“Email is dead.” “Email is out, what’s next?” “Email is done for.”
In an era where new startups pop up daily announcing grand plans to change things up forever, our stalwart companion, email, has been pushed to the side. Not everyone subscribes to that idea though.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The reports of [email’s] death are greatly exaggerated.”
Movable Ink is a rapidly expanding player on the email scene and they come bearing fresh ideas on how to make email thrive in an environment overflowing with ways to communicate.
The foundation of Movable Ink’s idea is to make email content intelligent. Every email built with their platform brings unique personalization capabilities and the ability to deliver updated content upon each open of the same email. Gamechanger.
To help flesh out how we at the Ad Council could beef up our email marketing, I recently went to Movable Ink’s Think Summit. Here are 3 key points about email that stuck with me:
Shar VonBoskirk has a great name. But even better than her name are the ideas she brings to the world of marketing. A principal analyst at Forrester, Shar delivered a keynote that touched on ever-changing priorities in the email space. The mantra at the center of her speech was “Be Human. Be Helpful. Be Handy.”
Shifting away from the mindset of perfection, she instead discussed the importance of being in front of what your customers want. Emails should no longer be self-serving, but rather something the recipient would readily welcome into their day. Your emails can be more than just handy and helpful, they can be human.
Hi, I’m Vignesh. Check that out. Almost instantaneously this faceless bunch of online words is now someone talking to you, directly. The idea of being personable has long been a part of human culture, but it has been a slow burn for email marketers.
David Korins, the founder of David Korins Design and an all-around fascinating guy, shared his thoughts on how to bring more warmth and humanity to cold marketing emails. Drawing from personal experience, he discussed how he received emails featuring clothing for women with diluted subject lines and opening expressions like “dear valued member.” Addressing him by name and giving content that was relevant to him did not seem to be a part of the equation.
When it comes to your email marketing, remember that on the other end of that inbox is a person, with their own thoughts, feelings, likes, and dislikes. This thought should be the guiding light for all email marketers: address one person, not a million people!
Surprise is a feeling not often talked about outside of birthday parties and twist endings of TV shows (looking at you, Game of Thrones.) Tania Luna is on a mission to change that.
Together with LeeAnn Renninger, Tania leads the field of surprise research. She talked about how email can capitalize on surprise to enhance a recipient’s feelings. When you surprise someone, they take a little journey:
- Freeze, where they fully focus on what surprised them.
- Find, where they figure out what exactly is happening and where it came from.
- Shift, where they appreciate what just happened and develop a love of the brand.
- Share, where they become brand advocates and talk to their friends and family about the surprise.
This journey, when executed correctly, can take emails from a glance to an experience.
Each of these ideas play off each other in countless ways, but all of them are integral to truly relating to your email recipient. Not only do you have a chance to improve your measurement metrics, you have the invaluable opportunity to create someone who really cares about your brand. Sounds like email is alive and well to me!