Why brands need to rethink what’s possible with email

How many people cringe when they remember their first email address?

Filled with nicknames and jokes, email was once a quirky tool for finding friends and family online.

Today, it’s one of the most trusted ways to make global connections and the primary way for businesses to connect not just with consumers, but with each other as well.

Email has almost become a personal safe, where all important and critical documents are shared, exchanged and stored. From contracts to invoices to shopping lists, an inbox is a versatile tool that helps us organize our lives. Mail servers have reflected this increase in demand, with most offering huge amounts of space.

Increasingly, email is where consumers manage their relationships with brands. Current email trends reveal that more than half of a user’s inbox is full of retailer offers, and only a small number of an actual contact.

This trend has only accelerated throughout the pandemic as Indian consumers are spending more time online. According to data from eMarketer, over 50% of marketers in India plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over email marketing this year, which means there is more pressure on businesses to stand out from the crowd. Brand marketing emails have also become a key connector to boost purchases, with 86% of Indians having embraced online shopping since the pandemic.

This means it’s time to rethink the possibilities of email marketing to build brand affinity while reaching new audiences. It is possible to create functional and relevant shopping experiences for consumers as soon as they open their email – and now is the time to start.

It’s nothing personal (but it is)

Personalization is one of the most effective ways for brands to stand out from the crowd, with email being one of the most easily customizable marketing channels.

Data points, predictive analytics, past purchases, and customer journey touchpoints give brands deep insight into their consumers’ interests. These can be leveraged to create personalized offers and communications that are particularly relevant and tailored to their needs, at the perfect time.

Email has also established itself as a forerunner among the wave of post-cookie solutions due to its high potential for personalization. Through email, brands are not only able to connect with the audience chosen to receive their updates, but can also gather additional information about their preferences by driving engagement. This helps improve the relevance of communication and lends itself to timely and personalized advertising.

Recent research also revealed that 72% of people would prefer to receive marketing materials from brands via email. Only 17% prefer to receive these updates via social media, which is seen more as a platform to catch up with family and friends than a catch-all for promotions.

This means that email marketing can no longer be considered a passive strategy. Marketers who don’t see the potential to create hyper-personalized and relevant email communications won’t be able to engage their audience in new and profitable ways.

Window shopping by e-mail

Email offers multiple possibilities to create integrated and useful shopping experiences that benefit both consumers and brands. For example, as more people started shopping online due to the pandemic, Yahoo Mail launched Groceries from Walmart. It was the first time that email users could easily fill a shopping cart from their inbox, track promotions and coupons, and save time and money.

This initiative had the added benefit of providing personalized grocery recommendations based on consumer profiles, improving the experience of these shoppers. This program has helped customers shop how and when it’s convenient for them, especially as they continue to migrate from offline to online channels.

Technology also helps unlock greater functionality within this platform, creating frictionless shopping experiences. Consumers can now RSVP to a purchase event, complete surveys, or browse catalogs in their inbox. This facilitates communication between a brand and a customer, creating a much more seamless and interactive experience.

Customers can now browse the latest offers, dynamic listings, carousels, and even make purchases, all without ever leaving their inbox. This creates a much more synergistic and engaging experience, with countless opportunities for advertisers to innovate.

With these new utilities, marketers can expand their strategies and explore new ways to engage users with dynamic email content. By reinventing the use of email in new and innovative ways, brands can provide consumers with a superior digital experience that is useful, relevant, personal, engaging and actionable.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


About Valerie Wilson

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