Is email marketing steadily being displaced to oblivion?

Email marketing is considered to be an ineffective approach to reach consumers. Will there be a change in the marketer’s approach & consumer’s perception?

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Mar 19, 2013 7:00 PM
Is email marketing steadily being displaced to oblivion?

“Email marketing has been and is still the most return-oriented direct marketing medium. Marketers in India have warmed up to email marketing rapidly,” says Naresh Bhagtani, Managing Director, Juvlon India.

It will be naive to ignore the medium of email in times to come. Kalpit Jain, COO, netCore, concurring with Bhagtani, said that there was no way one could ignore the efficacy of the medium and the email marketing industry in India is set to grow manifold.

Amit Chaudhary, Co-Founder and COO, Lenskart shared that email marketing is an integral part of their marketing campaign, which has so far paid rich dividends. He said that email marketing helps in building up the brand, but the key to success is content and the creative. Chaudhary also harped upon the fact that email marketing campaigns can be successful if there is proper data mining at the backend. “Don’t ignore data for niche targeting,” he said.

Presenting a case study, Snehi Jha Mehta, Head Marketing, ICICI Prudential AMC, said that they made a dramatic shift in the way they approached email marketing. She mentioned that in order to garner more value out of their email marketing campaigns, they did away with mass mailing and concentrated more on targeted customer. Thus, analytics and content became the key for them, and this shift has worked for them in terms of customer queries, clicks and traffic volume.

Vivek Bhargava, CEO, iProspectCommunicate2 said that for the youth, there is no differentiation on the medium. Marketers are thinking about integration but youth today have already integrated.

Is it correct to term email marketing as spam marketing?
Bhagtani stated that at times brands keep on sending mailers without acknowledging the need of the consumer. “There are times when the mailers from the brand have not been receiving any responses since many months but even then brands keep on bombarding the inbox of the consumer, which eventually leads to derailment of the brand equity,” he added.

Soma Sharma, campaign and event based marketing, HDFC Bank mentioned that brands have to be sensitive to the consumer needs. “If the campaigns are innovative and vie for consumer development, response is received in due course of time. All email marketing needs is a targeted message to the targeted audience,” she said.

“While consumers don’t differentiate in messages, marketers do, and it is important to create communication that is device agnostic!  Marketers are currently grappling with this challenge,” said Bhagtani.

Aditya Challa, Associate VP – IMImobile said, “There is a growing interest amongst Indian businesses for online and digital marketing channels that offer a high return on investment and deeper customer engagement.”

He further added, “There are some very proactive brands that have dispelled certain widely held notions about email marketing and presented a 360 degree approach to customer lifecycle management using multiple channels and customer touch-points such as social, smartphone apps and mobile messaging.”

The above mentioned digital experts agree that if email marketing is not overhauled, it is bound to face numerous challenges in the future, but they were optimistic of the fact that cheap execution cost and easy segmentation will be the key for this model of marketing in the future.

These experts were speaking at the Email Marketing Summit organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in Mumbai.

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