How to Develop a Winning Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy for Your eCommerce Business

In today’s hyper-connected world, no customer journey is exactly alike.

Various marketing channels and the ever-evolving ways that connect us online means new ways to get customers. 

It also means that eCommerce customers can be as selective as they’d like when it comes to receiving information and making a buying decision. 

They decide how they want to interact and shop with you, and it’s your job to make each path as smooth and friendly as possible. 

This brings up the question... 

How do I get relevant products in front of the right customers if they’re all bouncing between different marketing channels?

When your customers are quite literally everywhere, it can be overwhelming!

Don’t worry, though!

Below we’re going to share some tips on implementing cross-channel marketing in your eCommerce business.

Now you might be wondering: What the heck is cross-channel marketing anyways?

‍Let’s start with that.

What Is Cross-Channel Marketing?

Cross-Channel Marketing Definition: 

“Cross-channel marketing focuses on providing the customer with a consistent experience while interacting with your brand across multiple channels. It is a powerful way of designing your marketing strategy to create customer journeys involving various channels.” --  Smart Insights, 2020

Facebook, Instagram, search engines, emails, SMS, blogs, landing pages, online marketplaces, and more.

cross_channel_marketing_strategy

What do these have in common? 

Your current and prospective customers are on many of them, AND every single channel is used as a marketing touchpoint trying to sell something or another.

By taking a cross-channel marketing approach, many eCommerce brands focus on marketing across the various marketing channels their audience hangs out on while ensuring they have a smooth experience from awareness to customer. 

That’s much easier said than done, but very doable nonetheless. 

With so many taking advantage of this type of marketing, eCommerce brands can’t afford to push this to the side. 

This is modern marketing, and ignoring it during a tough economic time is likely to do more harm than good. There are plenty of examples of brands that are leveraging cross-channel marketing and reaping the results, despite all that’s happening in the world.

Love Wellness utilized multiple channels from ads to emails and landing pages, along with a strategy to combat the sales downturn they took when the pandemic hit the US:

love_wellness_cross_channel_marketing


As a result, they experienced a 380% lift in first-time customers during Q1 of 2020

Cross-channel marketing for the win! 

Now is the time to lean in with this type of strategy, so below are some ways you can start building out a plan of your own. 

How To Get Started With Creating Your Cross-Channel Marketing Plan 

1. Choose Your Cross Marketing Channels

Before you can start putting together any sort of strategy, you need to figure out what channels you want to use to your advantage. 

There are two that you will want to incorporate no matter what your brand sells: 

  • Your website
  • Email marketing

However, there are some other avenues to consider that you’ll want to add to your marketing mix: 

  • Organic social media. There are dozens of social media channels out there. Your audience may be on a lot of them, so you’ll need to decide what is worth your time. You don’t need to be on every single one, but you should take time to determine which ones build your brand and help pull in revenue. 
  • Paid ads. Many paid ads happen on social media, like Facebook, but there’s also YouTube, Google, Bing ads, etc. Plus, you can leverage paid posts on other blogs and that sort of thing. 
  • SMS marketing. Smartphones have pretty much grafted themselves into the lives of most people these days. And people are more likely to open an SMS message instantly than their email. That’s why SMS marketing can be so powerful.

Once you’ve nailed down the channels you’re going to focus on, it’s time to work smarter, not harder. How? Read on to find out.

2. Automate Everything: Emails, SMS, and Retargeting Ads

Think about the different marketing channels your e-commerce business utilizes. 

You might:

  • Send email marketing campaigns every week 
  • Blog about product features and updates on the regular
  • Post on social media daily
  • Keep up with comparison engines every now and then to see where your product stands

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what needs to get done to drive results. You and I both know that manually running marketing operations is no longer an option.

That’s why we’re big advocates of automating as many tasks as possible. 

In this case, we’re talking about automations of your email marketing, SMS, and retargeting ads. 

Automate Your Email Marketing

Automation will help you save time and allow you to get more done. Not to mention, you’ll be able to cater to customers at different stages of the buying process at any given moment. 

Sendlane’s Beacon is a powerful tool offering behavior tracking so you can personalize and automate messaging without complications.

You can track your customers’ actions and behaviors on your online store – from the day they visit your store to when they become a customer (and long after that!) – to send perfectly-timed and perfectly targeted messages.

And it’s all quite simple, really! All you have to do is:

  • Follow the customer’s journey (from your landing page to their shopping cart), collecting behavior data along the way.
  • Track conversions, ROI, and analytics from within Sendlane and fine-tune your marketing!

With Sendlane, you’ll be sending out laser-targeted marketing messages and converting prospects into paying customers in no time!

Automate Your Retargeting & SMS

Leveraging behavior-based tracking allows you to send emails to customers based on their interactions with your emails or store and retarget them when they leave without a purchase.

sendlane_email_marketing_automation

By tracking your website’s events, you can find out who viewed your products, pricing plans, and product reviews. Then, you can create automations personalized to each customers’ journey. 

