Marketers have a bit of a sordid history when it comes to email. It seems like every five to ten years the strategies they’re using in their email programs begin to fall flat, triggering a total reevaluation of how they deploy email, to whom, and at what frequency.
Fundamentally, however, email is one of the most important tools in a marketer’s toolkit. The platform allows for true one-to-one communication with consumers, and provides an ideal test case for personalization in service of long-term loyalty and retention as well as discount and promotion strategies.
At a time when the National Retail Federation is projecting retail growth at levels that haven’t been seen since the 1980s built on the back of pent-up pandemic demand, it’s essential that brands tap into every consumer touchpoint they have. By harnessing email and using it to its fullest potential, brands will be in the best position possible to reap the benefits of the consumer boom they’ve prepared for over the course of the past year.
Why Email is Such a Unique Communication Channel
It’s easy to take email for granted within the marketing ecosystem since it’s been so foundational to every digital strategy since the invention of the internet and ecommerce. At a certain point, however, how brands use email became rote, becoming more of a mass-messaging machine rather than a function of a nuanced strategy.
Yet, during an era where consumer privacy and data governance is at the forefront of conversation for both consumers and brands, email offers a unique test case for deploying better stores of first and zero-party data that have been an imperative throughout the digital acceleration of the past year. With email, brands have the opportunity to put this better data to work, offering more robust personalization strategies that can be used for long-term loyalty-building strategies.
What makes email so unique as a marketing channel is how much consumer control is inherent in the medium itself. Consumers are given the ability to opt in or out to what emails they receive, and at what frequency they receive them. Their inbox is also theirs; they decide which emails they open and interact with, and when they do so. This level of authority over how they engage with email makes them an important marketing channel because there’s a trust built into it. During 2020, for example, email volume rose by 27% as marketers saw email as a lifeline to stay connected with consumers during lockdown conditions.
Making the Most of Email to Get in on the Consumer Boom
As we mentioned earlier, while email offers a world of potential for its personalization and one-to-one communication with customers, for too long it’s existed as a mass-marketing mechanism. Without a more nuanced data strategy behind it, email can become a burden on margins. If customers are given a broad, 50 percent discount across the board, not only are margins lost given offers to customers who don’t necessarily need them as motivation to buy, but a brand risks creating a discount dependent customer, which ultimately hurts the brand.
By using AI and automation in email strategies, like RevTrax’s AI Driven Email Offers, customers are identified by their level of discount dependency, and are only offered the level of discount they need to make a purchase. Through the analysis of hundreds of millions of points of consumer data, the RevTrax engine has developed a nuance in offer management and applied those principles to create an intelligent email engine that preserves margins while also helping build brand loyalty.
Leveraging AI in email also takes a lot of the guesswork and testing out of the current email process. By using individual consumer-level data, each email offer is automatically personalized, which removes the need for exhaustive audience segmentation and rigorous A/B testing to find the “right” mass offer.
It’s an exciting time to be a brand or retailer. With the pent-up consumer demand that has been built over the last year, now is the time to make the most of digital strategies and get in on the ground floor. Using nuanced tools like AI Driven Email Offers, brands can make the most of email—a traditionally misused medium—and maximize their margins all while respecting consumer privacy and building on loyalty and retention strategies.
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