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Email sophistication – it’s time to take your marketing to the next level

28th Sep 2016
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Your marketing strategy might be effective today but if you’re not planning for the future and the possibility of potential disruptors changing your industry, you could be putting your business at risk of failing, and losing out to competitors that are ahead of the curve. Comet and Blockbuster have something in common – they closed down because they failed to adapt to customer expectations and change with the times. Blockbuster, for example, didn’t invest in digital and fell behind when the likes of Netflix came on the scene. You need to be able to identify what areas of your marketing strategy currently work and areas that need improving.

Almost 90 per cent of adults regularly use the internet, according to the Office for National Statistics, and this change in consumer behaviour means marketers need to adapt to reflect consumer’s daily habits. People expect a real-time, personalised experience and companies such as Amazon are constantly raising the bar for what is expected, especially with the recent launch of Amazon Dash.

The way people consume and filter emails is also changing in response to consumer expectations. Year on year email sends are increasing by 28 per cent, according to our recent Benchmark Report. The inbox is getting busier, so your emails must stand out amongst your competitors to engage current and future customers.

For many organisations, their email marketing is either non-existent or basic, yet it is one of the biggest drivers of ROI in the marketing mix. Personalisation is imperative for engagement, but many brands are failing to implement a tailored approach with their email marketing strategy. We know that emails with personalisation get opened 23% more than emails with none and those emails with multiple pieces of personalisation get opened 31% more than those with one.

It’s important to understand that challenges and limitations exist around developing a more strategic approach to email marketing. Data is the greatest challenge to email marketers, closely followed by ‘limited internal resource’, according to the DMA. Having a framework in place to map-out your journey to sophistication can help deal with these challenges and provide a timeline for success.

Adapting your email marketing strategy to increase sophistication could place you ahead of your competition. But, where do you start? Our sophistication scale and supporting guide can help you out:

  1. Recognise where you are and then plot where you want to be

Do you know the ROI of your email marketing strategy? 54% of TFM attendees this year didn't know theirs! Identify how effective your email marketing strategy is and the ROI you’re generating at present. Is it what you thought? If not, are you lacking key elements such as personalisation and sending emails for the sake of it with no considered plan or strategy? Once you know where you sit, you can identify your ambitions.

  1. Involve your stakeholders from the start

When altering your email marketing strategy, you may find that you need to change some mind-sets within your business, such as an approach of ‘blasting out’ as many emails as possible. Getting buy-in from all stakeholders at the very beginning will mean you can set strong foundations for the new strategy from the get-go.

  1. Map out your goals and objectives

Determining your email strategy from the start is really important. Identify your goals, analyse your performance in terms of what works well, identify opportunities and areas for improvement and set goals and objectives so you have something to strive for.

  1. The customer is number one

Your customers (current or prospective) should always sit at the heart of your email strategy. Before you put your email marketing strategy in place, stop and think about what the benefit is for your recipient. Consider how your email journey adds value to your customer’s experience with your brand, service and product.

  1. Analyse and evaluate

Consistently ask yourself what’s working really well and what could be improved? Benchmark your performance against competitors to see where the opportunities are and to ensure you’re always applying context to your activity.

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