Real-Time eMail Tactics

According a report from The Relevancy Group entitled Exploring The Benefits Of Real-Time Email, by David Daniels, 73% of consumers utilize their mobile phone to access one or more email accounts, making it crucial for marketers to ensure that email messages render properly on mobile phones, and to leverage real-time email marketing to keep content fresh.

32% of consumers state that email marketing messages are too small to read and interact with on mobile, and 26% report that websites are not formatted for their mobile phones. 42% of consumers report that they use their mobile phone to triage their email inbox, quickly deleting messages or marking them as unread in order to re-read them later on their computer. 31% state that they use their mobile phone as their primary email device, highest among 27-to-38 year olds, where 36% state their mobile phone is their primary email device.

Real-time capabilities allow marketers to keep content fresh within emails without requiring the sending of additional messages. Marketers have only seconds to capture the consumers’ attention, create a seductive moment and earn a conversion, says the report. This is documented by the consumers that utilize their mobile phone to triage their inbox, and the 14% who forward the message to themselves to be read later. When it concerns email marketing, consumers have the same behaviors on their mobile devices as they do on their desktop computers. When asked what they don’t like about getting email messages on their mobile phone:

  • 44% stated frequency. They are sent messages too often
  • 27% stated that marketing messages are not relevant to them
  • 32% stated that the messages are too small to read and interact with and a quarter
  • 26% stated that when they click-through, the website is illegible on their mobile device

Given the volume of email marketing and the overload of messages that consumers are feeling, more marketers are embracing real-time triggering and targeting tactics to cut through the clutter and stand out in the inbox. 37% of enterprise marketers that are utilizing the subscriber’s location to change the offer content. These real-time tactics deliver revenue and efficiency gains as many of these items are automated and do not require a great deal of set-up.

Mail Tactics Used in Previous 6 Months




Real-Time Tactics

   Change offer at time of open based on location



   Embed video in email content



   Change offer based on device type



   Expire images based on time



   Automated testing/winner automatic



   Change content based on weather



   Countdown timer in email offers



Top five Priorities for Improving ROI

   Greater use of analytics to optimize communications



   Improve segmentation and targeting



   Centralize customer data to make actionable



   Utilize real-time data



   Increase relevancy of communications



Source: The Relevancy Group, December 2014

One of the first and easiest tactics is to put countdown timers in an email to provides a sense of urgency, says the report. Client testing has shown a 15% to near 70% increase in click-through rates when comparing emails that included a countdown timer to those that did not. Additionally, marketers utilizing countdown timers have seen an increase in revenue and orders, reporting as much as a 13% increase in the number of orders.

  • The next rung in the Real-Time Value Ladder, says the report, is the Intermediate step that delivers real-time individual personalization based on an opener’s location, weather, temperature or device type to build real-time context
  • Another example of creating personal context is location, by inserting local content into a message based on the subscriber’s location at the time of open. Inserting local offers or maps for stores in that subscriber’s area is an effective way to personalize email
  • This concept also applies to the ability to leverage real-time A/B testing and automate the winning version to the rest of the marketer’s list. With real-time A/B testing, the two tests are deployed and once the predefined winning metric is reached the better performing version of the test is automatically deployed to the recipients who have yet to open the email
  • Lastly in the Intermediate phase, says the report, is Embedded Video. On average, Embedded Video in Email generates 35 to 45% more plays because of mobile. Mobile devices will render the video and play it with one tap, whereas linked video thumbnails require two taps to play
  • The report says that, on average, a business-to-consumer sender can reach 60% of their audience with inline or full screen video, delivering high value for marketers. This is great for media companies, as well as for retail and travel providers that have high value or complicated products to sell. Cases have shown up to a 66% increase in revenue per email delivered versus more traditional video inclusion methods

David Daniels, founder and CEO of The Relevancy Group LLC, concludes that “… it is clear from our research that… solving mobile email rendering issues alone is not enough to gain competitive advantage in today’s business climate… adopting a strategy that includes real-time targeting tactics… can create a powerful experience and drive engagement… particularly for multi-tasking consumers on the go…”

For additional information from LiveClicker, including the complete report in PDF format, please visit here.



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