Beyond automated email: multichannel marketing

Do you understand the urgency of initiating automation marketing projects? To be effective, organizations need to move from doing automation email to multi-channel automation.
Sophie Lamarche
1 November 2018
Omni-Channel Marketing Campaign
8 min
au dela de l automatisation courriel

On November 6, 2018, Dialog Insight was the official presenter of Les Affaires: Automated and personalized Marketing. Several speakers explained their organizational projects of automation and personalization … and I must say that it was a very inspiring event! However, we have noticed a certain trend within the conferences, which is that most of the automated aspects in place are at the email level.

First, I would like to ask you: do you understand the urgency of initiating automation projects at the marketing level? There are many goals to this transformation, as are the benefits. One of the key is definitely a better use of customer data captured for multiple projects, including communications, product / service offer adjustment, and better customer service. Automation and personalization are all the more important because many countries are ahead of Canada in these areas (US, China, France, Germany, etc.).

This means that we must take the next step. Which is what many companies here have been doing for a few years, as we noticed on November 6th. On the other hand, as I mentioned, of these automated actions it is mainly email communications that have undergone the most changes. However, we must go further, have a bigger vision of what both concepts can do on the marketing function. In fact, organizations must get into multichannel marketing.

Let’s see this together in the next paragraphs.


A vision of marketing multichannel

To go beyond the automation of email, we must review the basics, namely the various internal processes that can, or must change. We must also analyze these processes by asking ourselves what is worthy of being more personalized.

Without being exhaustive, here is a list of marketing aspects that can be adjusted.

1. Alerts

In recent years, the types of notifications sent to individuals have evolved. Let’s name mobile push notifications associated with applications, then the web push notifications that come from browsers.

These can be easily inserted into different automation scenarios, for events, promotions, reminders, updates, new arrivals, etc. These types of notifications can also support efforts that are put into email automation.

However, there seems to be an under utilization, or even a reluctance to use these means of communication at many companies. This seems to be related to the fact that it is possible to decrease subscription with poorly designed notifications.

Looking at mobile push notifications, there is a considerable number of users who uninstall an application within 24 hours after downloading it. Moreover, this figure increases considerably in the following days. In fact, an application loses on average 77% of its new users during the first three days.

My suggestion is this: why not take advantage of people who have just downloaded an application to test automation, or be particularly active from the beginning? Think about it, knowing that you will not have any negative impact on your active and loyal clientele, it becomes more interesting to take advantage of new users. If it doesn’t work and they leave anyway, you can comfort yourself with the fact that they would have done it anyway.

Finally, for web push notifications, they are still new for many companies in Quebec. You then have the chance to develop this channel within different automated scenarios, and see what type of personalization works best.

2. SMS 

SMS represents a white space that is still used with parsimony in the world of marketing. Did you know that 95% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of receiving them? Comparing to another popular channel, 98% of text messages are read against only 22% of emails. In addition, the engagement rates of all other media combined (yes, combined!) do not even approach it.

We must avoid thinking that SMS marketing is simply sending generic messages. There are creative ways to use text by offering, for example, discount coupons, promotions, better customer service or by sending appointment reminders.

If we go back to the basics, SMS automation is the process by which there is a human-to-machine interaction, which usually works through triggers or keywords.

From a trigger (specific action), you could automatically fill in text fields or communicate other information, but this time in text. The keywords are rather a recognition of specific words or expressions that make it possible to understand the needs of the users and thus promote an interaction. The logic is integrated into an application using an SMS API.

You have probably already received an automated text message, without knowing it maybe. As an example, let’s name a pizza restaurant with which a customer has agreed to communicate via SMS. The latter could receive some discount codes depending on whether he ordered pizza in the last 14 days.

This kind of automated alert can be very timely for customers, and increase the value that your organization has in their eyes.

