Present day email marketing looks considerably different than it did 10 years ago. The exponential curve of progress (of which we are currently at the starting point) makes it so that no one can accurately predict what the field will look like 10 years from now, though we of course try to sniff out clues wherever we can. The following are email practices that the general consensus states will reign supreme in the future, and marketers need not wait till tomorrow to apply them.
Marketing Across Channels
If current trends are any indicator (and they are), email marketing’s future will be closely tied to social media. “Brands can build their email lists through the use of carefully-placed social media campaigns, garnering more ROI than a simple social media ‘like’ and using those emails to bounce the consumer back to their social media landing page, website or mobile app,” writes Forbes contributor Eric Samson. “Anytime you offer the customer a clear benefit (through competitions, surveys, quizzes or free giveaways), they will likely share their email address in order to receive it.”
Samson writes: “Real-time email triggers, which are already in use but not altogether effective yet, are going to be a game changer for email marketing. Essentially, a campaign like this is based on what the consumer is currently reading or searching for in their various social media feeds. For example, if a customer is reading reviews of a new movie, the movie times and methods for buying tickets online would arrive in their inbox in real time.” There’s a fine line that marketers need to respect in order to ensure that this type of outreach isn’t seen as invasive. The idea here is to use the awareness of a customer’s current situation — information they would be granting you freely — in order to offer them a service they would benefit from.
Marketers looking to be fully optimal in their practices won’t be able to type up a cookie-cutter message and send them off to all of their subscribers for long. That sort of method has worked in the past, and in some cases it works in the present, but the future will be having none of it. “So, what’s the alternative?” asks Samson. “We looked to one of the most innovative and exciting social media networks: Pinterest. Pinterest did away with batch-and-blast emails earlier this year and replaced them with emails that are 100% tailored to the user. Pinterest uses all of the customer data it is given (and, with its model, there is plenty of data) to personalize the customer experience and create emotional connections with its users. By analyzing its customer’s interests, Pinterest sparks their curiosity, leading to more clicks and opens. Pinterest also allows each user to personally customize their email settings, determining the frequency and type of emails they receive.”
Anyone familiar with Google Inbox has seen how a phone can learn to read an email and even respond accordingly. This is made possible by a basic algorithm which forms a series of succinct replies based on previous email content. AI is still in its early infancy, but it’s important to note that its algorithmic potential will likely grow at an exponential rate. “These types of AIs are becoming more common for marketers and consumers alike,” offers Samson. “Take Shopify’s Kit or Conversica: AI chatbots are being used as personal assistants for businesses to generate custom advertisements, social media posts and, yes, even email campaigns. This kind of AI and advanced algorithms will help make processes like the aforementioned personalized email campaigns that much easier to execute.”