For instance, say we have three different customers:

  • Customer A just purchased $50 worth of products.
  • Customer B clicked through an email to view a page but didn’t add it to a cart.
  • Customer C added products to the cart but abandoned it.
sendlane_email_marketing_abandoned_cart

You need to ensure that your messaging changes for each customer while reaching them at the right time.

  • Customer A would get order confirmation emails plus a new sequence of messaging that included product recommendations. 
  • Customer B could be retargeted with ads on Facebook or Instagram or SMS notification.
  • Customer C would trigger an abandoned cart email sequence that included an SMS message with images of what’s in the cart.

And the best part? All of that can be automated while generating revenue!

If you’re looking for some ideas, here are some actionable tips to put your cross-channel marketing on autopilot:

  • Leverage real-time data to reach customers with personalized content that will keep them engaged in the buying process.
  • Set up automated abandoned cart sequences. This could involve email, SMS messages or retargeting ads to help you to regain revenue in case someone abandons their shopping cart without purchasing anything.
sendlane_email_marketing_free_trial


3. Meet Your New Best Friend — Integrations

It’s no secret that your businesses collects a lot of information about your customers. This is done using a variety of marketing tools such as shopping carts, social media, blogs, and (of course) emails!

But while collecting data is the easy part, bringing all these channels together isn’t everyone’s piece of cake.

That’s where integrations come in. 

Because while all your channels might be flowing individually, the goal of true cross-channel marketing is to bring those channels together by seamlessly connecting the apps, tools, and web services you use every day.

Here are just a few examples of ways you can leverage integrations to bring your channels together.

  • Deep-Data Shopping Cart: Whether you’re a Shopify, WooCommerce, or Miva user (whatever shopping cart you're using for your store) it’s essential too make sue it's connected with your ESP. Here at Sendlane, our deep-data integrations bring in 100+ points of data on each and every one of your customers. We then sync that live data from your eCommerce platform to understand how customers interact on your site and turn that into marketing automations designed to generate more revenue!
  • Facebook Custom Audiences: This tool allows you to create and save audiences to reach the people who matter to your business. Integrating Facebook Custom Audiences and with an email marketing solution like Sendlane enables you to implement automated, strategic targeting in your Facebook advertisements. Learn more about this integration right here.
  • SMS Marketing: There are a variety of SMS tools out there that you can integrate into your email marketing strategy. However here at Sendlane, as part of our platform, SMS messages can be sent as stand-alone campaigns or as messages that integrate and personalize to automated workflows! Learn more about our SMS feature right here.

4. Deliver Personalized Customer Experiences Across Your Desired Platforms

To get the most out of automation, you need to offer your customers tailored digital experiences.

The truth is, customers already know that businesses communicate with them as part of a much larger group. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want personalized experiences!

Personalized content and cross-channel marketing go hand in hand to help you deliver better customer experiences.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say it’s one of your frequent customer’s birthdays, and you’ve set up automation to send them a personalized email wishing them a happy birthday along with a 50% discount on their next purchase.

This simple gesture will let them know that you genuinely care about them and, as a result, their customer loyalty with your brand will increase.

The first step is to learn more about your customers. 

Sendlane’s deep-data integration with Shopify lets you get insights from your customer’s behavior to their purchase history.

You can use this to:

  • Add new customers, newsletter subscribers, and abandoned cart customers directly to your email list.
  • Synchronize customer data across Shopify and Sendlane in real-time.
  • Automatically map your Shopify personalization tags to the customer’s profile.
  • Track page views, email leads, add to cart events and conversions.

Pretty cool, right?

Plus, you get loads of Shopify triggers for creating automations such as product purchase, customer abandoned checkout, order fulfillment completed, order payment successful, viewed product, and more!

sendlane_integrations_shopify_email_marketing

Here are some simple tips you can follow to incorporate personalization into your cross-channel marketing strategy:

  • Use email metrics and on-site analytics to monitor customer behavior closely and respond to their actions.

Sendlane lets you do just that by sorting your contacts by using tags. Take a look:

sendlane_tags_email_marketing

Set Up Shop Where Customers Are Shopping

Cross-channel marketing isn’t just another buzzword. It’s a legit way to customer outreach, get the right information to the right people at the right time, and deliver consistent, high-impact brand experiences.

Tackle cross-channel marketing head-on and take Sendlane for a spin for free! 

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Caitlin Hutchinson
Brand Marketing Manager
Sendlane

A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. Primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels while maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. Host of The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast and Sendlane Youtube Training Channel. Works closely with the marketing team to manage creative projects and develop creative assets/solutions to enhance the brand. Collaborates at the intersection of marketing, product, content, and sales to develop powerful and memorable stories and interactive experiences that bring the Sendlane vision to life.

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