3. Dashboards and KPI’s

The issue on reporting causes ongoing headaches to several IT and marketing teams. There are, however, ways to use current technologies to make life easier for everyone. The solution comes from providing reports in a predefined format, which include selected metrics. To do this, there are essentially two choices, either the automation of reports or the implementation of dashboards. Let’s take a look at how each of these two options works.

Report Automation is the process of planning an existing report (which a person produces at a certain frequency) to automatically update. It will then be sent to specific locations (say a mailbox) at a regular interval (which has been determined).

A dashboard is a centralized reporting platform that displays key performance indicators (KPIs) and other significant indicators. This platform is usually accessible by a web browser. Implementing a dashboard involves accessing data sources such as a marketing automation system, or Google Analytics. In this solution, there are also those integrated into a web application. This is the case of Dialog Insight, which provides different metrics based on what is requested from the application.

Beyond the very process of metrics automation, measuring your marketing efforts will be much easier. You can build reports based on the automation and personalization metrics that are right for you. These could include scenario drop-off rates, click through rates, A / B test scores, and more.

4. Cross-selling

Cross selling is a marketing term used to suggest other products / services to a customer, based on past purchases. Up selling is about offering a current or future customer a higher quality product / service at a higher price. In fact, these tactics are quite effective. If we look at Amazon, the sensei in this area, he reports that 35% of his income comes from cross and up-selling campaigns.

In order to set up effective automation, companies can choose different options:

  • Lead Scoring: This is mainly for B2B companies. They seek to recognize the customers most likely to buy other products (quantity) or more expensive products (quality). To illustrate this, our platform offers the Journey module. The latter accumulates, according to actions carried in different places, scores on a profile. This triggers multi-channel communications without anyone having to do anything!
  • Dynamic Banners: Whether it is on the profiles of your customers, your website or in your emails, it is important to implement banners that will adjust according to the actions of a visitor. The best examples are certainly the recommendations based on the purchase history or the products seen by a given user.
  • Confirmation emails: These have high open rates, which implies an increased in efficiency. As a suggestion, use dynamic messages to adjust content based on purchase or subscription.
  • Pop-up: Depending on the visitor’s itinerary on your platform or on your website, do not hesitate to offer an extended warranty, a premium version or a complementary product.

Neither should the content that will be sent in these communications be neglected. Here are some suggestions:

  • The mention of the products on the wish list: the latter is rich in information! It allows you to suggest to customers products that you know they want. Also, do not hesitate to mention discounts from these products.
  • Incomplete purchases: these are also desired products you can bet on, since they are in a shopping cart. Although the shopping cart discount suggestion is not routinely recommended, you could create an automation that can send a discount to a percentage of people. Buyers should not leave their shopping cart empty because they know that a discount is coming in the next few hours. The discounts can also come several days later. Keep it a surprise !
  • Products in the same extended category: Depending on your product portfolio, you could easily send multi-channel communications to suggest complementary products to clean, maintain, enhance, etc.
  • An associated service: There is a good chance that your products are associated with a service. Do not hesitate to share it after the purchase. In the most popular example, let’s name the extended warranty.
  • A higher version: whether it is a product or a service, do not hesitate to remind your customers that there is something else better that can meet their needs even more. This is a very popular practice in the SaaS universe.
  • Additional features: that will be linked to what has been purchased, while sharing the benefits.
  • Additional information: everything does not need to be sales oriented. Do not hesitate to inform your customers about the help desk for example. Sharing information can also be very appreciated, such as additional tips on what has been purchased.

As you can see, the possibilities of automation and personalization at the cross-selling level are numerous. Although it seems obvious, it is still possible to refine the customer knowledge and thus the suggestion of the offers that are sent.



From these four ideas of automation and customization, there is obviously a lot of work sent to IT and marketing teams. It will even involve other departments. On the other hand, the results will be very profitable, and will lead you to an effective multichannel marketing. Customer knowledge is also a must, and this is one of the ways that will keep Quebec companies relevant to their customers. Stay tuned, as our next article continues on the topic with other channels that can benefit from automation!

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