Modern digital marketing sometimes feels like a game of hide-and-go-seek. When consumers make a dash for the internet, marketers chase them with banner ads. If consumers duck behind their trusty ad-blockers, marketers leap out of nowhere with #sponsored influencer posts. But the one thing for which they can both set their differences aside and agree upon? Email.
Email is a common denominator and, in a world of MarTech and AdTech convergence, it’s a marketers’ best friend. Here’s why.
Consumers love email because it’s universal.
When 46 percent of Americans say that they couldn’t live without their smartphone, they’re partially talking about email. Email is free and ubiquitous and – unlike social media or messaging platforms – it’s fully interoperable with all providers and devices. It transcends mobile and desktop and is the one channel where your grandmother, your boss, a retailer you love, and your long-lost friend from middle school can all reach you. Because of this variety, people check it often.
Consumers also use their email around the clock. According to CMO.com, 50 percent of millennials check their email first thing upon waking up, and 90 percent primarily do so on their smartphones. Usage for all demographics peaks around late morning, but it doesn’t stop there. Deloitte reports that 50 percent of people check their email in the middle of the night.
Email is also heavily integrated into people’s lives. Consumers rely on it for personal communication, business, calendaring, reminders, and, of course, as their username for virtually everything, including social media. According to Statista, 86 percent of consumers want to receive marketing offers via email at least monthly. They use their mobile devices to filter through these emails and their desktop to follow up, and, between the two, spend 7.4 hours on email per weekday.
And are consumers satisfied with just one email? Heck no. They often have an email for business, for personal, and more – but very few people share them. Each inbox typically has one single-owner. That means email is personal, it’s used by all, and it’s always on – so it’s no wonder that consumers prefer it.
Email is valuable to marketers because it’s a strong identifier.
Marketers love email too, because it allows them to give consumers the deep personalization that they desire. MarTech and AdTech are converging these days because consumers don’t differentiate between marketing and advertising – and neither should brands. There’s only one customer journey, and it should feel seamless. Email gives marketers a way to elegantly track and interact with consumers across devices and platforms.
89 percent of marketers believe that a customer’s email address is the single most valuable identifier.
As an identifier, email is both deterministic and persistent. That is, when a consumer gives out a verified email, it usually belongs to only that consumer. That can’t be said of all typical advertising identifiers. Cookies, for example, live on desktop browsers that are often shared with no way to distinguish who’s using it. And whereas email is cross-device, cookies aren’t. Marketers using cookies may accidentally collect different CRM entries for each of a user’s different devices.
Emails also strike a personal chord: Consumers don’t scan banner ads or billboards for messages from friends (unless they have very strange friends) but they do this with email. It’s a one-to-one medium where consumers are accustomed to interpersonal communications and even welcome offers from brands they like. And with the application of rich cross-device consumer data, marketers can segment and drastically improve their success.
Segmented and personalized emails are marketers’ answer for the post AdTech/MarTech age. Simply segmenting emails increases open rates 14 percent and personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails. But that’s just the beginning. When marketers can layer in advertising data and reach that consumer not just via segmented email but across multiple channels using email as the deterministic ID, they can achieve a 30 percent higher customer lifetime value.
Where consumers and marketers meet.
So, who wants to stop playing hide-and-go-seek? Practically every party involved. Consumers want marketing messages in their inbox, but only the right ones. By using email as an identifier and intelligently segmenting email campaigns based on rich advertising data, marketers can deliver just that. In an age of convergence, email is both the marketer and consumer’s best friend.
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