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Guest Column: How brands revive consumers from email fatigue?-Kalpit Jain

23-November-2016
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Guest Column: How brands revive consumers from email fatigue?-Kalpit Jain

The use of MarTech tools, brands can synchronise consumer data points collected through digital footprints and create detailed consumer profiles writes Kalpit Jain, CEO, netCORE Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Consumers today are digitally evolved – they know the exact what, how and where of everything. They have their set preferences of what device and technology they prefer to use to gather information. Additionally, they know ‘how and where’ to receive and consume this information. Though mobile is able to engage with on-the-go consumers, email still remains the most preferred source of marketing for brands as it is the most affordable and detailed platform. But the question still remains: Do consumers like to be contacted by email? The answer is a resounding YES!

Today, India has nearly 370-400 million mobile users and 325 million smartphone users. This means that the country’s appetite for digital consumption is huge. In addition, due to increased smartphone penetration, people sync both their personal and official email on their smartphones and tend to check it a lot more frequently through their internet-enabled devices. People from Tier II and III markets are also fervent mobile users. Thus, brands are culling out basic information from the digital footprints of customers (such as email, name, age, sex etc) in order to better engage with them. Then, emails are crafted using that information and are powered by MarTech to make each message as personalised as possible.

With many brands thinking along the same lines, most consumers are inundated with several marketing emails every day. There are two factors that cause email fatigue amongst consumers: when the content of the email is not relevant or if there are repetitive emails sent to same consumer. This is where marketing technology can help in a big way. Marketing technology helps to create a unified consumer view. Using MarTech tools, brands can synchronise consumer data points collected through digital footprints and create detailed consumer profiles. Segmentation also plays a vital role in effectively engaging with consumers. Through segmentation, brands are now moving towards mass, one-to one marketing. Brands can segment their target audience based on their age group, preferred method of communication (mobile/SMS/push notifications), etc. MarTech tools then help deliver relevant content that is well-suited to each segment.

Making email marketing real-time

Information updated in real time has been a path-breaking advancement for consumer brands today. Traditional email marketing was static, which created ambiguity and confusion about the content, if not accessed on time. For instance, imagine a media house sends out the top three tweets of the day to its consumers. If the brand uses traditional static email as its tool, the content of the mail is most likely to read: “Top 3 tweets of the day”, even if the consumer opens the mail on the subsequent day or many days later. Using real-time emailing tools, marketers are now able to append a real-time ticker to their mail which changes according to the time the mail is accessed. In the same example, with real-time emailing, the content would read: “Top three tweets of yesterday” if opened the next day, or “Top three tweets of (date on which the original email was sent)” if opened at any date in the future. We have seen daily increases in revenue of 50-70% for various consumer brands from using such engagement tools.

A brand marketer should remember that their consumers receive several emails in a day since most brands use email for engagement and communication. Therefore, messaging also plays a vital role in upscaling the marketing proposition. The key here is personalisation. Brands have to innovate their messaging according to the medium on which the content is accessed. So if the consumer accesses their email only on mobile, the content has to be mobile-friendly. Brands are also beginning to use customised email that is targeted at the individual consumer. These personalised messages contain content that is relevant to and interests the consumer. Brands can also design emails for their customers’ special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries. This helps brands build lasting relationships with their consumers and drives brand loyalty. We have seen that personalised, triggered communication brings in 40-50% better results than any other campaign.

Cross-channel communication

SMS marketing is yet another tool for brands to engage with consumers. However the medium has its limitations. First, the tool is slightly expensive compared to email marketing and has a limit of 160 characters. Second, there are certain regulations which govern promotions made through SMS. Finally, the volume of SMS marketing has significantly reduced with the advent of WhatsApp. Push notifications have emerged to be a better channel of engagement on mobile than SMS for various brands. Taking the recent example of the demonetisation of currency, brands in the mobile wallet segment used push notifications as medium to promote their services and offerings. While email, SMS, and push notifications fall under push marketing, there is another vertical called ‘pull marketing’ that uses Chatbots, a buzzword in the technology space. Pull marketing requires consumers themselves to pull out data. Hence, chatbots are used more for resolving consumer queries, rather than marketing. However, in the long run, both push and pull marketing will need co-exist for successful consumer brand marketing.

Summary

Millennials have been estimated to be a brand’s most coveted customers due to their high future annual purchasing power. Omni-channel connections are what will help create connections with this demographic. While email helps build a personalised connect with consumers, SMS helps to engage with on-the-go consumers. Email marketing is drifting towards marketing automation; therefore, brands are pre-planning their messaging, setting their context and targeting their consumers segment-wise for a better communication flow. In today’s world, silos do not work effectively. The integration of email marketing with MarTech can help brands to combine all channels under one roof and synchronise data for a superior consumer experience.

 

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