Personalized email driven by machine learning? Ho hum. Birthday greetings and emails triggered by life events? It’s old hat. The next true development in email is interactivity — the ability to let consumers give as well as receive.
For example, as we have reported, QwkBuy is in a partnership with SendGrid to let people purchase directly through an email via their smartphones, instead of having to go to a website. And it is about to start embedding videos right into emails. Email thus becomes a push as well as a pull medium.
And now some services are letting shoppers create content.
Borrowing a trick from social media perhaps, Pixlee has formed a strategic partnership with Listrak to insert user-generated content into triggered emails. That includes photos and videos.
We suppose this is a form of influencer marketing, but with a high-technology twist. This material can be put into abandoned cart, post-purchase and other triggered messages.
There’s only one limitation: The service is now being rendered only to shared clients. But think of the future as the one-to-one channel becomes a two-way street.
"We've found that when online shoppers interact with peer content on a brand's e-commerce channels, they are twice as likely to buy," state Pixlee co-founder and CTO, Awad Sayeed.
Now, on an even more individualized level, a service is being offered that makes email marketers out of consumers themselves (nonprofit email marketers, that is).
According to an article in Fast Company, the Swedish digital marketing company Aidbox has launched a service that lets email senders add a clickable message about the charity of their choice on the bottom of each email.
“For corporate sponsors, it’s a new way to ensure their logos get seen -- and in association with a good cause -- so they’ve agreed to make a small contribution to the associated charity for each email that gets sent,” Fast Company writes. “The idea is for senders to raise awareness for causes they support and drive contributions without having to use their own money.”
All this proves that email is alive and well, and that we have yet to see the best of it. This is supported by numerous surveys. Go through the verticals, both b2b and b2c. and you’ll find that email is the either the first or second medium of choice.
Consumers also prefer it. No matter what the age bracket — Millennials, GenXers, Boomers and a couple of holdovers from the Swing Era — they all prefer email communications.
And we bet they’ll like it even more when they get a chance to do it themselves.