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02 Nov 2016 by Farhan Rehman
Google's view of digital market dynamics parallels Forfront’s view for e-mail marketing.
It’s a daunting prospect to have to stand up in front of a large audience of marketing specialists to present a piece on e-mail marketing straight after Google present their view of the current digital market’s dynamics. However, that is exactly what I was faced with when I was invited to speak at Topclick’s quarterly symposium at Google’s UK head office just off Tottenham Court Road recently.
It was therefore with a mixture of surprise, pride and relief that I listened to Google’s take on things. Surprise at how close we were in alignment with Google; pride in my Marketing Manager, Georgette Priestley’s assessment of our market data and therefore strategy implementation; and relief that I wasn’t going to stand up and say something completely contrary to such an influential business in front of some influential people.
It certainly wasn’t a shock to me when Google announced that technology, and especially mobile technology, is driving change. We have seen a massive increase in the number of people opening their emails on mobile devices and interacting immediately with the content of the email. Hence the primary requirement that emails, landing pages and web sites have to be mobile responsive. The fact that we collate and can analyse billions of bits of data minute by minute, enabling us to segment our data, be more relevant and personal in our communications and be able to be far more predictive in our customers and prospects behaviour is also no surprise to anyone.
As an email marketing company, we have seen that good, organically grown, well segmented data that is communicated with in an informative, relevant and personalised way will drive a much higher ROI, improve customer retention and enhance brand loyalty.
The two pieces of information that I was relieved we agreed over were firstly how important a part video was now playing in the digital world (something Topclick themselves excel in providing) and secondly the criticality of when and where your audience receives your marketing communication. In fact, not just knowing when and where they receive your communication, but your ability to respond dynamically to it.
Video is an interesting one for email service providers as embedded video is a definite ‘no no’ in terms of best practice and is a sure fire way to provide an inconsistent experience to your audience with many email clients not allowing embedded video. However, we do advocate the use of animated gifs as a teaser and attention grabber with links to more informative and engaging videos, especially hosted on a well-crafted, data capture landing page, to increase user interaction dramatically.
The real gains though are in the ability to deliver a dynamic response to when and where your audience opens or views your communication. If you can provide different content depending on the circumstances of your recipient and make it ‘hyper-personal’ then you are more than just a step ahead of your competition.
Email has a huge advantage here over other forms of marketing. Not only can we deliver hyper-personalised content, we can do it automatically and at scale. It was a pleasure and an honour to be asked to present and it was comforting to talk about how my industry is evolving and have our perspective backed up by none other than Google.