That was a point sent home by Sylvain Piquet, VP of strategy for Email at Criteo when we chatted about today's release of its Dynamic Email service. It's essentially an upgrade to the retargeting email service the company already offers. This allows a brand to put their goods back in front of someone whom they didn't recognise, although they browsed without buying, or who looked for products they sell on another publisher's site who has permission to email them with a trusted partner's offer.
That was the tech we discussed, but the pressing issue for the email marketing industry is that according to Piquet, Criteo is seeing that two in three emails are opened on a mobile device. It's a channel that is not as well suited to display advertising as the larger, desktop screen -- and yet it's a a channel where consumers still readily check and respond to emails.
"Mobile's an amazing opportunity for email marketing to up their game and get it right," he said. "The whole industry has seen engagement rates drop as mail companies have acted on what they may see as spam and untargeted, mass emails have caused consumers to ignore some brands' messages. We have the ability to make email a top choice for marketers again, thanks to mobile. So we can't just blast out emails -- they've got to be personalised around customer data so people engage with relevant messages and offers."
Regardless of whose technology you use and which third-party data assets you may plumb your brand into, the clarion call is clear. After years of being associated with spam that just told recipients what you were trying to sell, it truly is time to look harder at what they want to buy. Not many channels get such an obvious second chance. Mobile represents exactly that for email marketing -- and the stakes are high.
Personalised, relevant emails based on clear customer data surely have to be the best way to seize that opportunity.