In last week’s Realnet news article we talked about the value of email marketing as part of an overall marketing strategy – and that email marketing still delivers the biggest bang for buck when compared to all the other channels.
Simply put, it’s not a channel you should ignore or take lightly – email marketing has been around for decades, and it’s not going anywhere!
But what does the future of email marketing look like? How will you need to adapt as old-style, text-heavy emails give way to more engaging, exciting and effective emails that really deliver ROI?
Here are 5 things you need to look out for…
1. AI and Machine Learning will take the lead
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is already making massive inroads in the digital marketing space, helping marketers deliver more precise pieces of marketing collateral (images, videos, suggestions etc.) to an increasingly better-defined audience at more optimal times than ever before.
If you bring that capability into email marketing, AI and ML will help marketers automate many of the time-consuming processes such as processing data from previous bulk mail send-outs – for example an A/B test – to optimise future send-outs with far better segmentation, timing and personalization.
AI and ML also has the ability to gather and disseminate data to derive predictive commonalities to take segmentation to a much deeper level than overview demographics, meaning a far higher likelihood of presenting an individual recipient with focused, relevant and personalized emails that truly resonate with them.
Additionally, AI helps to manage and simplify what used to be onerous and time-consuming compliance tasks (managing lists, opt-in functions etc.) to ensure you stay GDPR compliant. And with Cloud-based technologies underpinning AI-based bulk mail send-outs, highly-optimised large-scale send-outs can be far more cost-effective than in the past.
2. Personalisation is an absolute must
Long gone are the days of receiving the ‘Dear Sir/Madam…’ email – for various reasons these are simply no longer market relevant or appropriate, and Spam filters and humans alike will simply discard emails presented in this way.
But personalization is a lot more than just including a recipient’s name in the introduction – to be effective, emails now need to present themselves as though they were personally designed for the individual recipient.
From subject line and introduction to imagery, time of delivery and the specifics of the content, the recipient needs to see things that are familiar to them, that show that the business who’s contacting them truly knows and understands what they find important.
Giving recipients regular opportunities to tailor the content they receive is one simple way of refining your send list segmentation to help recipients feel that they only see what they want; what is relevant to them.
3. Engagement through Interactivity
Flat, one-dimensional emails – even those that include images and videos – are also no longer the most engaging way to present content to a recipient. Online users’ expectations have risen, and tolerance for poor User Experience (UX) is way down, meaning your email needs to replicate (as far as possible) the digital experiences that have set the high bar, and that your target customers enjoy.
In real terms, this means your email needs to create a sort of ‘miniature web experience’ – great content, interactive calls to action, instant messaging functionality and a seamless link from email to digital platform are paramount in recreating the UX your recipient is looking for.
4. Content, content and content
It doesn’t matter how well-designed or interactive your email is, or how well-planned your send-list segmentation is, if your content is poor your open and engagement rates will reflect this.
You need to know your customers in fine detail and be ahead of the curve in terms of presenting them with the information they find useful, relevant and trustworthy (to borrow from Google’s tried and tested maxim).
Giving your recipient something great to look at, great to consume and great to interact with goes a long way to building trust and long-term relationships with them, all of which translates into good business all round.
5. Trust through Security
Building a business is all about building trust – new and returning customers want to feel that they can trust not only what it is they are buying from you, but that you will keep their data and details secure at every juncture.
Cyber-threats are at an all-time high, and the future of personalized communication will rely more and more on the ability to keep data protected from first engagement for the duration of the relationship.
To help you manage secure communication you need to have the right software in place that includes database management along with its other tools such as segmentation, design, reporting etc.
If you’d like to discuss the best way to set up your email marketing strategy as part of your overall marketing strategy, speak to the team at Realnet today.
Call us on 01223 550800 or email email@example.com.