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The Highest Performing Digital Channel Isn’t New, Often Overlooked

The Highest Performing Digital Channel Isn’t New, Often Overlooked Katie Buck Wheeler

Continually emerging digital channels present exciting opportunities for marketers. However, despite the array of new channels, the highest performing avenue is often overlooked and not taken into account when you consider how to allocate marketing spend. Of course, I'm talking about email marketing.

In a successfully executed digital strategy, marketers must include this channel or they risk losing a huge potential for conversions. According to eMarketer, 81 percent of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were more likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email.

Marketers shouldn’t ignore new digital marketing channels, but the most impactful outcomes derive from simply aligning email and other channels together. That being said, how can brands best connect these channels to make the most of their ad spend? 

Mobile and Tablets are Key

According to Google Analytics data, 50 percent of all online traffic is now coming from smartphones and tablets. Subscribers actively check their email, giving marketers access to their inboxes. At the same time, people are increasingly less tolerant of brands that don’t offer the value they’re looking for, in a personalized way.

It’s no longer enough to make emails responsive and mobile optimized; the entire purchase experience has to be seamless, as consumers move from one device to another, given the majority of consumers immediately delete emails that render incorrectly on their device. A consumer won’t always go through with a purchase on a responsive email campaign, but certainly continually reinforcing security and creating a good user experience will impact those purchase decisions. 

Email Subscribers Are Social

Email subscribers want special deals and most social followers engage because they want to save money, but email shouldn’t be used purely as a promotional channel. According to QuickSprout, marketers that actively promote social interaction in emails, and showcase the value of following a brand, trigger deep levels of engagement from consumers. Brand advocacy on social media is a result of email marketers sending relevant content, making the consumers much more likely to share the resonating messages on social. 

Email Drives Consumer Purchase Behavior -- The Initial Purchase isn’t the End

Consumers subscribe to email offers for various reasons, whether they want discounts or to know when items are on sale. However, according to a study by MyBuys and the e-tailing group, 41% of consumers say that they buy more from retailers that send them personalized emails. It’s tempting to believe the buyer’s journey ends when a prospect becomes a customer, but the reality is brands need to continue delivering value after consumers purchase -- helping turn customers into brand loyalists.

Brands need to understand the reach and effectiveness of email is contingent on marketers’ ability to increase relevance and personalization for each consumer segment. While demographic differences affect many preferences, all consumers expect a personalized, integrated, cross-channel experience, and have high expectations for how their data is used in emails. Marketers must continue to collect and organize data, generate holistic customer and segment views, implement automation and personalize where possible in order to drive continued response.  

Despite the recent explosion of marketing techniques that leverage newer channels, studies continue to suggest email remains king. Email marketing is growing to be even more accepted by consumers, therefore updating and improving email marketing strategy needs to be a focus for all forward-looking digital marketers. Millennials and Gen Y are desirable and strong audiences for email marketing, but now more than ever, the experience needs to cater to what they want, how they want it, and where they want it.

Katie Wheeler brings 15 years of digital marketing and advertising experience with a smile and passion for helping other marketers succeed.  Proud to be a Mappster for 2 ½ years. Prior to Mapp Digital, Katie built her email, mobile,...

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