As reliable and useful a marketing tool as email's proven to be in the past, it'll be better than ever in the future, according to one expert. The Director of eMarketing Education at ExactTarget explained during a session at OMS how things are changing and how marketers can continue to use email to their advantage.
Joel Book stated that 40 percent of the cell phones in use will be smart phones by 2014. All marketers need to test their emails for compatibility with mobile formats, then, and retail marketers should think about issuing mobile coupons.
Next, he discussed the concept of creating and cultivating brand advocates using email. Brand awareness is vital, after all, and Book indicated that 50 percent of all shared content is shared via email. This means that the social sharing can be a great way of attracting new subscribers.
Indeed, Book said email has far surpassed direct mail as the highest-producing tactic for reaching customers and converting buyers. And here's an interesting tidbit: sending emails from a person, as opposed to generic email address, can increase open rates by as much as 18 percent.
Finally, marketers must look at meshing email with other tactics. Use email and CRM for lead nurturing, reseller education, trade show follow-ups, and sales support for dealers, for example. Email and analytics can be used to make personalized recommendations and live offers. Email and SMS, meanwhile, can help with mobile immediacy, lead generation, and subscriber acquisition.