7 Digital Marketing Strategies

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Every day, customers and prospects are interacting with businesses in different ways. Some are reading your email on their tablets and clicking through to surf your website. Others are perusing your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages on their desktop computers. Still others are standing in your store or at your booth with smartphones in hand, checking in, scanning a QR code or sending your company a text message. Download this whitepaper for 7 digital marketing strategies.

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7 Digital Marketing Strategies Made Better Through an Integrated Marketing Platform

“No one knows everything. But together, we know a whole lot,” said business author Simon Sinek. And given today’s sophisticated, social-savvy buyers, today’s marketers need to know a whole lot about their customers and prospects to deliver the content they want, when they want.

In many cases, reaching this level of sophistication requires more than going it alone. And that means integrating your various marketing solutions.

Depending on your business needs, extending your digital marketing toolbox by integrating with related marketing technologies can help solve the two critical challenges facing every company today: the need to collect data, and the ability to act on it.

Every day, customers and prospects are interacting with businesses in different ways. Some are reading your email on their tablets and clicking through to surf your website. Others are perusing your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages on their desktop computers. Still others are standing in your store or at your booth with smartphones in hand, checking in, scanning a QR code or sending your company a text message. And so on.

Amidst this deluge of data, integrating marketing systems can help you gain seamless access to information ranging from Web behaviors to buying patterns to product recommendations and ratings — and much more.

Of course, while it’s fantastic to have all this data, it won’t do you much good if you can’t do anything with it – or if incorporating it into your campaigns is an arduous, time-consuming task. Integrations enable you to take that data and do something with it, whether it’s personalizing an email, customizing a Web page or alerting sales when a lead status changes.

Here are seven digital marketing strategies made better through an integrated marketing platform, including how they can enhance your marketing programs, tips for implementing them, and success stories from the field.

Make Your Website as Dynamic and Personalized as Your Emails

Savvy marketers are always looking for ways to make their emails more relevant to each recipient, sending contacts down different messaging tracks or serving up dynamic content based on that person’s previous behaviors, interests or demographics.

In an ideal world, that level of customization would extend to as many touch points as possible. But creating and managing content across multiple channels and devices often involves inefficient silos of data and technology. Consider the average company website. Typically, every person who visits sees the same articles, offers and images, regardless of who they are or how they’ve interacted with that company in other channels. The result can be a less relevant, less satisfying customer experience.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help Integrating your digital marketing platform with certain content management systems enables you to deliver more personalized Web content at a specific point in time — but also allows that content to evolve based on visitor interactions and activity across any channel and marketing program. The result is content that is alive, adaptive and always representative of the visitor’s current interests.

To create such a website, you’d build dynamic content blocks within your site, then set up business rules that determine which content different types of visitors will see. When someone visits your site, the content management system pulls in data from your unified marketing database, then displays images, offers, text, etc. based on the visitor’s previous behaviors and interests.

Best of all, every touch point builds on the last, with your digital marketing platform and CMS feeding information back and forth to make your data smarter. The result is a seamless customer experience that mirrors the type of individual interactions people expect offline — but rarely experience online.

Quick Tips

  • Employ progressive profiling to gather actionable data. Both on your website and landing pages, try using a progressive Web forms builder to pose new questions each time a contact visits, steadily gaining deeper insight into their interests. Just set up a few basic rules, and you can ask contacts for one or two additional pieces of information at every interaction, gathering information without scaring them off with long forms.
  • Make it easy for customers and prospects to provide data across platforms. In today’s multichannel world, you can’t count on contacts entering information via your website, so make sure you have an automated process in place for collecting data across channels. Let’s say a female customer visits your chocolate shop. Via an SMS promotion display, a scannable QR code or an iPad, you could collect the customer’s email address and favorite type of chocolate, then automatically feed this information into your master database. The next time that customer opens your email and clicks through to your site, you could customize her experience by including a background image and recipe reflecting her favorite chocolate type.
  • Experiment with customizing different pieces of content. So, where should you build in your dynamic content rules? Try providing personalized text, graphics, offers, videos and more, and see what most strongly engages your contacts. Remember to sprinkle in content that’s fun and educational as well as promotional.

Send Personalized, Timely Cart Recovery Messages

People abandon their carts for many reasons – too many distractions, displeasure with shipping costs, daunted by a long form, uncertain about the next step, using the cart as a wish list … you get the picture.

Many companies give up at this point. But in some cases, a follow-up message or series of messages delivered with the right tone, content and offers can recover these lost opportunities and translate them into gains for your company.

