Marketers have long extolled the importance of “multi-channel” programs. And, with the explosive proliferation of digital channels, an integrated multi-channel strategy has become vitally important for all B2C and B2B companies of scale.
With respect to email marketing, multi-channel integration will translate into messages being delivered via traditional email, SMS and social media based on subscriber preferences. And it won’t be just about accessing messages via a variety of channels – email marketers will also be contending with multiple platforms – computers, tablets and smartphones.
These shifts have not only forced evolution around email design and campaign optimization but also presented significant opportunities for innovation. Where do these opportunities lie?
Studies indicate that subscribers are using to their mobile devices as their primary conduit to their email accounts – in fact, it’s widely estimated that more than one half of all emails are accessed on mobile devices, and this migration has grown steadily and significantly year over year. And email users aren’t just opening their email on their mobile devices – they’re also making over a third of total purchases. Subsequently, savvy retailers will revamp their approach to website design and adopt a “mobile first” focus.
The mass migration to mobile presents a treasure trove of opportunity for email marketers to leverage locational data to send out perfectly timed offers based on a subscriber’s location. For instance, if a retailer can detect that a subscriber is within close proximity to a storefront, the retailer can issue an in-store offer to entice the subscriber to enter the store and make a purchase. To seamlessly execute these types of programs, automation is essential. In this case, a retailer would set up a trigger email program such that when a subscriber landed within a predefined geographical perimeter the email offer would automatically be sent.
Real-Time Customized Offers
The logical extension of locational data capabilities, real-time customized offers will combine the strengths of the mobile platform with the power of email analytics. Because people typically carry their mobile devices with them all the time, it’s essentially an “always on” access point to subscribers. And, if organizations can correlate locational data with behavioral data and overlay demographic data, they are in a great position to deliver micro-targeted, real-time offers customized to individual subscribers.
As a channel, email marketing has always been a rock-solid performer both in terms of revenue production and ROI. In fact, experts believe that for every $1 spent on email marketing, there’s a $44 return on investment. Combine that with the estimate that 95% of online users have an email account and it’s clear that the value and importance of the email channel cannot be overstated. And, with the rich opportunities associated with the mass migration to mobile, its role in the marketing mix will only continue to grow and flourish.