Email marketing is set to take advantage of new ways to connect with current and future customers. Identifying target markets and customers by being location, preference and time aware is fueling new ideas in email marketing. Also driving opportunities for email marketing is the increased use of smartphones to retrieve information.
Some of the latest trends affecting email marketing include:
· People using mobile devices as their primary way to get news, search the Internet and read email.
· The ability to personalize emails is much more effective.
· Applications and analytics are more aware of location and time, allowing you to both track when your ads are most effective and then respond to that data by adjusting when you send out messages.
The Pew Research Center has found that nearly half of all Americans own a smartphone. Within the age group of 18-29, well over half (66 percent) own a smartphone. Business Insider, reporting on a survey by BI Intelligence, says that a big change in mobile phone use from a decade ago is that phones are now a preferred way to access web content, social media and email.
The email marketing campaign of the future will need to create a message for the mobile device user. The subject needs to be eye-catching; the content should be short and drive the consumer to some action such as click on an included link. Mobile users want brevity and relevance.
Email filters are becoming smarter and will filter out irrelevant and unsolicited email. Google is improving the knowledge of customer preferences by employing “confirmed clicks,” a technology that removes accidental access of advertisements from the analytics. The result is better data on what the user wants to see in the way of products and services.
Email marketing needs to become much smarter about consumer preferences, too. Consumers barely brush by ads that are of no interest or have no connection with their preferences. Opting in is becoming more prevalent in marketing, as is giving the consumer a choice of the type of ad to see. Tapping into the consumer preferences to create dynamic distribution lists will keep email campaigns focused on the consumer with an interest in the product or service.
Being aware of the consumer’s location and time of day will become critical for email marketing. Facebook Nearby is a technology that allows ads to be displayed to the consumer based on where they are currently located geographically. When email clients are aware of location, they can create a target market for ads. For instance, as a consumer enters a particular zip code, they could receive an email about dry cleaning specials or restaurant offers within that area.
Being smart about time is important. It’s more effective for the consumer to receive an email about a local happy hour at noon on Monday rather than at 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning. When targeting the mobile device user, who often makes purchase decisions at the moment they are viewing the ad, time can be a useful tool in an email marketing campaign.
Email marketing is maturing and it’s time to match campaigns with the types of consumers viewing them and the methods they use. The difference between a sale and the trash bin will be affected by when the message was received and where the consumer was when they received it. The use of a dynamic target list based on time, location and preference will become a critical factor in all types of marketing, including email.