Email marketing is a topic with which both consumers and marketers alike tend to have a ‘love and hate’ relationship with. And yet, marketeers should be very wary not to overlook email in their entire multi-channel strategy. According to a Litmus survey, today it is still the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers.
Email marketing as a practice has evolved a lot. New technologies such as AI and the increased (one dares to even say ‘’extreme’’) focus on customer experience urge marketeers to think deeply about their email look ‘n feel, the relevance of the content and the entire circumspanning campaign strategy. Today’s marketeers are fully aware that brands that invest in a seamless integration of its email touchpoints with its other online and offline touchpoints will be able to offer a more consistent customer experience throughout, actively progress the customer journey, and, eventually, outperform their competition.
We assembled for you several innovations in email marketing that you can already make use of today. It will help you optimize the customer experience for your customers, and at the same time give you the insights, data and learnings you need as your emails will be top-of-the-herd and definitely stand out from the competition. Please bear in mind though that the below mentioned innovations are not yet fully common practice, as they still depend heavily on the capabilities of the email clients. Luckily, most email clients are progressing to enable the features. The message is: know your audience, and test.
1. Interactive email
The days are long gone when emails were just a ‘read-only’ communication channel. Interactivity is growing in importance. Now that email clients are providing more support for it, it’s an area that marketeers should take more advantage of. And the possibilities are almost infinite. For instance, with direct in-email purchase, subscribers can directly buy a product in a newsletter, without the hassle of signing in to an account, or to visit a website or app. Another example: instead of putting a link to a survey, you can build in the survey in the email.
Videos are gaining more traction globally. It is easier to consume information through visuals than through text. Social media is a popular channel to push video through, but why not include them in your emails? Studies by eMerce show that including videos in emails increase CTR. The recipients also spend more time on the email and appear to forward the emails more often. You can also build in fallbacks to animated GIF images for recipients unable to view the video in its entirety.
3. Marketing automation
If you want to make sure your emails are being read by your contacts, you need to show that you know them and don’t waste their time with spamming irrelevant content. Therefore you need to know the real preferences of your customers. Marketing Automation platforms help marketers send effective messages suited to the needs of their contacts. With messages and offers customized specifically to their interests, the return will be higher. Dynamic email campaigns will help deliver personalized messages to individual users based on their unique behavior. For example, customer A receives a discount on his next repeat order. Customer B, who makes typically last-minute purchases, gets free shipping and the guarantee that his order will arrive within one day.
4. Beacons and IoT
‘Beacons’ are a simple way for marketers to communicate with customers in physical locations. Many IoT applications in large industries (for instance retail and warehousing) already use beacons everyday, but these small devices go unnoticed. Applications of it for marketing are very timely and personal: you can send an email to a potential client who has just left your shop without buying anything. Or you can send an email with a voucher for a free lunch to a customer who has left your restaurant for the third time this month. Beacon technology brings the online and offline world together, which also combines the optimum use of all the data.
By now, many will have ‘talked’ with a chatbot, whether they were aware of it, or not. As the technology has become more accessible, it can accelerate and enable high-quality, conversations between companies and recipients. Done right, chatbots can therefore provide tremendous value to both your customers and your business. As a customer, you have a seemingly personal agent at the other end, while the marketeer is able to use specific data from the users to create a richer experience.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another technological innovation that helps brands provide customers with more personalized experiences. And this will also get better as brands invest more in it and continue thinking about segmenting their email lists. AI helps measure, correlate and understand countless metrics on how customers interact with content, often in ways marketers would never understand on their own. As a result, with AI, brands will be able to cut down on the cost and time needed to identify segments and opportunities — allowing them to create better, more relevant content for their customer, and perhaps most intriguing, be there at exactly the right time!
Creating an email in itself is already an art. Let alone including the above mentioned innovations in it. We highly advise clients to contact an expert, like Adagio, to help build these innovative emails. Only then you can guarantee your clients will receive the experience you want.