Wow think of all the options: cable with over 200 channels, shopping, dining, and the cars we drive. We like options, don't we? Communication channels are no different. We are no longer chained to our desks thanks to the explosion of mobile devices. Smart phones are outselling PC's and according to Forrester Research, tablet sales will total 195 million between 2010 and 2015. Mobile devices are giving people newfound freedom; Freedom to connect and meet up, share pictures, stories, and download their favorite apps. Marketers need to evaluate the way that they engage with their students and prospects. With so many options how do you effectively integrate the communication channels: email, social, direct mail or mobile?
Understanding the relationship between these channels and how to leverage each to strengthen the other is critical.
- Email to Social Media. Social media continues to be a hot topic. Due to 600 million Facebook users social media is here to stay and plays a critical communication role. Despite the explosion of social media, LinkedIn, mobile devices, and apps email should not be ignored. According to The Radcati Group the number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from 3.1 billion accounts in 2011 to nearly 4.1 billion by year-end 2015. Cross promote email content on social sites and include an opt-in module so social followers can request to receive email communications. Use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or online forums to build long-term relationships, answer questions and provide support. Place graphical icons such as "Like us on Facebook" in your emails along with links for signing up or downloading specific content or videos. Social media marketing using an email platform can help increase engagement, build brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately generate leads.
- Email to Mobile. Achieve maximum impact by allowing prospects to view messages on their mobile devices. The number of worldwide IM accounts will total nearly 2.6 billion in 2011, and is expected to grow to over 3.8 billion by year-end 2015. Optimize communications for mobile devices by keeping content relevant, share worthy, clean and shorten messages with two or three calls to action for better response. Send a text directly to their SMS regarding your open house events or information sessions. Mobile enable your direct mail campaigns through QR codes + text messaging = call to action.
- Email to Direct Mail. Build your communication buzz through a multi touch approach that includes email to direct mail. Make email a dynamic content platform that transcends through your direct mail pieces. Incorporate content that connects: content that is share worthy, conversation-starting or engages them to take action.
Integrating whenever possible will give your prospects the opportunity to engage in and out of different channels throughout the day. Super charge your marketing efforts with traditional marketing tools. Reach into your marketing toolbox that includes QR Codes, Short Codes, iPhone Apps, Text Messaging, Mobile Website or Facebook optimization that will help you market better, faster, and cheaper.