Tag Archives: Multichannel Services

How to drive your customer relationships using mail and email

Last year I wrote about the impact of digital on mail and email.multi channel services

Whilst there maybe a genuine perception that print is on the decline the Royal Mail report found otherwise.

Print and email working in collaboration and using cross media marketing, (also referred to as multi channel marketing) works very effectively.

I am often asked for advice on how to go about adopting a multi channel marketing strategy.

Why I will not profess to being a marketing expert my knowledge of print combined with personalisation and social media gives me the objectivity to look at a marketing campaign and help define it for the customer.

I thought I would share with you a recent marketing/print campaign Digital Print Management fulfilled for one of its customers.

stay on targetThe starting point has to be what do you hope to get out of it?

By this, I mean not ‘more business’ or more customers, we all want that but what objectives do you want to get out of your campaign?

Being able to interact with your customers and prospects through multi channel marketing is necessary for companies to get their message out

Here’s an example of a cross media campaign using mail and email ?iStock_000026350319Small

Generating interest with print by using an interesting and engaging format so that when it lands on the doormat the consumer is highly likely to read and do something with it or take action.

A car dealership has a target list of 3,750 customers whom they would like to get in contact with and who haven’t visited their dealership in the last 18 months.

The key objective of marketing to these people is to motivate customers to come back to the dealership by scheduling a routine service and by offering a free oil change and a 15% discount off the standard service.

  • The dealership sends out personalised postcards with PURLs – the postcards and emails are uniquely personalised and individualised according to each customer’s past purchasing history
  • The customers receive the postcards and some do respond to the PURL – the invitation to visit the PURL is a way of inviting the customer to redeem coupons that they can then use at the dealership against a service/oil change
  • The inclusion of a PURL ensures that all the responses and updates are captured and the customer data list is updated
  • The response actions that are captured from the PURL trigger a personalised email which is sent to those respondents who didn’t respond inviting them to click onto the same PURL
  • A follow up email is then scheduled to go out to those who didn’t take up the offer in 5 days

Stacked MailThis is the customer decision stage by sending the prospects a mail piece that communicates a clear and persuasive benefit with a link to your website is more likely to encourage engagement.

When customers respond using the PURL they arrive at a personalised landing page which has their name and address details.

They are asked to confirm or update their details and then request to enter a code which is printed on the email or postcard so they can redeem their coupons.

Once the purchase is made, in this instance the redeeming of coupons an email is generated welcoming them back to the dealership; a welcome pack which is highly personalised is then sent out to them.

Whilst they are redeeming their coupons there are a whole host of other coupons that they can also redeem in exchange for more information about the condition of the car, how old it is, when was the last time they had it serviced, what time of day do they prefer to schedule a service, do they own more than one car from the same manufacturer.

Each coupon they click on encourages the customer to give more information which can later be used for future campaigns.

Where do I start?

Identify your marketing objective? In the above example it was to get in contact with former customers of the car dealership.

Do you have accurate data? In this example the dealership had a defined customer contact base of 3,750 former customers.

What technology or platform are you using? Can you manage this in-house if so how will it be managed and do you have the technology/software and resources to ensure it’s monitored through to completion.


Outsource it to a cross media specialist  who can work with you and design the campaign to meet your objectives.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

To ensure successful results there must be a planning process – who is your target audience, which media channels are right, what offer(s) and how then are the responses going to be captured and used.

Keeping the offer relevant and personalised to the customer should yield positive results.

Before managing a large campaign plan a test run with different offers, this will hi-light what works and what doesn’t, the campaign can then be upgraded to include your target audience, whatever the size.

A follow up plan is crucial to keep the momentum going and in this instance the follow up process which included an email could also include a postcard was used where people hadn’t responded in 5 days.

All actions and responses were measured when the customer clicked through to the PURLs.

The highly targeted and personalised win back stage is useful where customers have parted with information but have chosen not to redeem vouchers, sending a follow up mail piece is a useful way of staying in touch with those prospects that didn’t redeem their coupons.

How to avoid the pitfalls

  1. Be selective when it comes to the channels you intend to communicate your offer, too much and it becomes another sales blast.
  2. Whilst I’m a big advocate of personalisation, too much of ‘Hi Caroline, Caroline it’s been 18 months since, Caroline we think you might like this’ and so on then becomes a pain and is immediately off putting.
  3. Make the offer relevant and meaningful
  4. No campaign will be 100% successful first time out. Be prepared to modify, adapt and test the offer
  5. Keep any content either in print or digital relevant to the offer and to your audience

Some things to think about?

Sending paper bills or statements encourages retention and faster payment by using the white space on a paper bill or electronic statement to promote any services and offers you are promoting.

Renewal – as renewal time approaches send your customers a personalised mail piece that reminds them of the benefits they will receive as well as the future benefits they will be able to access after they have renewed with your.

Following up with an email is a great way to get them to make a decision but also makes them feel valued.

You can also find more information here 


Keep Me Posted – why multichannel works best

Making print and electronic work together offers a powerful way to deliver communications in the digital and physical world. multichannel

I’ve always believed that the customer should have the choice in whether they receive a paper or digital copy, of any type of information.

Offering the end user a multichannel service gives your customers the choice between taking up the offer of a digital or paper copy.

Imagine my surprise at a recent networking event when someone asked me if I’d heard of the Keep Me Posted campaign.

‘The what I said?’

multichannelWith twenty five years in the transactional print and mailing business I had to admit embarrassingly that I wasn’t aware of it.

The Keep Me Posted campaign is committed to changing the attitudes of UK businesses and service providers about giving the consumer the choice between choosing a paper or digital bill or statement.

You can read more about it here.

