Five Ways to Crush It with Cross-Channel Marketing in 2019

Another year, another commitment to win over more customers.

And hey, we’re right there with you!

Staying on top of the latest trends and technologies can give your business a much-needed edge against the competition.

Because marketing evolves as our customers evolve.

(Spoiler alert: this is exactly why we’re rolling out the awesome features of Sendlane 3.0!)

The common theme for marketing in 2019?

Customers are everywhere! They’re crazy busy, too.

From engaging shoppers on-the-go to encouraging split-second buying decisions, businesses today are expected to be everywhere and capable of acting fast.

Enter the era of cross-channel marketing, where email still plays a central role in acquiring and retaining customers.

Don’t worry, though: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to crush it with cross-channel marketing!

In this quick guide, we’ll break down the five biggest cross-channel trends for businesses today and how your business can get on board ASAP.

1. Master the Art of Machine Learning

Don’t let phrases like “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence” freak you out!

We’re not talking about a robot takeover: we’re talking about how modern marketing technology can make your life so much easier.

How so?

Well, the amount of data we can gather on our customers today is crazy.

For example, with real-time analytics, we can pinpoint the exact moment a customer opens an email or clicks on a link.

We also know how many times that customer has visited our site, made a purchase or engaged with a particular piece of content through integrated event tracking.

With the help of machine learning technology, we can take these data points and use them to make actionable business decisions. 

Let’s look at an example from Sendlane. Our platform uses AI to send emails based on someone’s specific behaviors in their inbox or on-site:

Based on whether or not someone clicked a link, you can send a message that’s tailored for their wants and needs.

This includes tracking events on your website, too!

This same sort of behavior-based technology is central to Sendlane features such as Optimized Timing.

Rather than rack your brain over when it hit “Send,” we do the legwork for you by putting out messages based on when your customers are most engaged.

This means less trial-and-error and more opens and clicks.

Basically, AI is capable of being “smarter” and more time sensitive than we as humans could ever be. 

Where it would take us forever to individually assess our customers and send emails manually, modern technology lets us do it on autopilot.

Maybe that’s why so many businesses are investing in machine learning and AI to increase productivity and profitability.

Just like your customers are crazy busy, so are you. Don’t be afraid to let cross-channel tools pick up some of the slack for you!

2. Put More of Your Marketing on Autopilot

Modern marketing requires us to be a million places at once.

Email. Social media. Your blog. Your website…

Heck, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what we’re worried about on a day-to-day basis.

And so the more of our marketing that we can automate, the better.

Automation is especially critical for email marketers. Just the idea of writing and sending your emails manually and in real-time is downright exhausting!

With an automation tool on deck, you free up so much of your schedule.

Time is money, right?

But more importantly, you’re dealing with people at different stages of the buyer’s journey at any given moment:

  • Contact A just signed up for your list today.
  • Contact B made their first purchase after weeks of nurturing.
  • Contact C used to be one of your best customers but hasn’t touched your emails in the past month.

Marketers need to make sure that they’re reaching these customers at the exact right time so that they stay customers.

While Sendlane does allow you to schedule your messages in advance (and send with Optimized Timing!), our platform also lets you create custom workflows to engage customers without lifting a finger.

From onboarding drips to cart abandonment emails and beyond, you can assemble an army of campaigns to retain customers and keep them in your funnel.

And given that approximately three-fourths of shopping carts get abandoned, something as simple as a single automated email triggered by an integration with your shopping cart could be a game-changer for your bottom line.

Again, modern technology can keep you from juggling your customers and trying to manage relationships “by hand.”

With smarter integrations and email automation, you have more hands-free productivity and are empowered to focus your valuable time elsewhere.

3. Make Your Marketing Count Through Personalization

In order to make automation and AI work, businesses still need to provide a personal touch.

Customers today overwhelmingly crave personalization and it’s no surprise as to why. 

Our customers know that companies are communicating with them as part of a massive group, but behind each email on your list is an individual. 