One study, for example, showed that three out of four cart abandoners will respond to cart recovery emails, whether to purchase or just to browse. And while cart abandonment messages typically make up a small percentage of company communications, they often garner a disproportionately large amount of gains.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

The Web analytics, e-commerce platform or specialized cart/targeting solution of your choice captures the action of a customer abandoning a cart on your site, and the integration with your digital marketing platform enables you to send a triggered message at the designated times of your choosing, reminding customers that they have an item(s) in their cart.

While best practice is to include the item name, description and image (pulled in from whatever third-party system you’re using), there are a few other techniques you might employ depending on the variety of integrations you’re using.

These include incorporating product reviews and ratings (see p. 10), as well as segmenting based on the order size. For example, you might only offer free shipping to those whose abandoned carts total more than $75.

Quick Tips

  • Send multiple emails. Although one cart recovery message is certainly better than none, our experience with clients indicates that a multistage series is the best way to boost results. For example, you might implement a three-part campaign in which the first reminder is sent with a few hours of abandonment (in general, the sooner the better), the second approximately 24 hours after abandonment, and the third about a week later.
  • Convey a strong-service oriented tone. This might include asking if the customer had any problems or if you can answer any questions, offering alternate channels for completing the purchase, and reminding the recipient of your unique value proposition (e.g. free returns).
  • Put rules into place to stop a campaign when a customer comes back and buys. In an age in which humanization is critical to boosting engagement and loyalty, it can come across as impersonal and annoying if a customer receives a promotion for an item he or she just purchased.

Employ Both Marketing and Sales Data to Enhance Lead Management

Nurture programs enable you to educate prospects who aren’t yet ready to engage a sales resource and gently guide these buyers through the purchase process by delivering relevant content such as white papers, articles and event invitations.

To effectively nurture prospects through the sales funnel, it’s essential to have a strong understanding of who they are and where they are in the buying cycle. Yet many businesses’ nurturing efforts are hampered by siloed data that prevents the level of customization needed to engage prospects most strongly. As a result, leads stall or drop out of the funnel.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

If your teams are communicating with prospects based on solely marketing or sales data, they’re only seeing half the picture, and their interactions will likely be half as effective. Synchronizing your digital marketing platform with your CRM enables a bidirectional, real-time flow of data between the two and helps eliminate duplication of records.

You can then leverage this contact data for segmentation, targeting and reporting in your campaigns, as well as using it to score leads more accurately.

Quick Tips

  • Work with sales to develop a behavior-driven scoring model. Ask sales for help in identifying which prospect behaviors are indicative of strong interest or purchase intent, and remember that your scoring model should not only take into account the actions a prospect took, but also the frequency and recency of these actions.
  • Nurture based on position in the buying cycle. Match the content to the prospect lifecycle. “Interested” prospects might get welcome messages along with educational and best practices content. “Engaged” leads could receive messaging such as reminders of upcoming events, targeted content based on website visits or product comparisons. “Lapsed” prospects might be sent surveys, incentives to revisit the website, or an invitation to engage you via another channel.
  • Get serious about tracking revenue from lead acquisition to account close. Build customized reports and dashboards that combine email, Web and social activity with your Salesforce data, enabling you to track exactly what sources (e.g., Google ads, Twitter, trade show) and offers (e.g., white paper, Webinar, demo) resulted in or influenced a sale. Then, use this information to inform future campaigns.

Incorporate Product Recommendations and Ratings Into Emails

In today’s buyer-empowered world, people are demanding less generic, corporatedriven messaging, and more personal, humanized content. Providing product, service and resource recommendations aligned with the interests your contacts have shared, both explicitly (via forms and preference centers) and implicitly (via their behaviors) is a smart way to boost relevance.

In addition, customers are increasingly using peer reviews and ratings when evaluating possible purchases. By incorporating product ratings in your content, you provide buyers with a perspective on your product or service that goes beyond corporate messaging, giving your messaging a more “social” feel and boosting credibility in the process.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

Integration between your digital marketing platform and a recommendation, rating For example, this section might feature earrings that match a necklace recently bought, an extended warranty for an item purchased, or a white paper related to the Webinar a prospect just attended. Depending on your integrations, you could also include product ratings and/or reviews for any of the suggested items you highlighted, building trust with your audience and positioning your company as a helpful resource. Quick Tips: • Test the number of recommended products. Should you include one recommended product, three, or some other number? Test to determine what drives the most revenue without overcluttering your message and overwhelming your recipients. and reviews, or personalization platform enables you to include customized recommendations and product ratings in pre-purchase, promotional and transactional emails. Because the recommendations are based on recipient actions and interests, relevance is instantly increased, which typically leads to a boost in revenue.

