The Time Has Come for Multi-Channel

by Kevin Craine | 5/19/16

There is a lot of excitement over multi-channel marketing and customer communications these days, and here’s why: More than 750 million users use Facebook every single day. More than 6,000 tweets are issued every second. And nearly 20 percent of all web traffic comes through mobile phones. Clearly, the days of communicating with customers, clients and members via snail mail are coming to an end, so the question becomes: What are you doing about it?

Multiple Reasons for Multi-Channel

Organizations that continue to use old-school print and mail to communicate with customers will find it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with the competition. Studies show that 72 percent of consumers want only to interact with a brand via social media channels. Forty-four percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. Today, 58 percent of American adults have a smartphone – and well over half check for messages even when they don’t notice their phone ringing. Bottom line: Miss out on multi-channel and miss out on a great deal of opportunity.

Consumers Expect Multi-Channel

Consumers have come to expect a multi-channel experience. We want more choices and wider flexibility in terms of how we receive information and interact. As a result, organizations that continue to be paper-bound are increasingly regarded as behind the times, especially among millennial consumers — 66 percent of 18-24 year olds are more loyal to companies they interact with through social media and online. The question becomes: Are you at risk of being left behind?

Multi-Channel Marketing Value

Multi-channel is more than simply a way to save on printing, paper and postage; it’s also a perfect match for personalized campaigns and marketing messages. Companies are finding great marketing value across multiple customer touch points (e.g., bills and statements as well as social media). Whereas cross-selling or up-selling was once a low-percentage proposition — junk mail and “stuffers” return well below 1 percent — multi-channel customers are 25 times more likely to engage in additional products and services. In short: Now is the time to engage customers with multi-channel marketing and communications.

Moving Forward With Multi-Channel

Are you ready to move forward? Organizations often struggle with multi-channel message consistency due to internal processes and systems that are not in sync. The good news is that there are a number of next-generation document composition and multi-channel marketing tools available. Select solutions that bring both the technology and the strategy together in a ways that will be successful. There should be no guesswork regarding what communications were sent, opened or interacted with so you can direct your efforts in ways that maximize your return — and your customer’s overall experience. Look for a single source approach to multi-channel communications and campaigns that will help you gain immediate as well as long-term business results.

Guest contributor Kevin Craine is the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and a respected authority on document management and process improvement. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit

Kevin Craine is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. He is writer, podcaster and technology analyst, as well as the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and a respected authority on document management and process improvement. He was named the No. 1 ECM Influencer to follow on Twitter.