Email Marketing is very close to our Hearts here at Retox, that’s why we have designed and developed our very own Marketing Communications System branded as “Ping” new to the market it has many features, based on our many years of developing bespoke systems and listening to the needs of our clients.  More news about “Ping” will be following in a later blog.

In the meantime here is some information that came out of the recent Mobile News Summit, a gathering of the great and good from our industry, telling us what we already know but backing it up with some well researched facts and figures.  The top line from a presentation by Loren McDonald who is VP of Industry Relations for Silverpop is that there are big differences between smartphone and tablet users and creating actionable data.

Trend #1 – Email Still Rocks

According to a recent study by Marketing Sherpa a leading research company, 7 in 10 consumers have made a purchase influenced by email marketing. There is no denying that email is still very much alive, and has a significant impact on purchasing decisions.

Still not convinced? There are many examples, McKinsey & Company are a global management consultancy, they found that email conversion rates are 3x higher than social media and the value of an email conversion is 17% higher than that of social media.

Trend #2 – Mobile Usability

Mobile email activity is not closing in on desktop usage; it has already surpassed desktop usage. Consumers are getting more and more used to browsing on their smartphone or iPad to find the information that they need.

Approximately 53% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Only three years ago, that number was less than 20%.

The increasing use of Phablets (a smartphone with a screen sized between a standard smartphone and a tablet) may be slightly skewing the number of smartphone opens and interactions.

We need to eliminate the friction for our users to improve engagement. If there are too many barriers for the user, than they are never going to engage.

Trend #3 – Responsive Design

Unfortunately, many designers focus too much on the coding and design concept of responsive design for email marketing. This approach typically results in the simple restructuring of the size of images or text on the email that will be viewed different depending on if someone is using a desktop or a mobile device.

More importantly, email marketers need to be not only considering design structure, but how their cusumers are using email.

A mobile user

There’s nothing worse than hanging around, especially if you are in a public place, on a train, look around – what is everyone else up to?  Chances are they are looking into their mobiles. What do you do?

If you’re like most people, you may open some apps or games on your smartphone. Like it or not, you’re also going to check your email. While waiting in a situation like the one mentioned above, you’ll likely delete the emails that don’t catch your attention, mark some for discovering later and forward or reply to those that are relevant to you.

The likelihood that you’ll see an email advertising a £250 designer handbag and pull out your credit card and make a purchase right there and then is highly unlikely.

A tablet user

Unlike their smartphone counterpart, tablet users are not traditionally on the go. Let’s assume for a second that a tablet user has just kicked their feet up and receives the same Designer handbag email.

The likelihood that this user will make a direct purchase at that time significantly increases.

The most important thing to understand about responsive design is that people will do things differently and act differently with different devices.

Trend #4 – Making Data Actionable

Behavior gives us a lens into our audience’s purchase intent. The major shift we are seeing is the idea that when you grab hold of a concept of focusing on an individual’s customer’s behavior is not what you’re trying to sell, but what each customer is looking for.

Email marketers need to begin reacting in real-time to individual’s behavior. Email marketing automation is a tool that enables companies with the scale to achieve this objective.

Sometimes, broadcast email works. However, marketing teams may not always understand the negative repercussions of over-emailing and under-targeting. There are two types of email marketing approaches:

Traditional Marketing: It’s all about “the plan”: The objective is to fill up the email-marketing calendar with X emails per week. All email communications will be created and sent based on that calendar. Unfortunately, that approach is very much “us” based, and has nothing to do with the needs of our customers.

Behavioral Marketing: This approach is all about the customer. In fact, think of yourself as acting like a great concierge to meet the needs of your customers. In addition to the calendar based programs, your team can create 40+ automated email programs that will go out 24/7 365 to whomever based on a behavior or an event.

The behavioral marketing approach requires automation to provide scale. An example is a small company who send birthday emails manually to each and every customer. That is the definition of manual.

The Integration of Search & Social

There are quite a few low hanging opportunities to integrate search and social with email marketing including:

  1. Landing Pages: You can build a dynamic email based on the search terms that consumer used to get to your landing page. 
  1. Lead Scoring: If marketing automation is being used, begin incorporating keywords into lead scoring. Keywords can be scaled higher or lower based on what was used to drive the consumer to your website. 
  1. Keyword Driven Email Content: There is also an opportunity to incorporate the keywords used in search results to drive the content of your email campaigns.

Think the key messages in here are if you want to get serious about marketing take a joined up approach - ask us how.  We are very excited about the development of "Ping" and will bring you more information soon.