This article covers a new customer acquisition and retention approach called Emext Marketing. It’s based on my 23-plus years of experience as a marketer and ERP business consultant.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What Emext Marketing is
- Why this approach can make your life easier
- The magic of the Emext Marketing Framework
- How to increase revenue & loyalty with an Emext VEN
- How to get going now (example & case study results)
So, if you want to attract more customers and grow your e-commerce business faster, you’ll love this article.
Let’s dive in.
(Note: This article is a summarized version of a more in-depth post titled Emext Marketing: The Ultimate Guide)
What Is Emext Marketing?
Emext Marketing is an innovative, cross-channel approach that draws from the TOP SEVEN consumer-preferred communication channels to help businesses attract more customers and build loyal communities.
The top channels include email, social media and chat apps, website, text messaging, voice, direct mail, and face-to-face.
In addition, the approach comes with an implementation framework that consists of 3 core components:
- Resource Priority Zone Matrix & Funnel
- Emext Value Exchange Network (EVEN)
- The Synergy Engine
I first thought of creating emext marketing to help struggling local small and midsize businesses (SMBs). That’s because annual surveys continue to list marketing as a major headache for those establishments.
But as you’ll soon discover, the approach works equally well for e-commerce brands.
Why You Should Embrace Emext Marketing
The chart below shows the top seven consumer-preferred communication channels in order of popularity.
We now live in a hyper-connected, data-driven age. So, the first key takeaway is that you should base your marketing decisions on data and not get distracted by methods your customers don’t care much about.
But there’s also another thing to remember as you examine the chart. It’s NOT about only implementing one or two of the most popular channels.
Instead, the key is to choose the right synergistic combination that will work well together for your campaign objectives. Then, execute them efficiently and effectively.
This is where the Emext Marketing Framework will make your life easier.
The Emext Marketing Framework
Having a foundational framework or roadmap in place is one of the essential requirements I learned as a business consultant.
So, my first step was to create three resource and marketing priority zones and assign the seven channels to them.
The following zones represent where you should allocate your marketing time and dollars:
Priority Zone 1 – spend the most amount of time and money
Priority Zone 2 – pay a moderate amount
Priority Zone 3 – allocate the least amount
The zones are part of the Emext Priority Zone Matrix (shown below) that businesses should consult to create effective campaigns.
Now, the top zone (Zone 1) that every business should optimize, with the assistance of the other zones, is the one that combines the power of email and text message marketing. Hence, the origin of the name Emext Marketing.
Emext Priority Zone Matrix Explanations
To help you understand the matrix, here’s an explanation of the zones and what they should mean to you.
– Zone 1 (core emext marketing channels) received the highest assessments. Again, this is because you control the marketing ecosystem (technology, processes, and data).
It’s where you have the most control and opportunity to influence outcomes.
– Zone 2 (website & face-to-face) – you and consumers share control of the marketing ecosystem. Engagement levels are medium to high.
But relationships are weak because you won’t know anything about your prospects until they take the desired action.
– Zone 3 (social media, chat apps, & direct mail) – the social networks and mailing list companies control the marketing ecosystem. You have little to no control. Engagement is low, and relationships are weak to moderately strong.
Ideally, you should allocate more resources to Zone 1. Remember the proverb: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
How to Optimize Your Business for Zone 1
Zone 1 is your source of repeat business and where you can build a loyal community. Therefore, you should treat it like a vault filled with gold.
However, this zone cannot grow and thrive without Zones 2 & 3. They are all interconnected.
The two lower zones still represent key sources for acquiring new customers, expanding brand awareness, and more.
Imagine the priority zone matrix as a funnel, like the one below.
Your marketing efforts in the lower zones should focus on funneling prospects up to Zone 1 through advertising, retargeting, relevant content, sign-up forms, in-store posters, etc.
The way to funnel them upward is to provide irresistible value. See what your competitors are doing and offer better, more unique experiences.
And if your Zone 1 is not growing at a healthy, consistent clip, you need to allocate more time and resources to the other zones. See how it works?
I recommend you devote at least half of your Zone 2 & 3 marketing campaigns to moving prospects up to Zone 1.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that the resource allocation zone recommendations represent the optimized standard that every business should strive to achieve.
As such, the two lower zones may initially hold much greater importance to establishments that still need to implement effective customer acquisition and digital community-building strategies. And therefore, they may require more attention and resources.
Speaking of community-building, let’s talk about a better solution.
Grow Your Emext Value Exchange Network (EVEN)
Emext marketing is an approach that puts you closer than ever to your prospects and customers. And so, the risk is too great to treat them like a run-of-the-mill email list.