That individual has specific wants, need and desires.

So ask yourself: how are you appealing to those individual wants?

Cross-channel marketing is a great way to enhance your personalization.

Piggybacking on the last two trends, Sendlane users can automatically segment their email list based on their contact’s behaviors.

This ensures that the emails you send to newcomers aren’t the same as the ones you send to people who already know you.

Also, consider how your email metrics and on-site analytics can help you personalize your marketing experience.

For example, what emails are getting the most clicks? What content are your customers spending the most time again? Which of your deals are the most popular?

These points can directly influence your marketing to speak to desires, pain points and problems specific to your list.

When your entire strategy is integrated, and all of the most important tools in your tool box are connected, you’ll have the data you need to make personalization a breeze!

4. More Convenient Messaging and Chatbots

Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

Social media.

Specifically, how social media has us all glued to our phones. 

It’s no secret that so many of us are literally addicted to these handy little devices, and social sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the main reasons why.

However, the chatter about social media often distracts from the conversation where we all acknowledge that the vast majority of emails are also opened on smartphones. 

This signals the power of mobile communication, primarily through text messages and emails. In a day and age where customers are checking their phones constantly, hybrid campaigns featuring traditional emails and SMS are the way to go.

As part of Sendlane 3.0, SMS messages will be available as part of user workflows. This ensures that you’re reaching your audience no matter where they might be reading your messages!

Speaking of messaging, more and more customers are engaging with chatbots than ever before. Nearly 70% of consumers actually prefer dealing with bots because they’re so speedy and require less back-and-forth.

Although bots can’t do everything a human can do in terms of service, their speed and convenience are pretty impressive. Many traditional websites use Drift, but social chatbots are also growing in popularity.

One of the most cited examples of social chatbots comes from Sephora, allowing customers on Facebook to shop looks, book appointments and more.

Despite popular belief, bots don’t have to represent a cold, impersonal experience. Sort of like email automations, businesses can build their own bot workflows and commands to have meaningful conversations with customers. Here’s a snapshot from bot platform ManyChat:

If you’re interested in chatbots yourself, you’re in luck.

We’ll be rolling out bots in the near future as part of our forthcoming features – so stay tuned!

5. Engage Your Audience with Interactive Content

Last but not least, let’s talk content!

Long gone are the days of walls of text and content that treats its audience as a passive participant.

People want experiences. There’s a reason why social media, particularly visual content on social media, is so popular. We want to engage and go back-and-forth rather than be bored to death!

The more opportunities you can find to make your content interactive, the better. This rings true via email, but also other marketing channels as well.

The key is to give your audience something to do, even if it’s something as simple as clicking or typing a couple of words. 

For example, asking questions via social media is a low-hanging way to interact with audiences. There’s a reason why tag-a-friend and “share this hashtag” posts traditionally perform so well.

Some types of interactive content actually help us learn more about our customers. For example, Ulta has a series of product quizzes which eventually recommend products based on your answers. This is a prime example of interactive content and marketing personalization rolled into one.

What about email, though?

Interactivity doesn’t always require back-and-forth. Something as simple as including GIFs in your emails can draw readers in and catch their eye.

It’s a nice touch to mix up your visuals from time to time to keep people on their toes.

Another interactive strategy we’ve used ourselves is including video in your messages. A play button can help entice clicks, especially since video content is taking over the Internet.

And with that, we wrap up our list!

Ready to Crush Cross-Channel Marketing in 2019?

Cross-channel marketing means reaching and engaging with as many customers as possible.

It also means experimenting with new tactics to score those sweet, sweet conversions.

If you’re up for the challenge, we are too!

With the help of the upcoming features of Sendlane 3.0, you can tackle all five of these trends and then some.

We invite you to check out everything our new roll-out has to offer, including advanced email automation features to make 2019 your business’ best year yet!

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Kristen Dahlberg

Content ManagerSendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!