Looking Ahead in Email Marketing

“There is no formula for the perfect email – authentic and honest messaging works. – Pinterest.com

Not just customers, but companies too are operating in a market and an environment in which they have access to so much information, various techniques and loads of different tools and software that enable them to make their life easier. Among the many such tools – continuing and new, email still hasn’t lost its sheen as was expected. Companies are still sucessfully creating content and effective communication via email to provide holistic and strategically relevant information to customers. So if emails are so important, wouldn’t it be prudent to understand what we are looking ahead in email marketing and ways to engage customers through it?

In a previous exposition, we focused on how crucial the subject line of an email was. We shall go a step further and say that the content in the email has to match the intensity and hype of the subject line. Reports reveal that among the top reasons that people follow companies and their brands on-line, is great content – interesting, engaging and highly informative.  This is true when looking ahead in email marketing as well. Any effort to engage with customers over the email must be presented from the reader’s point of view. The content should be such that the reader is compelled to read it from start to finish.

In the endeavour of looking ahead in email marketing, creative content would mean that it is also personalized. Custom made for the reader. Reports suggest that 90% customers feel that content that is customized for them is far more useful and they are more likely to use the recommendations. 78% organizations that are customers believe that the companies that provide great content in their email marketing attempts are able to build better relationships with them and better able to sustain these relationships.

As in the past, looking ahead in email marketing suggests that to get maximum gains from their efforts, companies would need to keep the focus on capturing and keeping the attention of the readers through practices and methods that are not only creative but also sustainable.  Another fact revealed through a report says that it is estimated that around $2.3billion will be spent by companies on email marketing when looking ahead.

It would seem that while looking ahead in email marketing we could see new gadgets and devices that would be used as a screen for unimportant and unnecessary emails, sifting them from the relevant and important ones. This kind of technology will put more emphasis on the content, creativity and the necessity to have high impact and catchy subject lines. The visuals and information contained therein would need to say that the message must not be ignored.

Looking ahead in email marketing, the trend seems to be a stop on email blasts. Unless the content of the email is personalized and relevant to the reader and or target audience, it will most likely be trashed without a second look. Customers are becoming more conscious, quirky if you may, about the kind of content they want to see and as a result the kind of company they wish to engage with. When companies have the capability of personalizing content and making it relevant to the reader, there is no reason why the customers should accept anything else. Companies that continue with ‘umbrella’ email marketing techniques are headed for failure.

Looking ahead in email marketing it seems that the current trend of ensuring relevance of the content by keeping to strict timelines will continue. This trend becomes more relevant by the fact that customers are able to access emails from anywhere and at any time through the smart and handheld devices and phones. Customers have more control and can prioritise which message they want to read and which to save for later. Keeping the content simple yet effective is the best way to ensure that your email marketing efforts will be viewed immediately and not relegated for ‘later’. Also the content must be easily viewable and should be such that it arrests the attention of the customer even on the smaller screen handheld devices for increased speed and reach.

Through new technology it is possible to know the location of the person viewing the email. Through this information email marketing companies can provide location related data to the reader. For example – a retailer having sent an email on the latest offers can also send information to the reader as to the nearest outlet and the best deals therein. This encourages the reader to go ahead and check on these deals since they are in the vicinity. Of course, the reader can choose to keep their location undisclosed if they so wish, thereby protecting their privacy.

A write-up a while back spoke about the importance of interactive videos. While looking ahead in email marketing, companies can and should use such interactive techniques to get more attention to themselves and their products. There have been some companies that have been able to move up significantly their sales leads into customers by using these videos to showcase their company’s products and the new launches and schemes. The reason for the success is that interactive videos use a combination of movement, colour, content and human interaction making them more appealing. Of course, it would be even better and if the company includes a social media sharing button. The reader is bound to want to share the contents if they find it useful or if they feel that someone amongst their friends and associates would find the content relevant.

Even though automated, transactional emails are read and sometimes more often than some promotional emails driving higher rates of customer engagement. Customers feel more at ease when they receive a message letting them know the status of an order and other such information. They are more likely to recommend a company that keeps them informed without them having to exert extra effort. Of course, email marketers are making the content of these automated emails also as engaging and attractive as possible.

Every company has at some point and continues to promote their brands using email marketing. However, looking ahead in email marketing the trends show that such emails are not just ‘carriers’ of messages that could soon be forgotten. Rather they must use their capability to produce engaging content that is lively, interactive and memorable. They must use email as a platform, maybe not as visible as social media, but with a significant reach all the same.

Currently too and looking ahead in email marketing, emails seem to be the perfect communication partner for other technology advances and trends. Emails can be directed to one person, making it personal and private and also offers the reader the option to unsubscribe and stop the receipt of this communication altogether.

As mentioned above, it seemed like people had begun to write off email communication due to being boring and invasive and almost did meet its end, being sacrificed at the altar of the new methods of communicating. But email marketing is far from being a dead art, in fact studies show that it still ranks very highly on the ROI scale and many companies have reported that 23% of the sales have been through email and this is an upward trend from 2013 when the sales were pegged at 18%. Looking ahead in email marketing it can be safely said that is a reliable and poised to be an interactive means of communication between companies and their audience.

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