With the new year kicking off, many marketing teams are busy creating new goals for the year ahead. While a number of the decisions being made will be based on internal business metrics, we think it’s important to also consider how potential industry trends might impact your overall business and marketing goals, specifically those trends around email marketing efforts.
We believe2019 will see changes around privacy, personalization, customer experience, and program management. Let’s take a quick look at the driving factors around each of these categories.
Email Marketing: Privacy and Permissioning
Even as more rigorous regulations were rolling into action, consumers experienced an onslaught of privacy exposures as companies like Facebook, T-Mobile, and Marriott found themselves faced with data breach issues.
We expect that we’ll be seeing significant changes in consumer privacy and permissioning this year. A new federal data protection agency focusing on how businesses collect and use consumer data is expected to be formed – all part of a grassroots effort being championed by several American corporate giants. This new organization and the regulations they are successful in implementing are expected to be game changers.
In an effort to become more proactive, we expect to see companies strengthening their own internal consumer privacy and data security practices.
Email Marketing: Personalization and Enhanced User Experience
While there is a huge push for stronger consumer protection, there is also going to be a huge push for personalization. Users are becoming savvier and now expect to have truly personalized experiences with brands. As consumers become more willing to share information, their expectations of personalization have increased dramatically.
From personalized offers and emails to incorporating AI (artificial intelligence) to create customized experiences based on consumer behavior, brands are likely to push for more ways to create a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience for their users — and consumers are expecting more!
With more data at their fingertips, consumers now have a higher expectation about what their customer experiences should be. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by YouGov, 47 percent of consumers surveyed have higher expectations about their customer experience as a direct result of them sharing personal information with their favorite brands. And, not surprisingly, the younger the respondent, the higher the expectations.
Personalization will also be impacting the ESPs (email service providers) and how they filter and deliver emails to consumers. In order to ensure consistently high inbox deliverability rates, brands will be creating more relevant, highly compelling personalized opportunities for users.
Not only will these emails be more likely to land in the consumer’s inbox, but this type of focus also increases the likelihood of the user opting to engage with the emails. While each ESP operates under their own processes and procedures, more and more of them are consolidating, merging databases, consumer information, and internal security and privacy practices. As mergers continue, the email provider landscape will continue to dwindle. In fact, it is expected that the top ten ESPs will serve more than two-thirds of the overall market by the end of 2019.
With these major changes looming, brands are likely to be more focused than ever to maximize their inbox deliverability rates and work hard to create more personalize consumers experiences in an effort to appease both ESPs and the more demanding, savvy consumer.
Email Marketing: Program Management
Along the lines of personalization, brands will be putting more effort towards program management in the coming year. This type of focus will pull users away from traditional ’email and wait for general customer support to respond’ practices to streamlined, instant access to dedicated customer advocates.
Be it chat, instant messenger, email or phone, brands that create program management processes that put consumer needs first and provide more personalized, catered experiences will become standout winners in the coming year.