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  • November 19, 2009

Retail Email Guide to Multichannel Engagement: Executive Summary

Multichannel marketing is becoming an imperative as the number of channels has grown. And rather than weakening email marketing, the proliferation of channels has made the channel even more dynamic and powerful. At the same time, as the number of channels available to marketers has grown, a multichannel approach to marketing has become a more urgent best practice if a campaign is to have significant reach and impact.

“Cross-channel coordination with your email program is critical,” says Heather Blank, director of strategic services at Responsys. “Consumers are changing and so are their expectations. They expect highly relevant, coordinated information across all channels.”

The good news is that nearly 80% of marketers say they are executing them to some degree, according to MarketingSherpa—and all indications suggest that more marketers are adopting a multichannel approach and that their level of integration is deepening.

With the growing emphasis on multichannel marketing, email has emerged as a favorite channel. In addition to being the undisputed preferred channel for deals and promotions, it excels at raising awareness of and driving traffic to other channels, in part because it occupies a critical “gateway” position between traditional media like television and direct marketing and new media like social networks and online video. As an established, ubiquitous, and inexpensive channel, email is the ideal partner for most other channel initiatives.

In addition to making the case for using email as part of a strong multichannel marketing approach, this guide examines the ways that email marketing has been used to support other channels by the top online retailers. It highlights tactics and standout examples of retailers using email to promote social media, mobile, stores, direct mail, online, and TV and online video.

Other findings revealed in the guide include:

● Email has become a strong component of retailers’ efforts to grow their followings on Facebook and Twitter. As of July, more than 30% of major online retailers were running “join our community” efforts in their email campaigns.

● Mobile plays a small role in email marketing messaging currently, with less than 10% of retailers promoting SMS subscriptions, iPhone apps and mobile sites this calendar year.

● More than 15% of retailers link to their blog at least occasionally from their emails, using them as the landing page for articles and contests. However, most of those references are small and buried deep in retailers’ emails.

● In recent months a handful of retailers have woven together a number of channels as part of a single promotion. These are a model for the more tightly integrated campaigns that we’ll see used more often going forward.

Get the Full Report
>>Download the 28-page “Retail Email Guide to Multichannel Engagement” for free. (This is a direct download of the PDF. There are no forms to complete.)

Other reports available from Responsys:
Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season
Many Retailers Not Optimizing Preheader Text
Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season
Executive Series on Email Marketing: Installments 1-5
Email Design Look Book 2009
Email Navigation Differs Radically from Website Navigation
Soon Even More Emails Won't Be Optimized for Width
Retail Welcome Email Benchmark Study
…and you can find even more reports on Responsys' Downloads page.
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