The year has been dominated by GDPR which has forced us, both as consumers and as businesses, to re-evaluate our relationship with email marketing. From our perspective, as an independent email marketing agency, this is something we’ve welcomed with open arms. One of the biggest trends we’ve noticed this year is seeing companies get under the skin of their email marketing, asking themselves question like: ‘What are trying to achieve?’ ‘Why do we run email marketing campaigns?’ and ‘Who are we doing it for?’
The upshot of this has been a marked increase in the quality of communications being sent across the board – something we’ve practiced at Jarrang for a long time. But what else has the year taught us about email marketing? We put the questions to our team and here’s what they had to say…
“While attention was in full focus on GDPR for the most part of Q1, as expected, data is still a huge talking point going forward. Attention is now turning to retention of databases and the use of the promotional/re-engagement style emails are more important now than ever before with changing data policies for every organisation.
“The subject of data has got everyone thinking about how best to use their data, with fields being removed where they’re not necessary, it’s drawn attention to where there could be some real valuable segments that previously wouldn’t have been utilised. This might be something as simple as a locals segment to milestone emails and VIP rewards (all with retention in mind).
“One thing every marketing manager or business owner has to deal with is ‘time’, or a lack of. At Jarrang, we actively push for automation to be a staple for email marketing strategies as marketing teams can concentrate on other more pressing matters, safe in the knowledge that leads are getting warmed, reminders are being sent or your VIPs are getting that bit of love they deserve!”
“I’d echo some of Jay’s thoughts on data. As client’s now have smaller databases, after the data-cleanses of GDPR, they are now thinking about how to use the data that they have more effectively.
“This is starting to be done with more in-depth thought on the development of using creative segments. For example, the targeting of several different geographic areas delivering different content that’s relevant to them and the services that are closest to them.
“In addition, in relation to the post-GDPR smaller databases, there is the continued re-education we play a part in in getting businesses to understand a higher quality, smaller database of engaged recipients is more valuable than a larger database of inactive non-openers.
“This message is starting to get through as businesses start to see improved open and click through rates on post-GDPR campaigns, using their more engaged databases continually. This is likely to lead to a re-assessing of what a ‘good open rate’ is.”
“Whereas the build up to the May 25 (the day GDPR came into force), led to substantial GDPR projects, ongoing data management is just as important. It’s not a one-off exercise and we’re in the process of implementing standard procedures for re-engagement emails to help our client’s keep their databases in the best possible shape and stay on top of their data management policy.
“Just like GDPR led to higher quality data, rather than high quantity data, as far as sending emails is concerned it is about sending relevant content, rather than batch and blast emails. It is about finding the right angle and maximising the potential of where dynamic segments can be applied so emails appeal to recipients on a personal level and increase engagement rates.”
“I’m excited to see the industry moving towards better accessibility. For so long, email developers have had a difficult enough time getting their emails to render correctly for major email clients without having to worry about extra layers of complexity to cater for those with difficulties.
“We have also seen an increase in interactive email techniques. Despite insurmountable odds, email developers have managed to invent ways to insert modern web functionality into email – a truly impressive feat!”
We’re looking forward to see what the rest of the year brings and, as far as the future goes, we believe email marketing is stronger than ever and, when it’s done right, is one of the most powerful marketing channels out there to deliver results.