How to tailor an effective multichannel outreach strategy
The way brands attract and find new customers is always evolving. Interests change and the market needs shift. The cold email remains the primary means of customer engagement, however utilising multiple channels and having a unified multichannel outreach strategy can improve their individual success rate and improve your overall outreach potential.
First, let’s remember what multichannel outreach means.
What is multichannel outreach?
Multichannel outreach is the process of using different channels to reach, connect and engage customers. It is important to seamlessly integrate the channel you are using into a cohesively unified strategy and to give your customers options in the way of how they choose to interact with your brand and service.
You need to align your strategy to support the channels you plan on using along with your content plan and the customers that fit your desired market.
Why should you use multichannel outreach?
Multichannel outreach is being implemented more and more and for a good reason. 95% of marketers say, that they know how important multichannel marketing is. And in addition, 52% of marketers now use 3 to 4 marketing channels. Marketers understand the importance of using more than one channel in their marketing strategy instead of simply following the standard tried and tested single channel approach.
Often the single channel strategy relies on creating and sending email campaigns to targeted leads or using LinkedIn’s platform and services to gain the attention of potential leads and convert. However, the issue is when a large part of the market is doing the same and the potential of the channel diminishes for the segment you are targeting, more so for niche parts of the market.
To offset this negative effect, personalisation of the content and the buyer’s journey as well as hyper segmentation have seen a steady growth in implementation. This way your message stays consistent and aligns with your goals while giving customers options to choose their preferred channel of interaction and control over how and when they engage with your brand.
What are the focus areas of a multichannel outreach strategy?
A multichannel outreach strategy is based on several key areas to improve the success of the process and achieve better results. You need to take your time to plan out and carefully implement your strategy, while focusing your attention on the following:
The multichannel outreach is client focused. That is why knowing who they are and what they want is key, depending on your buyer persona. You give them a choice to decide how and when to engage with your brand.
For example older generations may prefer a direct email proposition with a colder tone and statistical data, while younger generations understand the need and impact of building brand stories and are more inclined to learn about a company and its cultures in addition to its services before making a decision. That is why knowing your clients is important.
Content is everything… That’s why you need to adjust it in accordance with the channel you are using. If you start your sequence with an email, make sure you personalize it as much as possible to present to the recipient that this is not some mis-targeted automated email outreach.
Depending on the channel, choose the content that would fit the audience. If a LinkedIn message is your next stop in the sequence, don’t present your product all over again in a cold-like Linkedin Message. Make it more personal, remind the recipient that you’ve been in touch before and that you would like to connect to them on LinkedIn for a more personal connection.
Only then you can craft the content for your next step and stay on track with what you’ve communicated with the potential client.
Let’s reiterate once again just in case… content is everything! This is your key aspect in every multichannel outreach strategy.
Every channel is different. Customers have a preference in the way they want to interact with your brand. It is best to analyse what your customer prefers using and implement that channel in your multichannel strategy. You should also use the right channel at the right time for the best result.
To give an example, if you are doing a lead outreach campaign, you can begin your outreach with a simple personalised email to showcase your product. If they show interest by opening the email you can follow-up with another message or if they clicked on the CTA and make a trial account you can engage them through a phone call to help them with the on boarding and present the key functionality of your service.
Here are the best channels to use in your multichannel campaign as they are the most preferred channels by customers for engaging with brands:
Website and blogging
Although not a direct channel for outreach, having a website as part of your brand content strategy and to an extension a blog, is vital for your content and outreach strategy. Your website along with your landing pages are a focal point for your brand and product so customers can find information, overview of the functionality of your product and act as a hub for any additional content you wish to make available.
Whereas your blog acts as a hub for promoting your brand, and services. Offering market insights, analysing case studies, product updates and any additional content that is of value to your target market.
The email is the workhorse of the modern sales and marketing strategy. And it remains the preferred channel of outreach not just for sales representatives and marketers, but by customers in the business world as well. The potential to customise and personalise your message with a great ROI is unparalleled by all the other channels combined.
You can add images, videos and even custom elements to your message in an effort to distinguish your brand and your email campaign from the competition to get better results. Emailing forms a great symbiosis with your content as the primary channel for engagement. Whether in the form of a cold outreach campaign, a product offer or a content newsletter, the email is a cornerstone of every multichannel outreach campaign.
Business social media
Social media channels have established themselves a valuable part of sales and marketing efforts. The core functionality of social media for business professionals like LinkedIn and Xing is built around the concepts of finding clients and reaching out to them. They present a perfect secondary channel for your multichannel strategy.
