The smartphone really isn’t a mobile device anymore, it’s an appendage that one simply doesn’t go anywhere without. Apps are so abundant and readily available, there’s an endless world of experiences for anything you can think of, some more valuable than others. There are apps for finding a dog bone, and for keeping us from drunk-dialing people we shouldn’t. There’s an app to compete with your friends on who can spin toilet paper off the roll faster while you sit in the stall. I often wonder how the data world would have looked at lifestyle segments had they known that the college-educated, working mom of three, who drives an SUV, had Haircaster as an app (advises women how weather conditions will impact their hair).
There’s even an app called “email,” which happens to be on the front screen of all mobile devices, and is the one users spend hours a day checking and interacting with. Email is still one of the most consistent ways to inform and educate customers and fulfill brand experiences. Whether tethered to a “message” pushed through an app or an SMS or MMS message, email will always be on the front screen on your mobile device and vital to any mobile strategy.
As CMOs get uber-excited about mobile and the unique experiences that can be developed through apps, there is still a persistence you must create with the consumer -- and email is that connector.
As I’ve written before, the ubiquity of messaging, the controls set by the email industry, the regulations imposed by the ISPs (each uniquely) have defined and allowed this form of consumer engagement to survive overuse, fraud and the changing whims of the large ISPs. Regular mail has decayed faster than an open banana in heat, the Web has become so passive and search-driven, recall of branded URLs is almost a lost human skill. There will always be a need to communicate when a brand wants to communicate, always a need for outbound- PUSH.
Tell the CMO that email is the primary and persistent channel -- mind you, not the only channel, but the predominant channel that will enable mobile (and for that matter, the social channel) for many years. Don’t let it get removed from the home screen on your corporate device.
The principles of what makes good email programs will hold true for another decade.