Since the first time a mass email was sent in 1978, and generated a reported $13M in sales for Digital Equipment Corp, email marketing has been a goldmine for companies the world over. What could be better than a high impact message being delivered to a crowd of potential customers at such a low cost?
Except of course that every company in the world could now send a message to every potential customer in the world at nearly no cost. The result: spam. Glorious, glorious spam. Everyone has it, and everyone is likely now desensitized to it.
The onslaught of meaningless messages for free lifestyle enhancing drugs, time elapsed bicep enhancement techniques, and promises of true love, being one click away inadvertently created the email marketers #1 enemy. The filter.
Those beautiful filters are still doing a pretty decent job of keeping out those messages from the people who finally figured out how to make $35,000 a day from home on the internet. Which leaves the consumer in the driver's seat of what they let into their inbox, so there is even a chance that they will open it, and more importantly, read it.
The rise of targeted emails
So how are companies getting their message into the inbox? Targeted email campaigns, of course, and by targeting, I am not referring to categorized census targets of ‘males’, ‘25-37’ and ‘upper-lower class income’. I am talking about major innovations by marketing platform companies who are identifying targets and designing messages to specifically get the attention of the reader. It is a bit like reading the tea leaves of the data that they can gather on a target, based on their user history on browsers, and existing purchasing data.
But are they looking at as many tea leaves as they can? If the target that identifies what email the consumer gets can get smaller and smaller, meaning the message is more and more personalized, the success of email marketing can only get more effective.
But according to WBR Digital – that might very well be the catch 22.
The continuing effectiveness of email may be a cause for slower development of other digital channels.
All of the technology is in place to complete some campaigns with precision targeting based on everything from mobile browsing, purchase, physical location, offline marketing, and even the device that they have in their pocket, as well as the device of their spouse walking in with them.
The new age of targeted marketing
How can retailers get themselves to a place where their marketing is assisting the consumer in shopping, rather than suggesting?
The most important point that WBR suggests is the destruction of data silos across all channels and amalgamating the data to paint one picture of their consumer, rather than circumstantial pictures. Centralizing and standardizing the data will allow the analysis needed to do this, but first all of the channels must connect, and talk to each other.
The marketing strategies possible with that information will be worth more than a Nigerian prince’s lost bank account.