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The end of email is not nigh

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen articles and social media discussions heralding ‘the end of email’. But several factors are breathing new life and better ROI into email marketing.

Marketing automation

Take marketing automation. With its ability to segment and target contacts more intelligently, automation enables personalisation to be taken to a higher level with persona-led content. Audiences’ digital body language, personal preferences and business interests can be accounted for, so communications become more relevant and meaningful.

At a practical level, automation also allows delivery to be synchronised in line with time zones, which helps improve global campaigns. This ability to enhance both personalisation and timing can really boost performance by ensuring audiences receive the right information at the most opportune moment.

Better data

Historically, a lack of good quality contact data stifled B2B email marketing to a certain extent. However, the tide is turning. Harte-Hanks recently announced a 30 per cent uplift in European email contacts held in its CiTDB technology database containing information on installed technologies within companies. Developments like this have a significant bearing on the role email can play within wider, integrated marketing strategies. 

A virtuous circle

Judging the ideal frequency of email communications remains a stumbling block for many marketers. But there are no hard and fast rules on this; it comes down to how well you know your customers. Sending good content at an appropriate time shouldn’t cause a problem. However, if you get the timing or content wrong your communications will be ineffective at best. If it happens too often you could get labelled as an email pest.

There are some interesting comments on the ideal frequency of email communications in B2B Marketing’s recent feature The truth about email marketing. The general consensus is that marketers should worry less about frequency and divert their efforts into developing better content. There is a virtuous circle at work here – the better your content, the more often people will want to receive it.

Email remains a primary channel for customer communications, and that’s not set to change any time soon. Done well, and integrated with persona-led marketing automation, email can play a vital role bridging gaps between sales and marketing. And that can help deliver the end result that we are all looking for: better rates of closed revenue.