It ties in very nicely with what I regularly write about and that is giving customers the option to choose paper or digital without penalising them.

Multichannel presentation of documents does just that by giving the customer the option to receive either a digital or physical copy.

Here’s a video to show how multichannel works:

What I particularly like about the Keep Me Posted campaign is that multichannelthey are not advocating one media over the other but rather allowing the customer to choose what best suits their needs.

Happy customer = long term happy customer.

Keep Me Posted is a partnership of representatives from charities, interest groups and business who have united to stand up for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, financial institutions, utility companies, media companies and service providers.

Fewer and fewer businesses are providing no choice how the customer receives their bills and statements with many forcing customers to accept an electronic document.

I recently bought a 4G MIFI so I can access the internet anytime anywhere.

My first bill was in paper format and the accompanying letter told how to register online to access my bill.

The process was not an easy one and as I am very familiar with the providers website it is not easy to navigate even for someone like me who spends eight +  hours in front of a PC.

Imagine an elderly person or someone not too familiar with online registration, navigating the same site because they too have a monthly contract and need to download their monthly bill?

The statistics make for interesting reading:-

16 million consumers aged over fifteen don’t have basic online skills [Source: Go On UK]

40% of UK adults say that the removal of paper statements could seriously affect their finances [Source: Opinium]

5.2 million households in the UK do not have internet access [Source: Office for National Statistics]

You might think how can you possibly forget to pay a visa card bill?

If there is no choice how you receive your statement or bill, viewing an electronic statement irrespective of the email reminder you receive, it is easy to overlook paying that bill.

We are inundated with emails and receiving a paper statement is a sure fire way of reminding us to take action with that bit of paper.

My guess is even if you do receive the electronic version you end up printing off the document as a reminder to action it.

81% of UK adults want to choose how they receive their information.[Source: Opinium]

4 out of 5 people are more likely to read statements available both online and by post.

81% of UK adults do not like it when companies take away their right to choose how they are communicated with. [Source: Office for National Statistics]

Only last week we learned that the paper driving license that we are so familiar with is to be withdrawn and the information will be stored electronically. The DVLA claim that not only will it reduce the red tape it will be cheaper for motorists.

Given that the DVLA reissued 445,000 lost paper licences in 2014 at a charge of £20.00, that’s almost a £1,000,000, I would of thought that there is a very good incentive to keep paper licences.

I await with bated breath when my road tax is due for renewal.

I am unconvinced, there are some things that should just be ‘paper’.

Online information is better, yes I said it.

BUT, there is a caveat, paper based communications are better understood and we the consumer are more likely to recall what is on that piece of paper than what we read online.

The organisations Digital Print Management work with tend to have a better understanding of the importance of giving their customers choice because we educate the benefits of paper and digital.

It shouldn’t be about PAPER VS DIGITAL it should be PAPER AND/OR DIGITAL, a subtle difference but one that will ensure your customers are kept happy receiving information from you in a format that they’ve agreed to and not one that has been forced upon them.

[Statistics courtesy of Keep Me Posted]

What do you think?

Multichannel services

Multichannel services. What is it and how can it add value?

Multichannel marketing is the ability to interact with potential customers on a number of different types of platforms. Multichannel services

Multichannel marketing is giving the customer the choice to make a purchase from whatever mechanism is available whether it is a print ad, retail location, website, PURL and so on.

Multichannel services work on a very similar principle allowing customers to simultaneously access their invoices, statements, payslips and any other customer communication document anytime, anywhere from multiple devices. Multichannel services

As consumers are using more mobile devices it is important to be able to deliver both a paper and digital version of a document.

According to Google we have become a world of multi-screeners with 90 per cent of consumers media interactions done on a computer, smartphone, tablet or TV.

The device used to make purchases is driven by the context in which we find ourselves – where we are, what we are doing and how much time we have.

If data can be supplied for printing purposes the very same data can be used to provide electronic or digital equivalent of the exact same document.

Enabling customers or employees to view those documents at a time that best suits them.

Whilst it is tempting to cut off all remaining relationships with print and dispense with paper communications altogether, print still has it’s place in our digital world.Multichannel services

Here’s why

The explosion of technology and digital devices has enabled customers to view anything online.

But when it comes to certain financial documents not everyone feels comfortable with online accessibility.

Driving pure online statements or electronic documents is a surefire way to disengage customers particularly if they only want to and have been use to receiving paper statements. Multichannel services

Whilst the transition to an online system can make business processes more streamlined by cutting costs and making accessibility easier, it may not be in the best interests of the customer particularly if they lack the necessary online skills.

From an organisation point of view any consideration for moving toward an online and paperless environment  without engaging and educating the customer the reasons why your organisation wishes to adopt paperless could end up costing more in time and money responding to queries by phone and letter. Multichannel services

Enforcing customers to move to online viewing of documents and expecting them to behave in a specific way is not conducive to positive long term customer relationships.

That is where multichannel services come into its own – by being able to deliver a printed version and online statement, payslip or any document type this encourages the customer to get use to online viewing and accessing an online web portal so that when the time is right for them they can switch off paper bills if they want to.

It’s about choice

Consumers don’t want to be pushed into making a choice they aren’t ready for.

Giving the customer choice ensures a successful relationship.

Take away choice and the customers is dissatisfied and are likely to voice their opinion on social media.

People take time to embrace change in spite of the technology revolution and although smartphone users are transacting more online, the need for paper documents still affords the comfort factor engaging customers and allowing the customer to check details.

According to the ONS (Office of National Statistics) four out of five people are more likely to read statements that are available both online and in a paper format.

Multichannel services deliver choice your customer can choose to receive a paper and digital version, when the time is right for them they can then choose when to switch to paperless billing.

What do you think?