Brands stepping up the quality of the email content and strategy is nothing new. Often considered one of the key foundations of a solid marketing strategy, an adaptable, interactive and engaging email campaign can be found in everyone’s inbox. But some brands are leaving others in the dust when it comes to email innovation. Expert email service provider Adestra’s Campaign of the Year competition saw the compilation of 12 unique and invariably successful email marketing campaigns, utilising tools such as dynamic and conditional content, customer journey mapping and segmentation to engage their customers to great effect.
The winning campaign, electrical giant Meteor in partnership with Infinity Nation, is a great example of how personalisation is still the top dog when it comes to securing high engagement. With a phenomenal 117 per cent uplift in open rate and £106 average revenue per re-engaged contact, their “anniversary” campaign used key customer data to create a personalised experience that grabs the user’s attention and guides them gently back to the site with offers and discounts. The campaign uses conditional content, which allows the same email to be seamlessly customised for trade or retail, and still entice the customer, regardless of the strength of their purchase history or, indeed, if they haven’t purchased at all. Conditional content is well suited to this kind of reactivation campaign because its adaptability allows it to connect with every customer in a unique way, depending on their own customer journey.
Consumers have more options to shop with than ever before, and as a result brand loyalty is a dwindling premise. With so many brands competing for the consumer’s attention, savvy shoppers can afford to shop around for the one offering the best customer experience, prices and perks. A clunky checkout process or unresponsive site can see consumer engagement disappear without so much as a second glance. But how can reactivation campaigns like that used by Meteor move towards healing that brand-consumer bond? “By sending subscribers emails that are truly tailored to the kind of interaction they’ve had with you, their segment, and their interests, you show as a brand that you care about their customer experience.” Says Anca Staples, content executive, Adestra. “If you, as a brand, put in the effort to send relevant communications, they are much more likely to pay attention to what you have to say, and if they like your message, convert and stay loyal.”
Having a clearly defined brand position that your consumers can connect with will also have a resounding effect on brand loyalty. “If your proposition is right, product right, messaging is strong and you are clear WHY your brand exists, people buy will buy into that.” Says Al Keck, managing director, Infinity Nation. “Apple and Tesla are both good examples of this – they are both innovators and have great product, but their customers also buy into WHY they are doing what they are doing and become brand advocates. These kind of reactivation campaigns, show that you are not just blasting the customers with offers, but you actually have taken time to show people you care about the business they have placed with you and you value them as a customer.” As a brand ambassador, the customer is not only engaged with your brand and product, but they also become a vital part of the dissemination of the brand’s image and values. When customers feel connected with the creative process and reputation of their favourite products, the relationship between marketer and consumer can only grow stronger.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
An email campaign is often the foremost window for brands to communicate with their customers, but the relationship between brand and target recipient is very different between B2B and B2C campaigns. What marks these two different areas apart, and how should marketers be tackling this challenge? “There is a difference in the type of data collected by B2B and B2C marketers.” Says Staples. “The first group focuses more on qualifying actions that signal a move down the funnel like visiting particular pages, downloading resources and so on. Whereas for B2C marketers, visiting a page doesn’t necessarily show such strong interest. Instead, conversions are more frequent, price, discounts and repeated actions are more important.” Differing customer intentions mean email marketing campaigns must have a clearly designed objective. It all comes down to understanding what the customer’s expectations are and being able to choose the most effective content. In spite of these notable differences however, the principles of a solid email strategy remain the same, whoever the target consumer is. “While the data is different, the approach to using it in a personalised way has the same principle: identify your customer journeys based on segments, the motivations behind making a purchase and map appropriate messages to that.” Staples reminds us that whoever the consumer is, whether B2B or B2C, there is a human behind the data with needs that your brand will supply, providing the user experience is good enough.
The Next Move
While Meteor’s email campaign shows great use of the current email marketing techniques that are circulating the industry, it would be foolish to believe that email has peaked. So what trends do our experts see forming on the horizon? “Marketing technology’s evolution has enabled marketers to spend less time on execution and more time on planning. With that in mind, there is no excuse as to why all communications shouldn’t be relevant and targeted.” Says Staples. “Personalisation, optimisation and robust system integrations will play a great role in the near future in making that a reality. There’s a bit of iteration and flexibility involved, but marketers should at least be on the right path to one-to-one communications.” That one-to-one dynamic holds plenty of potential for marketers, especially as more and more consumers are going mobile for a larger proportion of their interaction with brands. Keck notes that “there is still a lot of evolution for mobile. It will be interesting to see how video in email progresses […] I believe there are smarter ways to influence engagement via a mobile device.” As different forms of content are assimilated seamlessly into the email marketer’s toolkit, email will continue to have the ability to entertain, surprise, and ultimately convert.
What email marketing campaigns have caught your attention lately? Where do you see the channel going next? Continue the conversation at @Figaro_Digital.