Email has reached the Plateau of productivity
Gartner places email marketing beyond “the slope of enlightenment” right on the “plateau of productivity.”
Email marketing is known to be a trusted and versatile marketing channel, a part of, and in some cases, synonymous with, concepts like: data-driven marketing, content marketing, digital marketing hubs, event triggered marketing, campaign segmentation and others. While email itself is very mature, these other connected concepts are still evolving and signal the way email marketing software platforms will be developing.
Mobile email marketing
While last year many email marketers were still catching up on making their emails-mobile proof, able to render well on smartphones and other mobile devices, this trend is starting to reach maturity. A combination of mobile-aware and r-esponsive emails has made its way into commonplace email marketing tactics.
Statistics on mobile email marketing optimization by Exact Target leads to projections that by the end
of the year, a combined 70% will be mobile-optimized within their monitored group of B2C brands. Research by GetResponse on responsive email design showed that 42% of subscribers indicate they will delete an email if does not show well on a mobile
Are Email innovations really something new?
The latest version of the Forrester Wave Email Marketing Vendors report included the results of the Global Email Marketing Customer Reference Online Survey, which surveyed email marketers in the enterprise market.
The tactics and strategies employed are sorted according to the duration of their use.The following top three of “innovative” e-mail marketing tactics used in the enterprise market were:
1. E-mail triggers (45% more than 3 years, 39% 1 to 3 years)
2. Personalization ( 45% more than 3 years, 38% 1 to 3 years)
3. Triggered transactional e-mails, ( 44% more than 3 years, 26% 1 to 3 years)
The use of e-mail triggers and personalization has almost doubled over the past three years among the surveyed companies. Keeping in mind that three years ago, most companies were not capable of applying these strategies, this growth represents an impressive increase. E-mail marketing is alive and well, and the capacities in the enterprise market are seemingly growing. It implies that marketing in this segment is on its way up, to become more sophisticated.
But are these tactics really innovative? Provided all companies can deploy them and it makes good business sense. When over a quarter use these techniques, you can’t call them innovative any more, in my opinion. If they are used by over half, they can certainly be seen as part of the standard arsenal and shouldn’t be included in the list at all, should they?
What the outcomes seem to explain is that innovation inside a company
means new tactics, which is very different from new technology. Every day new email marketing features are released by vendors, but marketing technology usually outpaces the use and need for these
features by a mile. This is especially the case in the enterprise market.
Beyond the technology
For example, marketing automation is not new, but truly working toward one-on-one communication is novel to many companies. Personalization is not new at all, but being effective in using it beyond “Hi Firstname”: totally new to many. A brand can innovate its email marketing program by applying the techniques they didn’t use in the past. And if those tactics have the highest ROI and bring them the biggest increase in results, that is exactly what they should do.
Personal plateau of Productivity
Now the next step in innovation by brands might not be using new tactics, but using the ones they already have to the fullest – regardless of what everybody else is doing. That might not be called innovation, but reaching a Personal Plateau of Productivity is definitely a new way of looking at it.