannel approach.
With an omnichannel communication strategy, businesses can seamlessly connect with customers across channels including:
Most importantly, these channels integrate with the business’ customer relationship management software (CRM) and/or customer data platform (CDP). This allows agents, marketers, and other employees to access real-time data and switch between channels without losing context, enabling a seamless customer experience.
Omnichannel communication breaks down data silos between different teams and channels, giving employees easy access to real-time customer data to provide a personalized experience every time.
Personalization is key because it directly ties to return on investment. In Twilio Segment’s State of Personalization Report, 49% of consumers said they’re likely to become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. Plus, 1 in 3 consumers said they’ll shop again with a brand that provides a good experience, even when there are cheaper and more convenient options available.
On the other hand, 62% of consumers say a brand will lose their loyalty if it provides an impersonalized experience. So a lack of personalization could ultimately hurt a business’ bottom line.
Want to learn more about the importance of an omnichannel communication strategy and how to achieve it? Download The Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel.
Email continues to be one of customers’ preferred communication channels. In fact, in our 2022 Global Messaging Engagement Report, 18% of respondents listed email in their top 3 channels, and 77% said they refresh their inboxes at least once a day, if not more.
Additionally, email is a permission-based channel, meaning customers need to opt in to receive your communications. So when you send an email, you know you’re targeting qualified leads because they’ve already expressed interest in your brand by subscribing to your email list.
Let’s look at how you can leverage these benefits of email marketing to create omnichannel customer engagement.
Email and data have a symbiotic relationship—each benefiting the other.
To begin with, email is a great way to gather first-party data. For example, when a user signs up for your email list, you can ask for a few personal details to start building their profile. And once they subscribe, you can invite them to complete their user profile or update their email preferences, giving you more data.
Then, you can put this data (and other customer data you gather across channels) to good use by personalizing emails. For example, you can tailor the email content based on products the customer viewed on your website, their location, demographic data, and more.
So how do you make the most of this relationship between email and data? A great start is to integrate your email service provider with a CDP, like Segment, to facilitate the flow of data and allow team members to easily access customer profiles to create highly personalized email campaigns.
Having customer data from all your channels in a centralized place makes it easier to send automated emails triggered by customers’ actions on other channels. These automated emails can help boost customer engagement and drive sales. For example:
If you’ve recently added new communication channels to your omnichannel strategy, customers might not be aware of them. So take advantage of the prevalence of email to invite subscribers to connect with you in new ways with the following strategies:
Wonder what omnichannel customer engagement looks like in practice? Let’s look at an example of my recent journey with Domino’s.
First, I placed an order on the business’ website, entering my email address and phone number when I checked out. Next, the company sent me an email with my order details, including a link to track the progress of my order in real time on its website.
Then, when the delivery driver was close to my building, they called me to let me know they would be there soon. Finally, a few days after my order, the business sent me a marketing email with a coupon for my next order. (Bonus: the email included an engaging GIF.)
Across all these touchpoints (web, phone, and email), Domino’s maintained the context of my interactions, making the experience seamless for me as a customer. Plus, the company leveraged email marketing to encourage me to make another purchase, nudging me toward the retention phase of the customer journey.
Creating an omnichannel communication strategy requires a few tools working together seamlessly, so employees can personalize every interaction. Twilio has you covered with all the tools you need, including:
Ready to provide omnichannel customer engagement? Learn more about how to use these tools together in The Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel. Then, try SendGrid for free to start sending personalized emails.