As email marketing continues to evolve, recipients are now expecting more and more relevant content. This is wonderful news that can lead to greater engagement and increased revenue. It also means you’ve got some work to do.
Don’t worry: I’m here to help!
Here’s are five of the hottest things in email that you’ll need to understand to reach the full potential of your email program.
Focus on user engagement
Imagine spending time on a killer marketing campaign that no one sees. For many companies that is exactly what’s happening because their emails are ending up in a spam folder. Spam continues to evolve and, as it does, you need to know how to avoid being lumped in with it.
In the mid-1990s content filtering was born to catch spam, such as messages for Viagra and payday loans, that was being sent to large volumes of people. This content-based filtering was a good start, but spammers got creative and started collapsing words, replacing “a” with an @ symbol, for example, and using other tactics to outsmart these filters. This led to reputation monitoring systems in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Reputation monitoring was based more on engagement than ever before. If users opened and interacted with your emails in a positive way, they were presumed to be good email. The flip side of this, however, is that even legitimate brands with mail that customers signed up for could wind up in their spam folder from time to time if they haven’t consistently read it over time.
Transactional email is often an untapped revenue source
Transactional email is a common part of most businesses. We all appreciate and anticipate account alerts, password resets, receipts, and shared content among social channels. Most companies are not taking advantage of this warm introduction. These email messages are a touchpoint where you have a chance to impress or convert your recipient. Yet their message is often generated outside the marketing department. This is a failed opportunity. Getting involved with these email streams, adding content, conversion opportunities, and more can inject an additional revenue source that is most likely untapped.
Security and brand protection are essential
Return Path conducted a study that showed that more than 40% of people are less likely to purchase from you in the future if they’ve seen a phishing scam associated with your brand. Simply put, if you have a phishing attack you can say goodbye to half your customers. But there are new methods of monitoring and protecting your brands and domain names from phishing. DMARC is now one of the most prevalent and is a nearly full-proof way to detect if people are trying to send phishing emails that look like your brand. Getting that information quickly greatly increases your chances of stopping it.
Email is different than all other direct marketing channels
Here’s an experiment for you: Imagine if the US Postal Service determined whether to throw away a piece of mail before delivering it; or if Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube hid your latest post to “protect” its users. Sounds crazy, right? Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening in the email industry. The reason: There is more than 4 times the volume of spam to desirable mail. To keep your mail streams reaching your recipients you have to practice the Golden Rule: Treat every recipient the way you would like to be treated.
Real-time information is providing a basis for focused, unique email
With modern technology and social channels merging, real-time, relevant information is becoming the new normal. As a result, you need an email solution that is segmenting your email lists into the most focused segments as possible, providing specific and up-to-date content for each recipient.
Email users are savvier than ever and demand the same from their brands. If you’re up to the challenge you can begin a wonderful relationship with an active and loyal customer.
Mike Veilleux is director of email product at Dyn.