Marketers that feel there is just not enough time to spend on email marketing, you may be slightly comforted to know that you are not alone.
The bid to keep up with the evolving nature of email marketing is a challenge many organisations are struggling with, according to marketers that attended Econsultancy’s Festival of Marketing.
Several senior client-side marketers gathered together for Digital Cream during the Festival, where email marketing, among other topics, was discussed at great lengths.
The general consensus? Emaiil has great potential to become even more efficient than it already is. It's just going to take skills, buy-in and time that many do not have... yet.
While these discussions were under the Chatham House Rules, the insights gleaned have been pulled together to create the new Email Marketing Trends Briefing published this week by Econsultancy in association with Pure360.
The trends briefing, which is free for registered users, also contains some best practice tips, market data and case studies.
Segmenting: great in theory, problematic in practice
The ability to segment audiences appears to both fascinate and frustrate marketers.
One on hand, the dream of delivering highly relevant email content to consumers is a not so distant reality, given the resources that are available. However, the perceived complexity of the process has limited all but a minority of companies from using sophisticated methods of segmenting their customer base.
While a new skillset may be necessary to effectively maximise the opportunities that can come from taking an iterative approach towards creating email campaigns, Lucy Wilsdon from Pure360 suggests that understanding the brand as marketers is just as important to the process:
You have many options for segmenting such as: by device opened on, engagement levels, the data a recipient gives you, their browsing history. Follow the same principles that apply to all email marketing; hypothesise, test, review and repeat. As marketers you're experts in your own brands and if you do get negative results from a campaign you will learn far more from these exercises than you do from repeating the same campaigns week after week.
To learn more about segmentation and email marketing, you may wish to take our Email Marketing training course.
Can social and email work together?
The integrated nature of what marketing should be according to the Modern Marketing Manifesto, means that social is a hot topic in almost every conversation. However, the roundtable discussions revealed that social and email are far from best friends.
While email is often presented as one of the most efficient methods for generating a return on investment, there is internal debate in many organisations about the value social provides for the business. According to a number of delegates, the lack of purpose given to social has made it difficult to create collaborative opportunities between the two channels.
However, research suggests that more companies are finding ways to weave their social activities with email. Three in every five companies (59%) are integrating the channels together according to this year’s Email Marketing Industry Census, up 8% from last year.
Which of the following channels are integrated with your email marketing activity?
For those that have managed to integrate social and email, the results are promising. Inside the trends briefing, Pure360 illustrates how Teapig was able to increase social signups to the email newsletter by 30%.
Winning the business case for mobile
Marketers cannot ignore mobile as it is massively influencing engagement and conversion. Mobile should be an exciting prospect for most marketers; it allows your audience to engage/convert at any time.
Mobile has had an undeniable impact on the world of email marketing. As Lucy Wilsden says above, the ability to send consumers targeted, relevant content at any time of the day will create multiple opportunities for those able to maximise it.
However, despite many themes that surround mobile revolve around speed and immediacy, the majority of companies are just starting to optimise email messaging for mobile.
Marketers are being slowed down by the process of putting together the business case for mobile. Delegates suggested among other things, that using data to show what percentage of consumers are engaging with email via mobile, and what mobile devices they are using is extremely useful for starting such conversations.
If you are winning (or have already won) the mobile battle, let us know how you did in the comments.
For more key themes and trends around how marketers are tackling email marketing, plus more case studies, market data, best practice tips and advice, download your free copy of the Email Marketing Trends Briefing.