Email is usually seen as a way to get people from one point to the other. But Dee Anna McPherson, SVP of marketing for Movable Ink, believes it should be a destination unto itself.
“We’re entering a new phase,” McPherson says. “There’s a wave of new email technology that allows us to use email as a destination channel to build compelling customer experiences.”
What does that mean, exactly? According to McPherson, it means individual content that includes both text and images — all delivered seamlessly. It starts with personalization. “Amex is completely individualized, so that one email matches that user,” McPherson says.
What’s new about that? McPherson points to an experience of her own. She was in Chicago and had to extend her stay at a Hilton. “I would just go into my email, and they update my points every time,” she says. “I didn’t have to remember my loyalty number or my password — it was a much-improved customer experience.”
When it came time to rebook, she was brought to a website, but it was “not obvious to me. I didn’t have to get out of my email and then go to another site.” Even the back end can be personalized.
Images are another part of the destination formula. “We’re living in the Instagram era,” McPherson continues. “People are communicating through pictures, and email now has the ability to personalize those images.”
Movable Ink is focused on the words and text, and also being able to source and customize graphical content from any marketing channel, including websites and social media, and place it in emails -- including video.
“Images are how you connect emotionally, and brands want to drive customization around them,” McPherson notes.
She adds that "most marketers are striving to make their content more engaging, whether through personalization, or through adding interactivity."
Doesn’t that old siloization get in the way of some of this? “Yes, but I think technology will help,” McPherson says. Specifically, she means omnichannel technology that is in no way hampered by those walls.
McPherson who joined Movable Ink last December manages everything from demand creation to awareness and coming up with product marketing strategy and engaging customers.
Founded by Vivek Sharma and Michael Nutt, Movable Ink now has a little over 200 employees, headquartered in New York. It is a venture-backed private company with offices in San Francisco, London, and Sydney.
The final takeaway? “Marketers use email as channel that redirects people,” McPherson says. “But email can be a destination.” All it takes, she concludes, is the ability to deliver personal experiences at scale.