May 18, 2010

Creating a Multitouch Strategy


Hostway Team

By Melissa J Luther

It takes up to nine “touches” to make the sale, according to leading marketing firms. In other words, most people are not ready to buy the first time they discover you. You need to periodically remind them how you can help to increase the chances they will think of you when they are ready for that next step.

What Does Multitouch Mean?

At its simplest, multitouch means contacting prospective customers in various ways with various offers over a period of time. The real goal, though, is establishing and building a relationship with that prospect. At one time, the relationship evolved through phone calls and mailings over a period of months.

Today, phone calls and mail are still important to many businesses, but email and Internet touches add additional opportunities to connect. Your multitouch strategy should include a strong Internet presence so that searchers always find you when researching your product or service.

Creating Your Multitouch Strategy

As with any marketing effort, step one is to identify your target audience. Segment them by interests and preferred method of communication. This will help you formulate appropriate first touch messages.

The goal of a first touch is to create awareness of your product or service. Subsequent touches will generate leads, nurture those leads and, hopefully, end with a proposal and a sale.

Take advantage of all the media available to create awareness. You may need multiple, parallel strategies for the initial touches, all funneling toward the same final steps, the proposal and sale.

First touches could include:

  • Direct mail: postcard with a personalized URL for the prospect to visit for more information or to access a free download
  • Email: an email blast to members of relevant organizations, also with a personalized URL link
  • Internet: your Web site, found either through organic SEO or PPC advertising; or social media activities like Twitter or a Facebook page
  • Face-to-face: attending networking events or speaking at luncheons or other events

A second touch is often an email or phone call thanking the prospect for their interest in the first touch. Keep in mind that people who found you first on the Internet may need several touches in that same medium before they are willing to provide an email address or phone number, so post frequently.

Your next step could be a series of nurturing emails. Provide valuable information without selling, although a few emails can include special offers. If your prospects took a survey, another email could share the results. Always give prospects a reason to want more, and invite them to call you with any questions.

Each response from a prospect should lead to a bigger offer. For example, if you initially offer a free download of a chapter from your book, you could include a discount code for 10% off the book. Buying the book could then entitle a person to a discounted service from you.

By providing true value on a regular basis, you can turn prospects into customers who count on you to fulfill their needs.

About the Author

Melissa J Luther, owner and founder of LookSee Information Solutions, LLC, helps small businesses create and maintain a strong Internet presence. She takes a multi-channel approach, with a well-optimized Web site as the center of an Internet presence that includes content creation, PPC advertising, linking and social media as appropriate.

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