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Email is Still Relevant

By Kara Trivunovic / April 3, 2014

Email is a channel that has been producing results for marketers for years; so much so, that many take its ability to be timely and relevant for granted. During a presentation I saw recently, a gentleman stood at the front of the room and stated, very matter-of-factly, that email wasn’t working for him anymore. Then he apologized to all the email marketers in the room for the remark.

Out of my own curiosity, I started doing some research about the email program he was running and wasn’t surprised to hear that what was produced and deployed wasn’t working for him, his brand or (most importantly) his customers. Email is still a relevant channel for marketers to use in driving their efforts forward. Note, however, that I did not say it was the only channel. Email, when used in conjunction with sound approaches and application across multiple, complementary marketing channels, is going to help marketers succeed in delivering their messages in a timely manner and staying top-of-mind for consumers.

When you see your email performance declining, focus on a few key areas:

Inbox Placement
If your email isn’t making it to the inbox, chances are it won’t be opened. Inbox providers leverage your sending reputation, coupled with recipient engagement as factors for inbox placement. This is a metric that should be monitored closely.

Sending Frequency
It is great that you have a lot of content to share with your customers, but so do many other brands they interact with (regularly or irregularly). This means that in your efforts to stay top-of-mind, you can really cause inbox overload for your subscribers. Be mindful of how much email you are sending. You will eventually hit a point that causes diminishing returns – which could have a really negative impact on both the customer experience and your sending reputation.

Interesting Content
Not every email that you send needs to have an offer in it. As a matter of fact, many brands are beginning to re-introduce the concept of editorial commentary inside their email programs to provide greater value to their customers. In order to drive repeat and ongoing engagement in your program, you need to deliver content that will resonate with your customers.

When you’re seeing changes in the key performance metrics of your email program, ask yourself, “Can my email program perform better?” In the end, email as a channel remains relevant in today’s marketplace…but the better question is – how is *your* email performing?

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