AgVoice | Email Marketing: 2013 - The year that was

2012 saw marketers questioning the viability of email as a marketing channel, 2013 witnessed marketers innovating with this channel for driving customer engagement and increasing marketing ROI. 2014 would be the year of revolutionizing email marketing for the new multi-connected and ever demanding customer!

At Experian CheetahMail, we saw how the rise of new digital channels had a significant impact on how marketers used email. There were certainly new challenges with leading ISP making changes along with evolving customer preferences; but data showed us that the reward for targeted email marketing continues to grow. Brands which were able to offer personalized content to their subscribers saw an increase in email responses and conversions.

2014: The re-invention of email marketing: 

This year will be exciting for digital marketing and for email marketers in particular with some key trends re-shaping email marketing.
More Emails!

According to Salesforce’s Exacttarget Marketing Cloud 2014 State of Marketing study, 98% of marketers’ surveyed plan to increase or maintain their digital marketing budgets for 2014.The five top areas where marketers plan to increase digital spend in 2014 are data and analytics (61% plan to increase), marketing automation (61%), email marketing (58%), social media marketing (57%), and content management (57%). Email will gain greater favourability with marketers as a medium for increasing conversion rates and return on investment.

Evolution of the Inbox:

The deliverability ecosystem has evolved over the years. Over the years ISPs have become smarter and are working towards giving their email subscribers a better customer experience. Google’s enhancement to its Gmail interface last year is a case in point; other major ISPs will also look at improving their user experience. This will include reorganizing the current inbox and may be the disappearance of the spam folder!

Predictive email marketing:

As consumers become more vocal and demand more in terms of what they expect from their favourite brands; brands will look into their vast repositories of data to provide their subscribers personalized content they can consume. This will include re-examining historical email behaviour trends and transactional data for running automated campaigns like shopping cart abandonment, post-purchase/ thank you campaigns and loyalty programs. Email automation will play a key role and marketers will expect their ESPs to provide the relevant data – what was ‘good to have’ earlier will become a ‘must to have’.

Right Now Marketing:

With the advent of social media and multiple devices consumers are interested in getting the information NOW. Email marketing will enable ‘Right Now Marketing’ by delivering real-time content  to the customer hence driving greater conversions e.g. the use of ‘countdown timer’ for time sensitive deals, contextual content basis one’s location, driving footfalls to a brand’s brick and mortar presence by identifying the customer’s location . At Experian CheetahMail we have seen that delivering such real-time content via email has proven to drive higher click through (up to 17%) and revenue lift of up to 28%.

Email meets Social:

Brands will use email to motivate customers to promote brands through social networks. This will be more than just including a social sharing icon within an email. It will be about providing them value and content they want to talk to others about. This can be done effectively by integrating email and social by giving the subscribers an ability to ‘share’ or ‘like’ your entire email, particular offer or story with their friends and family. Using transaction emails to encourage social sharing behaviour.

Responsive Design:

Responsive design will continue to be one of the most important trends in web design and email marketing as more subscribers take to mobile. Even though industry statistics indicate that more than 50% of email opens occur on a mobile device and 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device; most businesses are still dabbling in this area, only 12% indicate they have a truly integrated approach to all campaigns across all channels (Econsultancy and Adobe).

Email and Video:

Subscribers are no longer content with the same old, static content. They are expecting valuable and relevant online content. Emails are starting to look more interactive, thanks to the increasingly popular use of graphics. Video is also gaining momentum, a survey by MarketingProfs recently indicated that video in email is growing. Right now, only a quarter of marketers include videos in their email campaigns, but that proportion is likely to change in the near future.

The last couple of years were focused on building opt-in lists and providing value through email marketing, 2014 will be a year of differentiation. Brands will have to one-up each other in the inbox now by re-evaluating their segmentation, content and communication strategy.  | By Bhavneet Sekhon, Head Operations- Marketing Services, Experian Services India Pvt. Ltd.

About the Author:

Bhavneet Sekhon currently heads the account management, client servicing, pre-sales and technology teams for Experian’s digital Marketing Services (EMS) SBU in India. With a rich and diversified marketing career spanning nine years, she adds valuable insight and expertise to Experian India’s Marketing Services team. She is well-versed in marketing communications, digital marketing and sales enablement.

She has worked in diverse marketing roles with renowned technology companies such as TIBCO Software, Rave Technologies- part of Northgate Information Solutions Limited and Kale Accelya.


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in Exclusives