By Kalpit Jain
The email was incepted when the first electronic version of a letter was sent across in 1971. From those days of infancy to the present, when all inter as well as intrapersonal communication is carried over emails, we have now reached a stage when email has gone beyond its traditional role. It has evolved as a powerful communication enabler with unparalleled reach in the history of communication.
First among equals
“It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.” – Don Quixote
Heeding the famous adage, over the years, the complexity and span of modern business forced the entry of other channels of communication such as Short Message Service (SMS) and app notifications to challenge the status quo.
Now, save for the brand’s full domination and its authority to summon the consumer’s active memory. Push channels such as email, SMS, and app notifications remain the most preferred alternative for an enterprise to attract customers searching its whereabouts through websites and apps.
However, among the three, despite enjoying the maximum patronage, the email-based marketing model’s penetration has remained at an abysmal 10%, and the remaining 90% of the emails are simply brushed aside. Thus, increasing email interactivity remains one of the most critical marketing hurdles to overcome.
Why does it still remain a popular choice?
This could be attributed to the fact that email and phone numbers have become identities, the prima donna among open and direct channels to reach people. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, and other social media platforms are all restricted and controlled by guidelines designed in the boardroom of a blue-chip. Push notifications warrant app installation.
Have you ever wondered why emails or SMS are yet to be constricted by stipulations and baggage? Perhaps, the answer lies somewhere inherently – by way of the information carried over by these mediums, on top of driving traffic to their respective sites and triggering revenue from advertisements and other paid services.
Don’t forget to flip the picture, though – traditional marketing emails have permitted only two actions: open and click; it becomes a bit bleak; however – 9 out of 10 are tossed aside by consumers who had shared their email IDs willingly to receive updates and new product information. But somewhere down the line, the enthusiasm to follow these updates has fizzled out. All the innovation that goes into email design is for nought if 9 out of 10 customers do not open the emails.
An attempt at rationalising consumer behaviour for not going through an email would reveal that most of the time, emails are turfed out to the promotional folder, which consumers rarely visit, instead of the primary inbox. Gmail and Yahoo had made this possible basis algorithm, which was initially designed to combat spam, but later proved their usefulness by categorising emails into spam and genuine. And the net result – many bona fide emails ending up in the spam folder, never to be opened.
Where does that leave us in an atmosphere at the cusp of major transition? ‘Adwaste’ afflicts the strategies, which means half of the expenditure winding up in customer reacquisition as well as incorrect acquisitions, ultimately despoiling the profit and loss statements. Bombarded with incessant brand messages, customers have habitually given emails the cold shoulder. The resultant loss of goodwill has forced most brands to squander away the funds on acquisitions and lay up the spending on retention, growth, and cross-sell, resulting in further brand degradation.
Conclusion: Road Ahead
“We remember, we rebuild, we come back stronger” – Barack Obama
By empowering it with apps and micro websites, user-friendly platforms such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have once again turned the spotlight on email. AMP helps in increased interactivity and improves dwell time on the email, improving engagement significantly, and reduces any cybersecurity threat that may occur due to multiple page navigation. According to Netcore Cloud’s recent report – Email Benchmark Report 2022, sectors like banking, e- commerce has shown the highest adoption of AMP interactive emails in 2021. Likewise, micro- content and stories are being integrated by Express Mail Service (EMS) to make emails a daily necessity in the lives of end customers and increase the brand's cognitive presence.
These Email 2.0 innovations can help manufacture a behavioural renaissance by making emails trendy again, allowing marketers to reduce wasted adtech expenditure and acquire more customer data, allowing CMOs to increase revenue and profits.
The author is group CEO, Netcore Cloud