Staying up on business trends and emerging technologies is part of what we all need to do as marketers – whether it’s for career growth, to outmaneuver the competition, to avoid getting blindsided, or to better understand our prospects and customers.
With that in mind, during my reading this past week I came across these three developments, which are trending now and impacting the state of email marketing:
- Voice technology making noise: If you’ve ever used a Google Home or Amazon Echo or Alexa device, you’ve witnessed how far technology has advanced in the realm of recognizing, understanding and taking action from human speech. For email marketers, the advent of voice technology might mean that email may soon be automatically “read” by certain devices and enable voice interaction with users to – for example –gather more information, answer a question, complete a purchase, pay a bill or connect with a customer service representative. As a result, to enable and benefit from this kind of interaction, in the future email messages will need to be more human-like and conversational in their approach to communication, and well-constructed designs around voice and tone will become critical. Additionally, calls-to-action may also be voice driven, such as an offer to talk to a live person or to schedule a phone follow-up call or demo on a calendar. Chief Marketer recently published a great article on this overall topic and it’s worth a few minutes of your time.
- Desktop computers still driving purchases: Although it’s clear that designing email campaigns for mobile devices is essential today, it’s interesting to note that desktop computers still produce the highest amount of email conversions and revenue, according to a new report by Movable Ink. While initial email opens – and the beginning of the sales cycle – may typically start on smartphones, shoppers still seem more comfortable conducting their purchases via desktop devices. In fact, the average order placed on a desktop was $251.25 compared to just $124.21 for the average order placed on smartphones. The implication is that there is room for improvement when it comes to improving the mobile commerce experience, or it could be that consumers have more trust in their desktop computers for important or expensive transactions. Whatever the reason, the point is to consider both the desktop and the mobile experience in your email designs – and more importantly, engage with prospects with a consistent, seamless experience (message, colors, images, offers, etc.) across all channels of communication.
- Companies struggling with email attacks: According to the Ponemon Institute, the vast majority (80%) of IT professionals surveyed have fears about the state of their email security. Up to 82% are concerned about hackers spoofing their email domain, hurting the delivery of legitimate emails, and 30% are certain they have suffered a data breach in the last 12 months. Anti-spam and anti-phishing filters have been largely ineffective in mitigating these issues. Email marketers can be a part of the solution by refraining from using false or misleading information or deceptive subject lines, or from otherwise trying to trick prospects into engagement. Instead, even when you put creativity at the forefront, your campaigns should always be anchored by honesty and accuracy.
The thought of email attacks keeps me awake at night, but I also lose sleep contemplating all the exciting new innovations that are now hitting email marketing, such as the use of voice technology. What emerging trends are top of mind for you right now?
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including millennials and other generations -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.