So far, as part of the process of building the hotline, we have discussed how to use email as the channel – enhanced with AMP and Atomic Rewards. For a marketing department juggling multiple activities, how can the hotline buildout not add to the list of activities with its own set of complexities? In fact, the hotline as envisioned here needs not just creative skills but also software and analytical talent. As part of the Email 2.0 construct, I have suggested the need for a Progency (product-led agency). This is what I wrote in Part 10 of my Email 2.0 essay: “Progency is a new type of agency built on top of a product (in this case, a martech platform). It is thus a product-led agency. It combines product, people (professionals), process, and pay-for-performance. It brings to the world of martech and customer retention, growth and cross-sell the ease of outcome-driven marketing that adtech agencies have done for new customer acquisition. Progency extends the brand’s internal marketing team to deliver on specific KPIs. This lets the brand team focus on business as usual. Progency – like IT consulting teams focused on specific tech platforms – brings in the necessary expertise to solve specific problems like reactivation, increasing Hooked Score, driving referrals and collecting zero-party data. Each of these initiatives can be measured, improved and rewarded.”
The Progency can be the brand’s partner for building the hotline, and in doing so, the compensation can be based on outcomes. This is where the idea of Performance Email comes in. It is drawn from the world of adtech – how Performance Marketing accelerated spending by compensating the customer acquisition supply chain on outcomes.
As Spiralytics explains: “Performance marketing is a type of digital marketing where brands only pay marketing service providers once their business goals are met or when specific actions are completed, such as a click, sale, or lead. As the name suggests, it’s marketing based on performance. So, what makes performance marketing special? It gives power to the advertiser, since they only pay after the desired goal is achieved. Because of this, they can be confident that their marketing budget is spent only on successful campaigns. More importantly, the success rate of performance marketing campaigns is generally higher since all campaigns are highly targeted, and marketers make data-backed decisions and optimize their campaigns based on the results. This serves as a win-win for both merchants and affiliates.” BigCommerce adds: “[The] win-win marketing opportunity for a retailer (or “merchant”) and affiliate (or “publisher”) allows both parties to target campaigns in a strategic, high ROI way, all based on performance. By paying the affiliate when a specific action is completed, a merchant can feel confident that their money is being well spent.”
Something similar can be done with the hotline value chain. A progency can be paid based on the actions that are done over the hotline instead of just paying for emails based on the number sent. Performance Email can reward in-mail actions – because there are now many more actions that can be done than just an open or a click. ESPs can become partners in this process where they are compensated not for emails sent but for the outcomes. (As we discussed earlier, in the perfect endgame, a brand will only need to send a handful of emails ever to any single customer.)
Performance Email which powers the hotline is an idea whose time has come. It is the breakthrough that can drive increased spending on existing customers because the outcomes (in terms of revenues and profits) can be measured – and therefore rewarded.
Once the Email 2.0 hotline has been established, brands can then take the same principles and extend them to other engagement channels – because the customer is omnichannel.