Email Marketing Outlook from Campaign Monitor Perspective
6 Email Marketing Experts Give 6 Predictions for the Year Ahead
Campaign Monitor recently joined six of the most eminent experts in email marketing and automation to ask what the year 2018 looks like for this field. Their predictions are intriguing, and are sure to help shape your email marketing plan for the year, so read on for their most valuable insights.
The Marketing Funnel No Longer Exists
The marketing funnel has affected marketing strategies for decades, however, it is no longer the perfect analogy for the process of turning an initial enquiry into a fully fledged customer. In place of the old funnel comes a new one – and this new and improved funnel includes the multi-channel, multi-touch and multi-path functions of the digital landscape.
The new marketing funnel has been created to encompass all of the elements that will create a loyal customer – rather than a one time customer – maximising the long-term value of a happy customer. This is accomplished by including after-sales services, with the funnel showing adoption, retention, expansion and advocacy.
Importantly, the new funnel means that each individual customer can enter at any stage – as opposed to the traditional funnel system – which reflects the uniqueness of each customer and their personal journey with your brand.
Even with all of these changes to the marketing funnel, email marketing is still an important way of encouraging people to join the funnel (at whatever stage best suits them).
As Samantha Anderl, Senior Director at Campaign Monitor concludes that,
“Our biggest challenge as marketers in the coming year will be to deliver personalized, relevant multi-channel journeys that speak to the unique needs and desires of our prospects.”
Personalisation Generates The Most Revenue
Customers enjoy a personalised experience as it ensures that they see information, content and products that are totally relevant the them. We all know this to be true, yet email seems to be lagging behind when it comes to personalisation through automation.
This is set to change in 2018, where it is predicted that automated emails will be used more often in order to generate more revenue.
Currently 5% of email is automated, yet it accounts for most of all email revenue. Automated emails are more likely to result in purchases, and as this becomes more evident, we will begin to spend more time and resources in perfecting the automated algorithms.
Those who use automated email the most successfully are more likely to A/B test their automated emails at least once a year, showing the importance of honing and adapting the automations rather than adopting a ‘set it and forget it’ mindset.
2018 is a great year to implement automated email, as it comes at the same time as more sophisticated multi-channel integration (as well as better communication and data sharing between departments and partners).
All of the collated data will result in more successful personalisation, automation and revenue. Chad White, Research Director at Litmus and Author of Email Marketing Rules, notes that,
“If your email program isn’t generating at least 25% of its revenue from automated emails, it’s time to implement some changes. If you’re already generating most of your email revenue from automated emails–don’t let up! Everyone’s about to be hot on your heels.”
The ‘What’s Next’ Model
When it comes to personalisation, customer expectations have shifted – with Spotify Discover Weekly and Netflix’s Recommendations pages becoming leaders in the field.
Not many other companies are coming up to the mark – making out-dated suggestions, or basing their personalisation solely on user-created profiles, preferences and past purchases.
Alex Williams, Creative Director of Trendline Interactive, predicts that in 2018 email personalisation will shift,
“heavily towards ‘what’s next’ instead of ‘what was’”
which is supported by advances in machine learning and data science-based features.
The Customer Lifecycle
Customer Lifecycle is an incredibly lucrative – and yet mostly untouched – area of marketing, that focuses on giving customers a little bit more from the brands that they have already purchased from.
This is in opposition to most marketers, who focus on acquisition and loyalty, but now the tools and technology is available, these marketers should be looking to tackle the customer lifecycle too.
As well as customer acquisition, the marketer in 2018 will be responsible for each customer touchpoint – which includes meeting potential customers, purchase and pre-delivery, loyalty and advocacy and retention and win-back. Phillip Storey CEO at Enchant notes that,
“All of these touchpoints will require the marketer to be present in order to deliver value to prospects every step of the way.
The result, if we get it right, is a multi-channel experience along every touchpoint of the lifecycle that delights the customer and creates the ultimate return on investment at every step.”
Measuring Customer Lifetime Value
In 2018 marketers will start to judge the value of their work not by measuring the success of a campaign, but by measuring the customer lifetime value (CLV).
Measuring CLV has become more accurate recently thanks to machine learning and AI, and this ‘Predictive CLV’ which can correctly estimate individual and group CLV.
Predictive CLV can give marketers insight into which groups of subscribers and their attributes will be the most profitable over a specific time period, which acquisition budget earns the highest ROI, and which customer attributes assist in driving increased lifetime value.
With this sort of information at hand, marketers can make well-informed decisions that reflect their data and their customers for increased revenue.
Jordie van Rijn, Founder of emailvendorselection.com says that,
“In 2018, expect high-value platforms and sophistication at a better price than we are used to. Some of this will be driven by acquisitions, but expect most to come from further platform development of brands we already know (and love).”
Tools such as visual automation workflow builders will be available to businesses of all sizes, marketing automation is set to become more user-friendly, as will content automation which will save time and resources for companies both big and small.