Unified marketing strategies can boost engagement across all channels. While email is still the best channel in terms of ROI and engagement, it’s not always the best method of communicating with customers. For example, a flash sale relies upon speedy responses from your customers. Just 21% of emails are opened within the first hour of receipt. The average email opening time is 6.5 hours. That’s where integrated campaigns that utilize other channels — social posts or push notifications for example — to support email campaigns comes in. Adding additional touchpoints to your marketing campaign is a great way to increase the engagement and conversion rates across your entire campaign. Pairing push notifications with your email campaigns can increase engagement by 3 times.

From awareness to action

At the beginning of your campaign, when the first email, ad, post or other communication goes out, it’s unlikely to convert the viewer into a customer or sale right away. People just don’t work like that. We need to be reminded. This is true even when it’s something that we want or have been looking for. An average of three views is needed before your ad gets noticed.

The idea is that the first time your message is seen by an individual, it’ll get a ‘What was that?’ response from the viewer. The second time a ‘What of it?’ response, and the third time the viewer actually becomes engaged with the message. That’s if you’ve targeted correctly, and hit the right tone for the demographic.

Once you’ve hit the three impressions mark for a lead, you might get a click. Other individuals in the group you’ve targeted may take a little longer, and, of course, some just won’t be interested at all. When you do get the initial engagement you’re able to collect some information. This allows you to purposefully begin moving leads through the sales and marketing funnel. The initial engagement and impressions stage could be social media ads, cold emails or direct mail. The three impressions mark is a general rule across all advertising forms.

It’s a little like fishing. The initial hook needs to be recast several times in the pool of ideal customers (your segmented audience). Once you get a bite, you employ further tactics to reel them in and make a conversion.

Customers, who have already engaged with your brand, often need reminders about promotions too. This is where push notifications come in for them, as well as the new leads you generate.

The action plan for your email campaign combo

Once potential customers have shown an interest in your brand, you’re able to begin engaging with them in a more meaningful way. That can involve sending emails about your latest promotions, new content or ads on the platforms you know they use. Pop-ups on blog posts, social ad clicks, whatever you’ve used to capture data are just the beginning of the ride.

There are a couple of different types of push notification. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Web push notifications are, by necessity, short and sweet. Excellent for delivery notifications, order updates or time-sensitive messages, web push notifications can be used to prompt leads and customers to check their inbox for your offer. They’re used mostly for short alerts that direct the receiver to a specific action. The downside to web push is that they need an app and can only be used for smartphone users or web browsing on a desktop or other mobile device. If your ideal customer doesn’t have these, they won’t receive your web push notifications.

SMS messages, on the other hand, don’t require a smart device to be received. You can also include links in SMS to send customers to landing pages, blogs or even social channels if they are on a smart device. The advantage of SMS messages over web push is that there’s no need to have an app built for them. They are covered by TCPA and GDPR though, just like web push. This means you need to be aware of the times you’re sending SMS messages and allow people to opt-out from future communications.

Whichever you settle on — or even if you use both — push notifications are an ideal way to keep your campaign in front of mind with customers. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want to be getting in their face and become annoying rather than helpful.

Combining email and push notifications

70% of customers prefer to engage with brands via email. However, 72% of customers want an integrated marketing approach that allows for multiple touchpoints. Considering these facts, using email as the main artery of your campaign makes sense. Supplementing emails with push notifications and/or SMS makes even further sense. So how do you do it?

Each email campaign and brand will require a slightly different cadence to engage their audience. One example would be to send the first email out to your ideal customer group with an introductory offer — this may be a discount or limited product 2 for 1 deal. You then follow this up with a web-push notification that there’s an offer from you in their inbox. This may be followed up again with an SMS message 3 days later asking if they got the email with the introductory discount code. Another web-push notification would encourage them to check the email so they don’t miss out on the offer and reminding them of the time limit. You could re-send the email on the fifth day letting them know the discount code included will expire at midnight.

This is just a brief example of how to use push notifications in support of email campaigns. There are endless variations on how to pair these two communication methods.

There are a few tenets that should be kept in mind, not just for combining email with push notifications, but marketing in general…

· Customers wait for information from you.

· Marketing messages should be cohesive across platforms and delivered in a seamless and engaging way.

· Always use your messaging in context — a little like dominos, one message leads to the next and is related to the customer’s activity.

· Always, ALWAYS, respect your customers and leads — this means not bombarding them with messages and being as succinct as possible.

· Understand and recognise that everyone has multiple demands on their time.

While adhering to the above principles, break your campaign up into content types. Keep the visual content — beautiful imagery and engaging copy — for emails. The short, succinct, and time-sensitive information is for push notifications. These should be spaced in a way as to support the central email messages and create a flow and easy cadence to the overall messaging.

The context for push and SMS notifications relates to where the customer is physically, where they are in the sales and marketing funnel, and any recent action they may have taken. This could be anything from opening one of your emails to clicking a social link.

Respecting your customers means taking note of the data you’re building with your campaigns and engaging with the different segments of subscribers in ways and at times that are most meaningful to them. For example, simply relying on the statistic that 70% of customers want to engage with brands via email is not enough. The other 30% are still important. Your marketing data should indicate the preferred methods of communication for your customer profiles; it may be different from cross-industry stats. Pay attention and tweak your customer journeys accordingly.

Boosting email marketing results with push notifications

When paired well, marketers can boost the overall effectiveness of their campaigns by creating cohesive messages with multiple touchpoints. Push notifications and SMS can be used to create timely reminders about your brand and promotions. When done well, this engages your audience and builds strong relationships with them. When done poorly and without heeding available data, it can lose subscribers and earn you negative publicity.

Push notifications are a great way to boost engagement and raise email campaign ROI substantially, particularly when there are clear aims and a path for the customer or lead.