It’s a fact…everything is changing…moving forward rapidly. Some say time is actually compressing, and that it feels like we have less time…because we do.
Some say email marketing is dying…that in the very near future, email inboxes will have become so crowded with marketing messages that the ROI of many email marketers will either diminish significantly, or totally…that the cost of the email marketing campaign you worked so hard to prepare… will be more than the return.
Is email marketing dying? Me?… I think those who say email marketing is dying…are wrong. I think email marketing is going to be around for a long time.
I also think that smart marketers will start rethinking their email focus…now. Smart marketers will prepare for the future …right now…just before it arrives.
There is certainly truth in the fact that email marketing has reached such an intense level that email boxes are overflowing. Email recipients are…and will continue to…get more discriminating about what gets opened…and what doesn’t.
Already, most email recipients know at a glance what is spam and what isn’t. Spam filters catch a majority of unwanted emails. Email recipients catch nearly all the rest…and immediately delete anything that comes from someone they don’t know and trust.
Permission-based email marketing is a fact. Email marketers know and understand that if they want to do business through email, they need permission. They understand the legal requirements of the CAN-SPAM. They know they must respect the privacy of their email list, and that they need to make their privacy and opt-out policies easy to see, and easy to use.
What many email marketers don’t get…is how much is too much? Having permission to send emails, many marketers deluge the recipient with offer after offer. Some have gathered statistics to find the best day, and the best time of day to send their emails. Some have segmented their lists by product preference and past shopping habits. Their email marketing strategy, however, is simply to put offer after offer in front of an increasingly overloaded and overwhelmed audience.
So, the question for the future is whether knowing the right time of the day, and the right day of the right day of the week, or other general statistical averages is enough. And the answer is…”No.”
If you want to predict your future in email marketing, focus your efforts now to:
- Replace direct email strategies with a company newsletter as your primary email communication. Create a relevant, information-packed newsletter that arrives on a set schedule…once a week , once a month, or even quarterly. Ask your email recipient when they want to receive it. This will increase inbox visibility and branding. Predictability…knowing when an email will arrive… gives the recipient the sense of greater control and anticipation in a world of email proliferation. Use subscriber input preferences and website click-throughs to create differentiating newsletters.
- Event-triggered email marketing campaigns, such as the entry of a new product, should be segmented and infrequent. If a new product cannot be designed into the parameters of your newsletter, with click-through options, its launch can be designed to fit within your segmented list data parameters.
- View email as a message…not as a single delivery system. Social media…Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInand other social media tools, combined withYouTube and comparable video links, together with other messaging mediums, including IM (Instant Messaging), texting and numerous cell phone applications provide increasing opportunity for brand identity and communication. When you focus on the message…not the media…you’re more likely to be able to get the right message to the right person at the right time in the right place.
By using data your organization collects through web analytics, you can use patterns (grocery purchases on the 15th & 30th of each month), click-through, browsing and purchase behaviors, and other relevant details to create email and message customization never before imagined.
Aren’t you impressed that with just a few changes in your focus, you can predict your future in email marketing?