Friend and foe, for many, many years: e-mail. And still wonderfully contradictory: The complaint about the flood of e-mails has also been obligatory for many years, while the number of e-mail newsletters also continues to rise. According to Statista, 85 percent of all Germans still used e-mails last year. And the forecasts for use continue to show a strong upwards trend, even in times of Messenger. For e-mail, which was first used in 1971, it seems that there is still room for improvement in marketing.
More interaction with less effort
As in other marketing disciplines, the keywords here are automation and artificial intelligence. The aim, for example, is to further optimize the effort required and automatically send the appropriate mailing based on interactions or specific triggers, says Newsletter2Go. “What is becoming increasingly popular are interactive newsletters in which the recipients no longer have to leave the newsletter and the inbox,” explains Sarah Weingarten, Content Marketing Manager at the newsletter provider from Berlin. Currently, this is still very complicated to program and not all e-mail clients support the format. “But a lot will happen here in in the future,” she predicts. With the help of the AI, segments will be formed in order to recommend products intelligently.
Optimize e-mail marketing instead of emulating buzzwords
The e-mail marketing provider Inxmail from Freiburg has a similar view. “In e-mail marketing, our task is to bring together the many points of contact with the customer, the growing volume of data, tools and systems in a meaningful way. Before marketers start chasing buzzwords or new technologies, they should take a look at their overall e-mail marketing strategy – because most companies already have significant optimization potential here,” says CEO Peter Ziras.
Inxmail meets this challenge with the so-called best-of-breed approach to e-mail marketing. This involves focusing on the core business – the design, personalization and secure delivery of e-mails and this based on the existing IT landscape or the cross-channel customer strategy of the respective customer. This also includes the transaction e-mails generated after a purchase (such as order and dispatch confirmations, invoices, or shipment tracking), which Inxmail believes are still insufficiently in the focus of marketers. The aim of the best-of-breed approach is to create deep integrations, in some cases automations, with other systems such as online shops, CRM solutions or campaign management tools, to enable data to flow in both directions. “After all, regardless of whether it’s in the lead process or in customer care, e-mail marketing is still about enhancing the recipient’s profile, with the aim of personalizing it in context,” adds Petra Maelzer, Director of Marketing, Sales and Customer Services at Inxmail.
Do your homework – especially in line with the GDPR
“What also pose a challenge for us are topics which are far removed from the oh so colorful world of marketing, but which are key success drivers for us and for e-mail: deliverability, whitelisting, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication), etc. Because anyone who is not familiar with or does not comply with the rules of ISPs puts their own company and its valuable reputation at risk,” says Ziras.
What still challenges the industry today is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Mailing must be legally secure, for example with forms and with a double opt-in. At the same time, the regulation prescribes data economy, which it difficult to collect e-mail addresses and personalize newsletters. Challenge number two is the optimization of newsletters for smartphone use. “Many are already responsive,” says Sarah Weingarten from Newsletter2Go, “but not yet in a design that is adapted to the small screen.”
There is no denying that e-mail marketing has proven its worth. It can be part of a holistic mix to pursue different goals such as information, sales or customer loyalty. Depending on the campaign objective, the newsletters can be integrated into a strategy. Nevertheless, they can act as a main channel or supplement other measures such as print ads, online advertising, television or radio marketing. As an example, Sarah Weingarten cites a reactivation campaign to inactive existing customers: A print mailing with a voucher code is sent out. A reminder e-mail is then sent one week before the voucher expires.
As well as the basic of e-mail marketing, the team fromNewsletter2Go will be presenting plenty of practical tips at DMEXCO. Among other things, live demos will show new functions of the software in editor. And last but not least, the important question of deliverability for the “drink through rate” will be clearly explained.
On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Inxmail will present itself at DMEXCO in its new brand design. Experts from the e-mail marketing provider will be at the stand to provide information on the wide range of analysis and consulting services in the areas of campaign management, personalization, marketing automation, lead generation and deliverability.
E-mail as a marketing tool is far from outdated. The high level of customer acceptance will continue to ensure that intelligent providers with increasing technological development can find the right mix to support and actually generate sales. And it is also clear that companies and brands are well advised to seek help from the experts who have often built up very profound know-how in this segment over many years. But this does not mean not taking an occasional look at newcomers who perhaps have the potential to significantly stimulate the market.