Article

Jenna Tiffany
Jenna Tiffany 27 September 2016

The Email Revolution – The Steps To Sophistication!

Your marketing strategy might be effective today but if you’re not planning for the future and the possibility of potential disruptors changing your industry, you could be putting your business at risk of failing, and losing out to competitors that are ahead of the curve.

You need to be able to identify what areas of your marketing strategy currently work and areas that need improving. Email sophistication is important to keep your business thriving in the face of change across the industry.

Woolworths, Austin Reed and Blockbuster all have one thing in common – they closed down because they failed to meet customer expectations and change with the times. Woolworths didn’t focus on the latest trends and products in their stores, Austin Reed’s website offering didn’t meet customer expectations and Blockbuster didn’t invest in digital and fell behind when the likes of Netflix came on the scene. Your marketing strategy might be effective today but if you’re not planning for the future and the possibility of potential disruptors changing your industry, you could be putting your business at risk of failing, and losing out to competitors that are ahead of the curve. You need to be able to identify what areas of your marketing strategy currently work and areas that need improving.

The daily usage of the internet has grown more than 105% in the last five years, according to ZenithOptimedia, and this change in consumer behaviour means marketers need to adapt to reflect consumer’s daily habits. People expect a real-time, personalised experience and companies such as Amazon are constantly raising the bar for what is expected, especially with the recent launch of Amazon Dash.

The way people consume and filter emails is also changing in response to consumer expectations. Year on year email sends are increasing by 28 per cent according to our recent Benchmark Report. The inbox is getting busier, so your emails must stand out amongst your competitors to engage current and future customers.

For many organisations, their email marketing is either non-existent or basic at best, yet it is one of the biggest drivers of ROI in the marketing mix. Personalisation is key for engagement, but many brands are failing to implement a tailored approach with their email marketing strategy. We know that emails with personalisation get opened 23% more than emails with none and those emails with multiple pieces of personalisation get opened 31% more than those with one.

It’s important to understand that challenges and limitations exist around developing a more strategic approach to email marketing. Data is the greatest challenge to email marketers, closely followed by ‘limited internal resource’, according to the DMA. Having a framework in place to map-out your journey to sophistication can help deal with these challenges and provide a timeline for success.

Adapting your email marketing strategy to increase sophistication could place you ahead of your competition. But, where do you start? Our sophistication scale and supporting guide can help you out:

  1. Identify where your current email marketing sits and then plot where you want to be

Do you know your email ROI? Identify how effective your email marketing strategy is and the ROI you’re generating on current activity. Is it what you thought? If not, are you lacking key elements such as personalisation and sending emails for the sake of it with no considered plan or strategy? Once you know where you sit, you can identify your ambitions.

  1. Get buy-in from stakeholders from the beginning

When tweaking your email marketing strategy, you may find that you need to change some mind-sets within your business, such as an approach of ‘blasting out’ as many emails as possible. Getting buy-in from all stakeholders at the very beginning will mean you can set strong foundations for the new strategy from the beginning.

  1. Identify goals and objectives

Determining your email strategy from the start is really important. Identify your goals, analyse your performance in terms of what works well, identify opportunities and areas for improvement and set goals and objectives so you have something to strive for.

  1. Put customers at the heart of your strategy

Your customers (current or prospective) should always sit at the heart of your email strategy. Before you put your email marketing strategy in place, stop and think about what the benefit is for your recipient. Consider how your email journey adds value to your customer’s experience with your brand, service and product.

  1. Analyse your performance regularly

Consistently ask yourself what’s working really well and what could be improved? Benchmark your performance against competitors to see where the opportunities are and to ensure you’re always applying context to your activity.

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