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With all the focus on mobile, social, programmatic display and SEO/SEM, many in the media have spoken about the demise of email marketing and helped carve out its tombstone. In reality, email marketing is far from dead and remains the workhorse of top performing digital marketing programs.
If there were any doubts about this, a quick read from our friends at Litmus are worthwhile:
Those are hardly the kind of stats that would lead one to conclude email marketing is on its deathbed. In fact, the truth is very different. Email may very well be the “gray old man” of digital marketing; but, for every dollar invested, email returns around $40. This remains the best ROI of any digital channel going and is leading marketers to think about ways they can improve what they are doing.
Lest there be any doubt, some additional insight fell out of the IDC Research I alluded to earlier.
Pay careful attention to how many “high performing marketers” is “core to their business” and look even more carefully at the frequency at which they are sending. Most casual observers would believe sending email at least once a day is grounds for being blacklisted as a spammer. What you might be missing is the fact top performers aren’t embracing “batch and blast” tactics any longer. Rather, they have moved towards personalizing their customer’s email and insuring they are far more relevant and engaging to them.
To that end, we’ve helped many of our brand partners take the next step with email by integrating some of their key data silos. By effectively integrating key systems of record including CRM, eCommerce, Point of Sale and Loyalty platforms, we’re able to piece together a customers preference, transaction and behavioral data set and use this data to inform meaningful personalization. This is precisely what other top marketers are doing according to IDC’s research:
To achieve true personalization, predictive intelligence is table stakes. The ability to sift through large and complex data sets and apply predictive analytics to a customers transaction history and then produce recommendations or offers the consumer is likely to act upon is hard work and requires state of the art marketing clouds with this kind of feature set built in. The alternative is a technology stack featuring some of the more exciting new predictive intelligence technologies to shape and drive content and offer personalization.
Make no mistake about it, true 1:1 personalization is more than personalizing a subject line or beginning the email with some simple data reflecting the brand knows your name. Done correctly, true personalization requires we bring together a customers demographic, preference, behavioral and transaction data and use this information to personalize content, offers and automated retargeting schemes which are all intended to drive higher open rates and conversion. But the rewards for those doing so are impressive. To cite a few more stats:
As shown, email delivers more ROI than any of its digital peers when executed correctly.
Email is hardly on its deathbed. However, if you’re still stuck in the outdated mindset of treating everyone like they are the same (batch & blast) then it’s time to come out of hiding and revitalize your email programs and take them to the next level. This isn’t just a matter of having some sexy new email technology, it’s a matter of bringing together your customer data into one unified view where it’s actionable and can inform true personalization. It’s also about having a partner who can seamlessly integrate your data silos and help you shape a strategy to take email to the next level.