Opportunities for DM and eCRM in E-commerce?

Despite sounding like a bowl of alphabet soup, opportunities often exist to integrate DM (Direct Marketing) with eCRM (electronic Customer Relationship Management), to help e-commerce website owners extract more value from their existing customer relationships and extend their lifetime value.

Imagine the scenario – a hard working ecommerce website owner fights to attract visitors using time consuming SEO and costly PPC, then spends time optimising their website to convert said visitors into new customers. With a typical conversion rate from visits to orders of just a few percent its a lot of effort for a relatively small reward in the form of that first order. In fact the cost of acquiring the order can even swallow up the profit margin on the products sold.

If the website owner is switched on, then they will look to eCRM to try and extract further orders from their ecommerce customers. They may build an opt in database of customers and carry out regular email marketing to it, which could also generate 2nd, 3rd or even monthly repeat orders.

But the emails are competing with the numerous other electronic clutter which saturate our email inboxes every day.

So how about the seemingly radical yet reassuringly comforting idea of going back to traditional direct mail to follow up on your commerce customers? After all, you already have their addresses from when you shipped products to them. How attention grabbing would it be to receive a follow up physical mailing, clearly branded in the same style as your website, and nicely produced to convey quality.

Following up by direct mail would certainly help overcome nagging doubts in the customer’s mind that your web business is a real business and not in fact run by a teenager from a spare bedroom in Slough.

A real mailing also circumnavigates email inbox clutter to speak directly to the customer, often giving you more time and space to say more than can be said (or downloaded) in an email.

Linking DM with eCRM may sound hi tech and radical, but in fact it simply marries the old with the new.