There also needs to be a mindset shift away from “the list” and toward community and value. We think the solution is for your business to build an Emext Value-Exchange Network. You can also refer to it as an “EVEN” or “Emext VEN.”
Emext Value-Exchange Network Defined
An Emext Value-Exchange Network is a digital community that a business nurtures by giving value.
And they grow it by using permission-based emext marketing strategies to collect relevant prospect and customer data (often referred to as first-party data).
The business intends to trade information, better experiences, rewards, goods, or services in return for money, testimonials, feedback, etc.
A deeper goal is to forge an emotional connection, increase engagement, and develop long-lasting relationships. The prevailing mantra is getting customers to know, like, and trust the business.
No longer is the primary question, “How can I convert this subscriber into a buyer?” Instead, it is, “How can I help this member of my community get what they want or need?”
So, money is not on the list.
“The money is in the relationship and implicit or explicit value-exchange agreement you have with each segment of your community.” (Michael Holland)
Next, you must maximize reach and engagement with your community to grow your business faster. Here’s how.
Rev Up the Synergy Engine
As you’ve seen, the Emext Marketing Framework can involve several channels, depending on the campaign objective.
But in its most basic form, it is the act of sending commercial messages to subscribers and customers using both email and text message marketing (emext) technology.
Emext software, which I call the “Synergy Engine”, sends the same (or similar) messages simultaneously or one shortly after the other.
The content can promote your business’s products and services, deliver digital coupons, announce events, incentivize loyalty, remind clients, and more.
So, email is the long-form communication tool, and text is the short form.
But when used together, the result is a powerful amplification of your message.
How Emext Marketing Works: Example
Here is how it could look for a business…
An e-commerce brand or local beauty shop sends a 50% discount coupon or code to its VIP program subscribers via email, SMS text messaging, push notifications – and even through their new mobile app.
The SMS coupon will likely have fewer accompanying promotional words than the email.
But the email allows more flexibility with layout, design, and content. So, it could provide more relationship-building details along with the coupon to excite prospects.
– The business should utilize Priority Zones 2 & 3 channels to help capture consumer data like email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, etc.
– Your business does not have to use all channels for every offer. But to be in emext marketing mode, you must utilize email plus at least one text messaging channel.
Emext Marketing Provides Multiple ROI Opportunities
The synergistic impact of emext marketing increases the chances of converting more prospects into customers.
As this chart shows, running coordinated cross-channel marketing campaigns provides multiple ways to maximize your return on investment (ROI).
(Sources: Litmus, AttentiveMobile, DigitalCommerce360)
Case Study Results: Intelligent Blends (Maud’s Coffee & Tea)Intelligent Blends is a B2B company that manufactures a variety of specialty coffee and tea beverages. Additionally, they own a brick-and-mortar coffee shop and a Shopify store called Maud’s Coffee & Tea.
In November 2016, Intelligent Blends implemented a cross-channel strategy for its online Maud’s store to keep customers engaged and loyal.
They employed three primary emext marketing channels: email, SMS/MMS, and push notifications.
For the case study, I focused on their e-commerce store because that was the only data they shared about their strategy.
In my research, I determined that the company deployed emext marketing tactics only some of the time. But just the impact of using push notifications generated an additional $12,500 in revenue for the online store in the first month.
And here are the cumulative numbers for the period December 2016 to March 2021:
Why Emext Marketing Is the Future for Most E-Commerce Brands
Living in a data-driven age means that someone who possesses the most relevant data about their target audience and deploys it smartly will win.
You must adopt this mindset if you want your business to grow and thrive.
Big companies are already far ahead of SMBs in this race with their huge budgets. But emext marketing can be your equalizer without breaking the bank.
It puts your business as close to your prospects and customers as possible — in their mobile phones.
What’s now clear is that Americans have gone mobile first. Check out these few statistics:
– 69% of users prefer to perform product searches and reviews on their mobile phone.
– 62% of consumers have made a purchase on their phone.
– 69.4% of Internet users say they use shopping apps on their phone or tablet.
However, mobile-first does not mean mobile-everything.
Check out the following device usage graphic based on G2 data.
As you can see, people like to shop, communicate, and surf on their mobile phones and desktop computers for about the same amount of time.
So, you must implement data-driven strategies to reach and engage consumers on THEIR preferred device.
To do that, at a minimum, you should start collecting customer email addresses and mobile phone numbers pronto. Remember that the big boys are already ten steps ahead of you.
I hope you found this emext marketing article helpful.
Are you ready to try a new, more effective approach to building a loyal community that supports and advocates for your e-commerce brand?
I’ve given you the basics to get started. But if you have any lingering questions, check out the complete guide or contact me.