For example, you could create a postpurchase upsell/cross-sell email with a section alerting the recipient that “people that bought Item A that you recently bought, frequently also bought item B.” Your product review software aggregates and analyzes customer behaviors to identify what content customers who bought Item A find interesting and engaging.

Then, via the integration with your digital marketing platform, that content can be served up in your post-purchase email.

For example, this section might feature earrings that match a necklace recently bought, an extended warranty for an item purchased, or a white paper related to the Webinar a prospect just attended.

Depending on your integrations, you could also include product ratings and/or reviews for any of the suggested items you highlighted, building trust with your audience and positioning your company as a helpful resource.

Quick Tips:

  • Test the number of recommended products. Should you include one recommended product, three, or some other number? Test to determine what drives the most revenue without overcluttering your message and overwhelming your recipients.
  • Ask for product reviews. Set up an automated trigger that sends a message requesting a product review one or two weeks after a purchase (test timing and use of incentives). You’ll accumulate more user-generated content and gain an extra touch point. Once the review goes live, send a “your rating/review has been posted” email along with a related discount (if applicable) and a call to action for the recipient to share with his or her social network.
  • Reward top content contributors. Give those who review and share your content special status, such as providing them sneak peeks at new products or offering them special discounts. You’ll build loyalty and likely increase message reach even more.

5. Use Sophisticated Real-Time Multivariate Testing to Drive Engagement and Success

What creative elements will resonate most strongly with your customers and prospects? Sometimes, the answers can surprise even the savviest of marketers. Studying previous reports can help in some cases, but less so in others. In many instances, testing is the only way to know for sure.

Despite the benefits of testing, some marketers skip this step because of time constraints. Others feel limited by what they can test or how quickly they can act on the findings.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

Typically once an email is sent, its content can no longer be altered. Integrating with a testing and optimization partner can shift that paradigm. With certain integrations, you can test different visual elements in an email against each other, then have your system choose the winning option in real time and send the rest of your recipients that content.

Here’s how it works: Once an integration is set up, users create special sections within their mailings that dynamically render different content to each recipients. For example, you might choose two images of a product – one static, and one action. When the mailing is sent, the first few percent who open the mailing are served the different image options. Performance of these content variables is monitored in real time, and when one content element is clearly outperforming the rest, a “winner” is selected.

The winning content is then automatically served to the remainder of the database, ensuring the best content gets to the largest portion of the list.

Quick Tips:

  • Go beyond subject lines. While testing subject lines is an excellent way to improve results, don’t stop there. Other elements you may want to test include offers, buttons, images, copy blocks and design elements. Possible comparisons include aggressive CTA versus subtle, action image versus lifestyle, use of symbols versus copy only, Web fonts versus design fonts, and much more.
  • Colors matter. Does it matter if a graphical element is red or green? You might be surprised — Silverpop clients have found that sometimes simply swapping colors on a CTA button can boost clicks 20 percent to 30 percent.
  • Test multiple combinations at once. Different combinations of content elements may yield different winners. Using partners that enable multivariate testing, you can exponentially increase the number of elements you test, boosting the chance of finding the perfect revenue-generating combination. The numbers add up quick: testing four images with three options each would yield 81 unique combinations.

6 Find New Ways To Improve Sales And Marketing Alignment

Marketing and sales alignment is critical to company growth, but it’s not uncommon for relations between the teams to be strained. Whether it’s an absence of communication, a lack of process, or just a challenging marketplace, tensions can build, with finger-pointing about one side not producing enough leads and the other side not closing enough deals.

But while marketing and sales may look at the world through different lenses, there’s no reason the two can’t work harmoniously and leverage one another’s strengths, especially given the emergence of new technologies that make it easier than ever to break down the silos. With the right strategy and a few simple adjustments, marketing and sales can move closer together – and companies can reap significant profits as a result.

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

For a salesperson, it can be frustrating to go into a call with a prospect with little to no understanding of previous marketing communications with that prospect, such as what messages were sent, how frequently they were sent, and which search terms brought that prospect to the company website. Instead of quickly zeroing in on the prospect’s interests and concerns, the salesperson is forced to grope around to try and figure out the person’s pain points.

Integration between a digital marketing platform and your CRM can provide improved visibility into a prospect’s previous interactions with the company’s marketing campaigns from within various leading CRM solutions, such as Salesforce or Microsoft – an environment that salespeople are typically familiar and comfortable with.

And for those times when a salesperson calls a prospect and discovers, for example, that he’s a few months from making a purchase decision, the integration enables the salesperson to easily drop the prospect into an automated campaign powered by your digital marketing platform. Instead of stalling or dropping out of the funnel, the prospect is nurtured along until he’s ready to buy.

