Are the days of one to many email campaigns to be replaced by personalised emailed messages?
Depending on source, the number of emails sent world wide each day vary, but safe to say are well in excess of 100 billion. According to royal.pingdom.com some 144 billion emails were sent each day to 2.2 billion users last year. Of these 61% were deemed non-essential, approaching 70% were spam and of these not surprisingly, half for pharmaceutical products. Interestingly mobile has over taken desk top and web as the most used platform and Mail for iOS devices at 35.6% is the most popular email client. OK - enough with the numbers, email is still a top marketing communications tool but not surprisingly things are changing and more changes will evolve as email marketing becomes better targeted, segmented and data driven.
It should come as a surprise, but doesn't, what poor shape many company email databases are in. With the cost of postal campaigns almost prohibitive to smaller b-2-b companies once the cost of design, print, labels, envelopes and postage are added up, it is to what quite a number still refer to as an 'email blast' they now turn. Although research normally rates email as a high return on investment channel, simply blasting out thousands of emails relying on volume to return at least some enquiries doesn't cut it any more. The smarter clients have meanwhile been nurturing and fine tuning their email subscriber databases, building trust and interaction with their customers and in particular keeping the email data current and the recipients engaged.
From time to time we are asked can we or do we send out emails? One such prospect not only had no customer email database but the company had no centralised record of their customers either. Amongst the 'email blast brigade' there is little concept of what they are going to send out either. They will have spent money in the past on designing print, but fail to extend the same approach or budget to a well designed email including a 'call to action", a campaign landing page and tracking codes etc. In fact too many still have little concept of the processes involved and factors that make the campaign a success.
Many seasoned email marketers, those who don't see the medium as a lower cost option to postal campaigns, are recognising the importance of tracking customer action and building data profiles from response to email campaigns, links followed, products evaluated and purchases made. For many b-2-b users this implies joining up system, in particular making the connection between enquiry data, web site visits and the all important purchasing record that probably only exists in the accounts department. So now not only does the b-2-b marketer have to deal with the IT people, but they might have to deal with accountants too!
The goal is to send personalised emails that have drawn on the individual's recent online research, enquiry, purchase experience and frequency to segment campaigns that present information and offers that are likely to be most relevant - it's getting personal.