With the email and CRM landscape constantly changing , it is important to remain updated on the latest tech and innovations within the digital marketing sphere. Savvy marketers gathered to ensure they were doing just that, at our Email & CRM Seminar last Thursday. Expert speakers from agencies and tech companies delivered informative presentations detailing the newest and shiniest trends in personalisation, automation and AI.
Opening her presentation with a takeaway based question, Holly Payet, Planning Manager at Edit Agency Ltd., immediately captured the audience’s attention and demonstrated how too much choice can lead to frustration. When you order food online, you are more likely to buy if the data you have freely given has been implemented to filter the choices available e.g. only vegetarian options or places that deliver. A study from Columbia University offered two groups of people a different selection of jams to choose from; out of the group who had to chose between 24 flavours only three per cent purchased, where as this number increased to 30 per cent when only six types of jam were provided. This study teaches marketers that by providing fewer choices, you can yield better results.
Companies such as Apple and Eve only offer customers a limited number of products. Not only does this reduce the customer decision making process, but it helps to establish their authority as an expert in their field. However, this is not a viable option for most companies who sell a wide variety of products. Personalisation, therefore, needs to become their best friend. But not just arbitrary personalisation for personalisation’s sake, it has to be relevant and purposeful. Holly shared some best practice examples of brands who are sending out effective, personalised campaigns, from abandoned basket to recommended product emails. Product renewal prompts and incorporating external factors into your email marketing campaign are other more sophisticated ways to personalise. Holly brought her presentation back full circle by listing her three main takeaways: data is key, work together with other departments and outline your strategy in detail before you begin.
Watch Holly’s presentation here.
Email marketing is hard. Although the rate of innovation is formidable, it often seems like the promise of being able to deliver more for less is constantly out of reach. Diran George, Solutions Consultant at Selligent Marketing Cloud, explained that expectations and reality don’t often align and this can lead to disappointment from marketers and entitled customers alike. He defined the key characteristic of an entitled consumer as ‘believing oneself to be inherently deserving of special treatment and services.’ When marketing to this group of customers, convenience, context and relevance need to be considered and then delivered at speed.
Being able to stand out and deliver value to your customers in such a saturated environment is one of the reasons why email marketing can be so challenging. Diran shared some ways to help overcome these hurdles, again emphasising the importance of data. In a survey by eMarketer, 76 per cent of CMOs admitted that their data was still too siloed and 74 per cent of online consumers are frustrated by content not relevant to their interests. In light of this, it is integral that marketers work to break down these siloes and know how to get the data that will add the most value to their engagement with customers. Another important factor to consider is the change in customer loyalty and as a result loyalty marketing. Diran stated that consumers are not necessarily loyal to brands that offer the opportunity to accumulate points, but rather those who provide a value-driven customer service in a different way. Using email to enhance CX can be made easier by introducing AI into your strategy. Watch Diran’s presentation for examples of companies who are achieving great results by the methods listed above.
Watch Diran’s presentation here.
AI may seem like a recent innovation, but Jess Evans, Head of Partnerships at Phrasee, disproved this by showing a timeline of AI’s development. It has been around much longer than many people realise, but it has only recently gained buzzword status over the last few years. AI is a useful tool for digital marketers, but operates much more widely than that and is a topic of discussion and debate in popular culture. There are also increasingly more actionable uses for AI, allowing it to manifest in a wider array of forms. These forms can be categorised into narrow or super AI; the former being designed to undertake a specific task and the latter of the scarier, more intelligent than humans variety. Unsurprisingly, it is narrow AI which is used in most technology and processes for digital marketing. Phrasee uses AI to create human sounding language that marketers can use in their campaigns.
Jess then introduced an interactive element to her presentation, asking the delegates if they could guess which subject line generated and ranked by AI was considered the most effective. Next, she showed ten Facebook ads and asked the audience to guess which one had been written by a human. Her experiment proved how difficult it is to decipher the use of AI in email marketing and how sophisticated Phrasee’s natural language generation is.
Watch Jess’ presentation here.
There are many benefits to automation. It allows customers to receive responses in real time and it is also much more time efficient for marketers. It also enables you to gain insight into your customers, ultimately helping to improve their experience. There are five key stages across the customer journey that can be optimised using automation: welcoming, converting, nurturing, loyalty and re-activation.
Alexandra Mocanu, Partnerships Account Manager at Adestra Ltd., explains that when setting up automation you need to go back and revisit the process to make sure it’s still working as efficiently as possible. Create a testing strategy with clear objectives and make adjustments based on these results so that you are not just remaining stagnant. Just because it has worked before does not mean that it still will or can’t be improved upon. Automation can also be used to enhance your data, which can then feed into advanced data segmentation. For example, you can use email automation to gather customer preferences for a targeted campaign. Alexandra also pointed out that it is important to consider personas to elevate the customer journey. A study by Hubspot found that CTRs increased by 16 per cent when targeting emails by persona. Watch Alexandra’s presentation for successful examples of companies who have worked with Adestra to automate their email processes.
Watch Alexandra’s presentation here.