n the age of social media, where virtually everyone with access to the Internet has a social media account, it is easy to think that it is the best way to reach consumers. However, don’t forget about email. According to the Radicati Group, a market research firm that provides quantitative and qualitative research on email and social networking, amongst others, the total number of worldwide email accounts was 3.9b in 2013, and projected to reach 4.9b by 2017. That’s a whole lot of email accounts, to put it mildly. No wonder email marketing is still deemed strong. Three marketers give their thoughts on email marketing, trends and threats surrounding it, and its future.
Still relevant Email marketing should never be disregarded in the development of marketing strategies. “Email marketing still forms an important part of marketing tactics, as it serves to inform, and maintain touch with customers, both in B2B and B2C scenarios,” says Kenneth Lim, CMO, Alpha7 Consultancy. The only difference in today’s context, he shares, is that email marketing is increasingly being operated by marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, which can be customised based on the recipient’s preference and topics of interests. Therefore, junk mail and spam scenarios have been greatly reduced, improving customer satisfaction. “Email marketing will remain as one of the most effective communications channels with customers and prospects for a long time to come,” says Lim. He notes that there might be a reduction in usage. “Messages could be communicated via social media channels, leaving email marketing to convey
Timing is key The rise of online messaging and social media may seem to undermine the value of email marketing, but the real challenge lies in delivering the right piece of content to the right target audience at the right time, regardless of the delivery channel, says Janie Lim, APAC Marketing Director for Digital Media, Adobe. “Email marketing is but one of the myriad of channels that marketers need to pay attention to. In the journey ahead, customer experience will be the key differentiator for companies looking to excel. Beyond channels, marketers will need to look into customer experience as a key priority, connecting experiences across every touchpoint to deliver consistent, engaging, and meaningful content,” says Lim. She adds that this requires businesses to have a good understanding of their customers – who they are, and what drives them to the brand. “With the right data analysis and customer insights, email marketing will continue to flourish in the years to come,” says Lim.
Email marketing is not about to go away In our hyperconnected world, email marketing’s impact should not be discounted.
42 SINGAPORE BUSINESS REVIEW JANUARY 2017
The real challenge lies in delivering the right piece of content to the right target audience at the right time.