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What's Changing in Email Marketing Technology
If you’re keeping track of the latest developments in email marketing, you’ll find doomsayers, eulogizers, and evangelists alike. Social media marketing is taking email marketing’s place, some say. Email marketing is ineffective. Email is dying. Email is dead. Email is dead, but not for long. Wait—email is back! Email is better than ever! Which of those statements is actually true? The fact is, like everything else, email marketing is constantly changing. If you’re doing it the same way you were doing it in 2012, it can certainly seem dead. But if you’re embracing the latest technology and keeping abreast of what today’s consumer wants from email, it is still a highly effective marketing tool.
We do not recommend you take a drink every time someone says “personalization” in 2023. The concept is everywhere in marketing, and it’s the key to successful email campaigns, as well. 90% of consumers use email, and 99% of those check their email every day. Do people even walk out to their physical mailboxes every day? Even though we are all constantly checking our email—sometimes up to 20 times a day—we are still reluctant to take the time to read every single message that lands in the inbox. We may sign up for a dozen promotional emails, but it’s only a select few that are able to capture our attention. These are the ones that seem to call out to us. It’s not about marketing tricks or generating FOMO; it’s about the subject lines that seem to have been written just for you, or the emails from businesses that have taken the time to build a relationship with you.
It is also important to remember that email is a two-way street. It is a communication tool, and not just for you to communicate with customers. Solicit responses from consumers in your email and publish their responses, whether it’s glowing reviews, customer service stories, or photos of customers using your products.
While you can get a chatbot to draft marketing emails, you’re better off letting a human being who understands building relationships, the nuances of human-to-human communication, and, most importantly, your brand’s voice take care of that. When we talk about using AI in emails, we are talking about letting it do the things that a human cannot: analyzing customer data, open rates, read rates, the day and time of day emails are opened, and so on, to help you make decisions about what kind of content to send to whom and when to do it. This makes the human work of sending the right message to the right person easier.
There is also software available that can automate responses in different situations, from cart abandonment reminders to first-time buyer welcome messages, and “just for you” messages based on a customer’s browsing or purchase history.
The above process of sending tailored responses to different groups is called segmentation. This is key to personalization and building relationships and communities of customers. Rather than designing one big, generalized campaign to send to your entire email list, you can use customer data to create different lists for different types of customers.
Email is a Part of Our Lives
Sometimes it seems like email replaced the telephone, and texting (and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger) replaced email. But the fact is, email is still very much a part of our lives, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon: teens use email even more than young adults. So if email marketing isn’t working for you, it’s not because email is dead. You just might need to alter your approach and adopt new technology to improve open rates, read rates, and click-through rates.