The use of emails exploded in the 1990s and quickly became a way for individuals and businesses to connect with each other. It quickly overtook traditional mail and fax and people will now spend at least 2 to 3 hours all day going through their emails to stay on top of their business and social life. But with technology moving ever so quickly, what does the future hold for email marketing?
Email spam is a big problem. When people realised that money could be made, cowboys were quick to jump on the bandwagon, selling data and pushing promotions for casino, bingo, financial products, medicine and more.
A recent report from Bloomberg showed that around 86% of all emails are spam and around 50% of the average person’s emails are considered spam. That is to say, for every person around 1 of ever 2 emails they receive are not useful to them or unsolicited.
To restore faith in the system, the biggest email providers such as Miscrosoft, Hotmail, Yahoo and Google need to look at ways to identify spam better. Specifically, with new legislation like GDPR coming in to protect customer data, there will be stricter crackdowns on companies and individuals that resell customer data online and send high volumes of email without consent. Whilst previous fines for breaching data in this way was capped at 500,000 euros, this will increase to as much as 20 million from May 2018.
The issue of cyber hacking and cyber security is becoming more of an issue for businesses and individuals. Despite more technology available, people are still exposed by clicking on suspicious links and having their email addresses hacked.
To address this, those that use email should approach any unfamiliar emails or attachments with caution, even if the sender if someone they know. Adding extra encryption to your emails and changing your password regularly are also good practices to avoid any potential breaches.
More mobile friendly
In recent years, the opening of emails on a mobile device has overtaken those using a desktop or PC. As a result, email marketers should pay more attention to how marketing emails look on a mobile, including how images load, how the information is presented and also making sure it is compatible for different models and browsers.
A hot topic at the moment surrounding any form of digital marketing is the use of artificial intelligence (AI). In the past, received emails not written by humans and written instead by ‘bots’ usually just went into the spam folder. Nowadays, AI is making it hard for us to determine whether the campaign or subject line has been written by a robot or a real human online.
A leading AI email marketing company are Phrasee, provides an AI system which quantifies, generates and optimises email subject lines for marketers.
Using language optimisation software, the language is designed to sound completely human for the best engagement results. The overall goal is to optimise a company’s clicks, opens, conversations as well as enquiries and this has shown to be highly successful.
The Phrasee machine comes to understand the phrases, sentiments and emotions which best resonate with a certain company’s target audience. It’s the ability to use ‘machine learning’ and understand what makes you click, or not click, to determine what will make you click in the future. This type of technology should therefore increase user engagement and click through rates for marketing emails.
Goodbye to email?
Some marketers have expressed their belief that email marketing may become a thing of a past and SMS marketing may take its place. A popular belief is that email may go the way of the fax-machine, still used but its use will be very limited and niche. The belief stems from the fact millennials statically prefer a more instant approach to marketing and advertising due to simplicity and accessibility.
In contrast, some marketers completely disagree and claim that they believe email is not going anywhere.
No matter what, it cannot be denied that email marketing is adapting to suit new markets through the use of new technologies such as AI and will continue to do so. Large and massively successful companies are benefitting from email marketing to this day and it does not look like it is going anywhere fast.