Fulfillment Goes Digital
… But Beware the Pitfalls
Although the benefits are clear, digital fulfillment does present marketers with some operational pitfalls. According to Sziklai, some marketers build elegant, Web-based digital fulfillment tools that are not properly integrated with their overall program and don’t function as they should. “If those systems fail and don’t provide quick turnarounds, then the consumers can get very angry, and that’s a backfiring situation,” explains Sziklai.
Five Considerations for Going Digital
Integrating digital fulfillment into your marketing program will require considerable planning, but the benefits speak for themselves. Following are a few points to ponder to better incorporate the Web into your fulfillment approach:
Relevance: Identify your audience and be sure there is a logical application for digital fulfillment within your marketing program. According to Sziklai, it’s not always relevant or appropriate to use digital fulfillment. “In some cases, consumers want physical products, and they don’t feel like they’re getting that extra value from downloading something over the Web,” says Sziklai. A digital approach might work well for entertainment products, but Sziklai notes it is less effective for a wealth-creation seminar. “People want to touch and feel that. They actually like the collateral material.”
Proofread: Don’t underestimate the value of an approval process, and focus on making your end form as error-free as possible. “The top consideration is there’s no such thing as too many proofreaders,” says Blumenfield. “We have seen over and over again offers going out that were not properly screened and proofed and contained errors … So that’s a real problem.”
Test: Send multiple tests to be certain communications appear the way you intend on both high-speed browsers and dial-up, and that they get through screens and spam filters, advises Blumenfield. “Do some tests of all of the links beforehand to make sure that everything comes through and data is delivered in the proper format,” he says.