Online Meets Offline
The real success of the exit pop-under can be seen in the effectiveness of the outbound call program: Call center representatives are able to convert 35 percent to 40 percent of these leads to club members. In contrast, the e-mail contact option provided to visitors on the site brings in maybe 200 to 300 e-mails a day, Durow adds—but they don't convert as well.
When it comes to PVC Inc.'s direct mail efforts and space advertisements in magazines and newspapers, cross-channel activity continues, but it is harder to track the cross-over from print campaigns to Web response than it is from print to phone response, says Durow. PVC Inc. does not use unique landing pages for its different print efforts, and capturing source codes is difficult; as best Durow can tell, prospects respond to print efforts with phone calls versus Web site visits at a ratio of 4-to-1. Interestingly enough, Durow notes that call center reports indicate prospects tell call center representatives they visited a particular club's Web site for more information before picking up the phone.
Message Consistency is Important
With prospects and customers shuttling back and forth across channels, it's important to carefully control your promotional messages. And marketers are finding that you often have to choose between your need to test and your need to track response.
Since PVC Inc. relies heavily on its current member base for new customer referrals, Durow says the company uses the same promotion across all channels for acquisition, retention and referral campaigns. While it will change its offer from time to time, it does not run different promotions in different channels so as not to confuse channel-hopping prospects or anger current members who see a better deal being made to referrals than they received for joining.
If you keep your offer consistent across channels, it's pretty difficult to test, observes Gary Hennerberg, founder of direct marketing consultancy Hennerberg Group Inc. Even with the use of promotion-specific URLs to drive prospects and customers to landing pages, you still run the risk of people simply bringing up your home page and viewing a different offer.