Despite the spectacular rise of social media, email marketing is still alive and kicking. 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.
Alltough Email marketing is here to stay, some marketers may think that its returns are diminishing. Data from econsultancy indicates that only 39% of in-house marketers rate the performance of their company’s campaigns as “excellent” or “good”. Those limitations don’t stem from email marketing as a tool but from the way it is currently used by most marketers. 57% of them are preocupied by the fact that they don’t have the mathematical skills to fully analyze and optimize their programs.
When it comes to the perfomance of an Email marketing campaign, the following elements are usually problematic :
Post-click conversion metrics and email open rates no longer suffice to meet the challenges of today. Executives expect to see measurable returns on their investment.
This can be very challenging for most companies and 68% of them do not have a method for quantifying email marketing ROI.
Many marketers don’t use the full spectrum of data available to them. According to a 2013 study conducted by econsultancy, 52% view the ability to personalize content as fundamental to their online strategy yet they rarely do it. Only 20% use behavioral data, but 68% of those marketers report strong ROI.
Segmentation and timing
Only 28% of marketers deliver relevant email communications at the correct time to a segmented audience. Timing is however crucial, if you offer too much too often, your customer could start glazing over your content.
What are the options ?
1. Sticking to the old “batch and blast”
Despite its ease of use and its low cost, this option is becoming a dead end. The long tail of customer preferences cannot be overlooked. 60% of consumers expect businesses to know their preferences and understand their needs. This growing trend will ensure the progessive extinction of this remnant of email marketing’s early days.
2. Triggered emails
Triggered emails yield 70.5% higher open rates than business as usual messages. However, these systems require extra resources. They cannot work properly without a data model to generate the necessary customer insight.
3. Personalized content
Customers are expecting offers and content in line with their unique preferences and behaviour. In its most basic form, content personalization could be as simple as personalizing a message’s subject line, this technique alone could lead to a clicktrough rate improved by 17.6%. Predictive analytics can go far beyond by automating the segmentation and content customization process. With this technology, each recipient receives a unique content based on his nominal and behavioral data as well as his purchase history.
Email marketing hasn’t reached its limitations yet, the promotional email is merely evolving the same way sales techniques evolved over the past forty years.
Salespersons moved from a “one-size-fits-all” pitch to a consultative sales approach. Email marketing evolved from the batch and blast to email segmentation but this evolution isn’t complete, it is entering a third stage brought about by technology, the era of dynamic content. This stage is similar to the consultative approach because it consists in building deep customer insight to create tailor made content for each customer. The marketers experiencing diminishing or stagnating ROI didn’t reach the limits of email marketing, they simply have to move to this next stage of evolution.
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