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Leverage Multi-Channel Marketing for Marketing ROI

In this age of multi-channel marketing, companies need to determine the best ways to use all their resources to convert browsers into buyers.  This article I read recently illustrated how Avis did just that, and there are good lessons here.

In summary of the article, an individual in the Avis customer loyalty program (lesson #1) hadn’t used their services in awhile but thought they might again for a personal trip, so they logged into the Avis site (lesson #2) to review their options, only to abandon the effort for another day.  A few days later, the person received a postcard from Avis that said their email bounced (lesson #3) and if they logged back in and updated their email address (lesson #4) they would get a free upgrade (lesson #5).  This multi-channel marketing effort converted the browser into a buyer; not only due to the free upgrade but because they were so impressed with the effort.  And then, they happened to work for marketing news site MediaPost and wrote about their experience (lesson #6).  Lastly, now here I am writing about that person’s experience (lesson #7).

Avis knew that having a clean database of email addresses is the most effective way to market to their lapsed customers, and also that direct mail still has its advantages.  As much of marketing has switched to email, postcards stand out more now.  Avis leveraged a predetermined process where an abandoned transaction triggers the next steps of a reminder email and, if that fails, a postcard to the last known mailing address, both with an offer to close the deal.  All this can not be done, of course, if customers are not first enrolled in a program to identify that person and their activity on the site.  What Avis was unaware of in their establishing this multi-step process is the resulting loyalty it would create, as well as the press they would receive from it.

Other companies would do well to follow Avis’ lead and think through where their customers may abandon a purchase in the buying cycle, what offer could encourage them to follow through, and how exactly to administer that offer.  If there are many reasons and points where an abandoned shopping cart could take place, and if there is no way to, or reasons for, a customer to enroll in a loyalty program, I recommend the company should survey its customers and prospects to map the buying process out and determine the best offer to cinch the deal.  Understanding all the opportunities for customer touches, having multi-step processes in place, and knowing what concessions may be offered to encourage the purchase, is key to success.

Happy ROI hunting!

On a personal note: I’m bacccckkkkk….from my blogging hiatus.  Sometimes one has to turn inward for a bit in order to once again turn outward…a marketing lesson in and of itself!

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