Email marketing – How it is like James Bond

I recently spoke at the DMX event held in Dublin. It was a fantastic Digital Marketing Conference, and was fascinating to hear the Keynote speaker, Teddy Goff from the Obama re-election campaign, talk how email marketing played and essential role in fundraising for Obama’s re-election campaign (Most of the $690 million raised digitally was attributable to email!) Indeed, the important role email marketing programs play in the marketing strategies of most organisations was a recurring theme at the event.

I gave a talk there as well – “Tomorrow’s World in Today’s Inbox”.  What do I mean by ‘tomorrow’? It’s based on how email marketing needs to respond to the digital world we now live in – an evolving and changing the way we engage with information and content. Probably the biggest impact is we now expect immediacy. We expect to be able to quickly scan information and decide what we want (and don’t want). We like to choose how we’re going to consume content – read it, listen to it or watch it. And, we want to be able to easily comment on what we’ve consumed – as well as share it with others.

How email marketing is like James Bond

To help illustrate my point I compared email marketing to James Bond. Like the early version of Bond, Sean Connery, email has been around for a long time – I call it the original social networking tool. Over the years, Bond has remained relevant, with a succession of Bonds that reflected what the audiences expected of their cool suave agent. With the advent of the Digital Age – the latest Bond was debuted, Daniel Craig.  He’s still a Bond, but one of the edgiest, technically-savvy ones that ever appeared on the screen.  And, bulk email marketing needs to be like the new Bond, evolve to be relevant and take advantage of all the technology available today.

Today’s inbox needs to take full advantage of the Digital Age

For your email marketing to be the Daniel Craig version of James Bond, it’s important to first understand how the Digital Age has impacted how people communicate.  There is so much available information, we’ve evolved to scan and decide quickly how to manage information presented to us. This means emails should be designed to be appealing visually, and easy to scan.

In this new age of communication, we’ve also come to expect a two-way channel, to ‘like’, to rate – and comment. Email should take advantage of the technology now available to offer these types of two-way communications facilities to subscribers. A third area that has been hugely impacted by the digital age is the wide choice of how content is consumed. We read content, of course, but we also really want to view videos, share videos, and images. Marketers must think beyond the written word – and offer rich media such as video and images.

Email is and remains a powerful communication channel. You probably already know that it’s immediate and measurable.  But you may not realise how easy it is to bring tomorrow’s world into today’s inbox. Emails can deliver the same experience we expect to find everywhere in the world today – if you are using the right technology.  They can be designed to be scannable, offer dynamic choice, include rich media and facilitate immediate two-way conversations.