Although an email can be left to sit in the inbox and a message on LinkedIn can be left unseen, a short message can serve as a quick and short reminder, a time sensitive or a channel to conduct a quick customer satisfaction survey. Our smartphone is on us almost constantly and an SMS notification lighting up the screen presents a message that is almost impossible to ignore. Be careful to have a consent for contacting people on their phone, before you plan out SMS as one of your campaign outlets.
Customers value a more personal outreach. Especially after a sequence of emails and messages when they are ready to close the deal, a sales representative’s voice can establish a live dialogue which may present an opportunity to in the moment. Also, to convey assurance if a customer is still unsure about a purchase and to present any additional relevant info and answer specific questions the customer may have.
How to do a multichannel outreach
Now that you know what you will need to focus on to make your multichannel outreach successful, here are 5 steps to help you establish the correct process and outline your multichannel outreach strategy.
Have a clear goal
The first step is to have a clear goal for your outreach. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, convert trial users to paid customers, influence existing paid users to purchase a long-term plan or a combination of set targets, be sure that your strategy is in line with your goals
Automate the process
An outreach involving a number of channels is a complex undertaking that can’t be done manually without investing a great deal of time and effort. You must automate the process as much as possible through the use of sales and marketing enablement services. You will need services that enable you to store your client data, have multichannel outreach functionality and to keep track of your results with the ability to adjust the whole process when and where needed.
Most products use a combination of services but rarely a full all in one solution. However there are a large number of available services on the market with great integration between them to ensure a great user experience, depending on client needs, pricing and functionality.
Engage with clients in a reasonable timeline
Set up your campaign so that you don’t spam or overwhelm people. If you start your campaign with a cold email, and set up a follow up email afterwards, try to give them some space between your next actions. You can send out a LinkedIn invitation after your first email, so that this person understands that you are not just mailing them in bulk, but paying attention to their background. But, it might not be yet the time to send them a LinkedIn message right after they ignored your follow up email.
Think of a reasonable communication set and steps to engage with the clients, so that they don’t feel bombarded with your messages.
Use the multichannel option wisely to have the best possible results of your campaign.
Make the client journey consistent
When creating a multichannel strategy, it is important that the target clients have the same experience regardless of their preferred channel of engagement. Make sure the message and client experience are consistent to maintain your brand image. If you over commit your resources and attention to one channel and other parts of your multichannel outreach offers a worse experience it may have negative consequences on your results.
Analyse your results and improve
It is important to always analyse your results. In-depth analysis will show you what channels perform best and if the channels affect each other. You can also see where you will need to make changes to get better results. Even removing a channel for another one if it under performs continuously despite making changes.
Multichannel outreach templates
Here are two templates that can help you set up a simple and effective multichannel outreach campaign.
Template 1 – The Social Outreach
You should decide, based on your target audience, which outreach channels fit your strategy the most. If your audience is active on social profiles, have multiple social accounts and use them on a daily basis, then this campaign type is the one to execute.
Stage one – Avareness
Try setting up an automated outreach with a connection. There are multiple tools you can do that with, like Texau for example. Independent of which social platform you choose to send the connection request to, this should be the first step to attract the attention of a potential client – show them there is a person behind the outreach.
Stage two – Engagement
Once you’ve attracted the attention, now is the time to act. But, not yet the time to start selling right right away. Engage the person with a comment, or like on a post (this can also be automated) ;).
Show them you are interested.
Stage tree – Act
Now it is time for the outreach. Depending on their level of interaction and responses, tailor your message for your outreach, and personalise as much as possible. This can be the trigger for your follow up or the next step.
Template 2 – The Email Outreach
Email is always the most preferred channel for cold outreach. But, in a multichannel campaign emails can be the first, but also the last step of the outreach campaign.
Stage one – Cold email
You can set your first step of the campaign to be a cold email. Create a template, but make sure to personalise as much as possible.
Stage two – Move the attention elsewhere
Once you’ve sent out your first email, try to keep the attention on your outreach as much as possible. Set your next step to a follow up, but this time choose another channel. Any messaging platform should do. Remind them about your email and say that you would like to stay in touch also on some social profile.
Stage tree – Warm up
After your reminder it’s time to shoot the actual proposition. Go back to the email as a channel and tailor your offer according the trigger from the potential client.
Remember, even no response is a trigger.
Multichannel outreach is the way forward
Having a multichannel strategy for your outreach is surely to become the standard going forward. Statistics show that customers prefer to engage with brands that implement this type of outreach. This guide will help you implement a multichannel strategy for your outreach campaign.