Both new legal requirements and the changing game of social media will make email marketing more strategic than ever in the coming months and years. Here’s how we see email marketing changing.
Opt-in consent is becoming even more important. On May 25, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented across the European Union—dramatically increasing requirements for companies to protect personal data for European citizens.
If anyone in the European Union receives your emails, you’ll have to comply with these measures—or face a fine up to $41,484. For email marketers, that primarily means your subscribers must actively opt in—and have an easy way to opt out if they want.
Learn more about GDPR here.
Email marketing must be closely tied to social. These days, it’s not enough to send the occasional marketing email. To really get results, your business needs a multi-platform campaign that encompasses social, online advertising, and email marketing.
List-buying will die out. You used to be able to purchase lists of people’s contact information and market to them on a steady basis, and get fairly good results. This might have worked in the early days of email marketing—it’s a holdover from direct mail, when companies used physical addresses.
But we suspect that going forward, list-buying will become a thing of the past.
That’s because the most successful email marketing campaigns send useful, relevant information to their audience. And the best way for an audience member to indicate that they’d find your emails relevant is to opt in—making them a high-value prospect. In email marketing, having a list of high-interest prospects to mail to is invaluable.
Segmentation will be key. According to a recent MarketingSherpa survey, one of the top reasons people unsubscribe to email lists is that the content isn’t relevant to them.
That means email marketers can’t just send the same email to everyone. It’s crucial to be strategic about which audience members get which email. That means segmenting your list—or dividing it up based on key criteria—and sending highly targeted email campaigns to people with demonstrated interest in that topic.
You can segment your list based on past history with your company, demographic, location, interests, behavior on your website, or the type of insurance an agent specializes in, among other things.
It’ll pay to test how much you send. According to that MarketingSherpa survey we mentioned above, the number one reason people unsubscribe to mailing lists is that they get too many emails. The data is in—less is more when it comes to email marketing.
That said, what each audience considers “too much” might be different. So testing different frequencies of email messages is a smart move.
Email marketing might be evolving—but it’s certainly not dying. Those who succeed in this space will need to have active opt-in consent, incorporate their email marketing into multi-platform campaigns, be careful to keep their lists segmented and their content relevant, and experiment to determine the optimal amount to send. Take these steps, and your email marketing campaigns should be successful in the coming year.