Every year we all look around and say, “email is a dying channel, this is the year of [insert new channel here],” and every year email remains. Well, this year seems to be no different, as new channels are introduced and gain popularity, looking at you Facebook and Instagram advertising, email still remains a consumer favorite.
Adobe Campaigns recently put out of their consumer email survey, which polled over 1,000 US based consumers to understand what’s really going on with email. This survey found that 61% of consumers prefer to receive offers via email, a 24% increase from last year; however, they have a few caveats on what they’re willing to put up with in their inbox. Consumers are looking for personalized, tailored, timely emails.
- 34% of consumers get frustrated when brands recommend products that are not inline with their interests
- 40% of consumers wish email content was less promotional and more informative
Translation: consumers don’t want to receive every single email offer. This finding is buoyed by Internet Retailer’s Digital Marketing Survey, showing that email still delivers the best return on investment.
So how does this consumer behavior compare to marketer’s behavior? The 2017 Retention & Predictive Marketing report indicates that marketers have a fairly strong understanding of what their consumers want. This year’s report showed that retailers were spending more time on creating more sophisticated and personalized email campaigns using things like dynamic product recommendations and predicted trigger dates. While there was a slight dip in budget allocation for email, the overall trend has been to personalize and iterate on existing campaigns. So rather than sending everyone in the database the same promotion, retailers and brands are moving towards one-to-one marketing.
What About Other Channels?
All of this isn’t to say that other channels aren’t gaining ground. Social advertising on platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, is alive, well, and growing. In the same 2017 Retention & Predictive Marketing Report, we saw an uptick in budget allocation for social marketing. Similarly, Internet Retailer’s Digital Marketing Survey supports this notion, pointing to a large spike (90% increase) in brands focusing on Instagram advertising from 2015 to 2017. When asked about social media, Wendy Mudis, Director of Digital Advertising for LIDS, stated “I think social will play a big part. With things like shoppable ads, I think companies will lean heavily on on social to drive trends and influence others through organic and paid efforts.”
So How Do You Tackle Both?
The critical component to any marketing channel is understanding how the consumer is going to react. A lot of this may depend on what your target demographic looks like. If your industry plays to an older crowd - you’re probably best sticking to email as your main point of contact channel and experimenting with social. However, one of the easiest ways to align your email and social channels is to create campaigns that run across both channels, targeting your consumers with the relevant lifecycle messaging and even using this information to attract new customers via lookalike ads. Not every customer is going to pay attention to email, and, similarly, not every customer is going to pay attention to social ads. The goal with each is to harness the right portion of your audience with the right information - this leads to more shots on goal, more visits to your website, and ultimately, more revenue.