When I talk to email marketers about their plans for 2017, it's what I don't hear that's interesting. They discuss adding new email program types, incorporating open-time personalization, using predictive algorithms to put the right offers and calls-to-action in front of the client, optimizing subject lines, and other investments. No doubt, many of these investments will drive improved performance in 2017. However, there are four fundamental areas where major investment doesn't appear to be planned for 2017:
Excuse me while I rant a little bit. What's up with email subject lines coming from big brands lately? Way too many look like lazy marketing or borderline spam.
Marketers who use competitive intelligence tools enjoy an average of three times more email generated revenue than those who don't, according to a recent report by The Relevancy Group. Yet one of the most common questions I'm asked when I present a client with a competitive analysis is: "There's no point in doing this more than once a year, right?" Think again. There's a lot you can -- and should -- do with competitive intelligence tools to drive ROI on a regular basis.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, What's App, Kik and Line are gaining in popularity, and email marketers need to understand the importance of the opportunity in front of them.
What's really interesting about this election period is the evolution of the use of media, advertising, consumer shifts and the sheer diversity in the platform strategies used by candidates
I met recently with a client that's an email marketing veteran. The company does many things well with its high-volume retail email program. What frustrates the email/CRM team is that it doesn't control its email destiny, and that limits its ability to innovate.
We all see the early signs of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning-powered solutions in email marketing. A variety of tools can write (or choose) an optimal subject line for you, or determine the correct product or article to feature in order to optimize clicks for a given subscriber. So what does the future hold for email marketing? Will smart machines supplant humans?
Many shoppers are flocking to e-commerce for the convenience, but brick and mortar is still an important part of the omnichannel experience for those customers that want to touch and feel your products in person. Here are some ways email can help retailers shine:
There is no doubting the effects of personalizing email. Content should be relevant to the audience and as timely as you can possibly be. I've been a huge proponent of personalization in general for a long time, but I don't believe it's valuable if you look at it like a mail merge. The methods to measure impact can only be seen realistically, over a period of time, not one dynamic image/link at a time. Your program should adapt over time, not be relegated to the constraints of resources.
One of the biggest problems with email marketing is that it's easy to be mediocre and still achieve decent results and ROI. Over the last decade, sophisticated email marketing technology has become affordable and easy to use for companies of all sizes, budgets and abilities. As a result, even less-than-stellar marketing efforts can produce acceptable results. This paradox is what keeps so many marketers on the hamster wheel of mediocrity. Why put in a lot more effort if you're achieving your minimum goals?