Quick Tips

  • Streamline sales alerts. Time can be precious when it comes to making a sale, so create sales alerts that will let reps know immediately when a lead goes from warm to hot, so they can act on it right away. Use multiple forms of communication to convey the opportunity, such as sending a sales alert to the rep’s email inbox, a sales notification to the CRM system, and/or a direct push to the individual sales rep’s lead queue.
  • Give sales full visibility into behavioral activities. Behavioral data allows that first phone call to a client or prospect to be much “warmer.” It’s a nice conversation starter to say, “I see you’ve downloaded our budgeting and planning workbook. Can I help you put together some planning figures for your budget for next year?” To make this happen easily, the marketing team should make sure that behavioral data is being captured across channels and integrated into the CRM system that salespeople are using to make their initial contact.
  • Provide marketing templates for sales to use. Drop marketing-approved email templates into the Salesforce user interface so salespeople can grab them at a moment’s notice if needed, send to a prospect and then track the results. The easy accessibility will build goodwill, help assure unified messaging across departments, and take advantage of your digital marketing platform’s superior deliverability.

Use Predictive Analytics To Boost Campaign Performance

Big data is all the rage right now, with lots of differing viewpoint on exactly what the term means. But no matter how you define it, there’s no debating that marketers have access to more customer and prospect information than ever, with new communication channels emerging each year and technologies bridging the gap between offline and online behaviors across devices.

Capturing this data across channels and devices is critical. But once you have this data, the massive volume can become paralyzing rather than empowering. How can you take this tsunami of information and turn it into something actionable that you can use to deliver the right message at the right time to each individual in your database?

How An Integrated Platform Can Help

Integrating with a technology company that specializes in business intelligence or predictive analytics can help ensure that your deep data-driven knowledge of your customers and prospects translates to lifecycle-centered campaigns that increase engagement levels and drive revenue.

These business intelligence platforms predict a set of outcomes based on measured variables, assumptions and inputs, working in the background to understand how different microsegments have responded to different marketing actions – and how they will react in the future. Marketers can then use these learnings to determine how much to spend, who to target, how to differentiate offers, and how to contact customers over time.

Let’s say you’re noticing an uptick in the number of opt-outs. Through a predictive analytics integration, you could gain insights on aggregate patterns within your database. Does a lack of email clicks within 60 days signal trouble, or is it only after 120 days of inactivity that a contact is significantly more likely to opt out? Or, if a customer stops opening your emails but continues to interact with you via SMS, at what point should you contact that person to inquire about changing communication preferences?

Depending on the answers, you might decide to set up an inactivation scoring model that would reduce a contact’s score significantly if he or she went four months without opening an email, perhaps dropping that contact into a reactivation program designed to re-engage them. Or, you might set up “if/then” rule sets that would send a contact down a “change your communication preferences” messaging track if she stopped interacting with you in one channel but continued on another

Quick Tips

  • Create a centralized database. Seek a 360-degree view of your customers and prospects. Merge those lists, implement progressive profiling, turn on Web tracking and build integrations – anything you can do to capture behaviors and interests cross-channel and cross-device. The more data you have, the more trends you can discover.
  • Think lifecycle. Aggregate data may reveal new insights about your customers’ and prospects’ needs. Think about the typical journey your contacts take during their relationship with you, and what content you could provide that would deepen their engagement at different stages during their journey. It’s likely they’ll be looking for different types of content from you at different times. After all, the hot chocolate you crave on a freezing cold day probably wouldn’t be nearly as appealing on a balmy summer afternoon six months later.
  • Look at the marketing-sales relationship in new ways. How might the order, combination and frequency of marketing touches impact sales? How does the effect of these interactions decay over time? And does interaction with certain pieces of content designate a stronger level of engagement than others? Questions like these can help you optimize your marketing initiatives.


“What are the spaces that diversify, expand your possibility space, give you more tools and more spare parts?” asks Steven B. Johnson, best-selling author of Where Ideas Come From, in many of his keynotes. The answer, he discovered, frequently involves collaboration across disciplines and platforms.

The same tenets apply to the marketing world. If you want to serve up the highly relevant, personal content today’s customers and prospects expect, you’ve got to use every tool in the marketing toolbox – and, sometimes, add a few compartments to pull from. Tapping the power of integrations is one of the best ways to expand your possibilities, increase the marketing strategies at your disposal and deliver a higher return on relationship for each person in your database.

Whether you’re looking to capture critical behaviors, gain new insights into the minds of your customers and prospects, or discover innovative ways to deliver exactly the content your buyers are looking for at the exact moment they want it, an integrated marketing platform can help you raise your game.

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