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Email marketing: Time-tested and adapting to pandemic

Tom Starkey / Khmer Times Share:
An employee transfers packages to be delivered on Singles’ Day, also known as the Double 11 shopping festival, at the warehouse of Suning Logistics Network in Shenyang, in northeastern China’s Liaoning province on Nov 11, 2020. Experts say personalisation of email marketing during the pandemic is paramount, in order to maintain its success. AFP

Although the internet has only been around for a few decades, email marketing seems as old as time itself. Nevertheless, it continues to deliver a proven track record of sales.

But experts say personalisation during the pandemic is paramount, in order to maintain its success.

According to a survey by e-consultancy experts Cheetah Digital, 75 percecnt of people have purchased email offers, with the classic marketing method still proving effective in reaching the globe’s 3.9 billion active internet users.

Market analysts Ascend2 found that 74 percent of 300 marketers surveyed said they expect to increase the volume of their sent email campaigns significantly or moderately in the year ahead.

In Cambodia, digital marketing agency Activerify said email is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with potential customers.

“Lots of Cambodians, particularly young professionals, have and use their own and work email addresses. They are predominantly used for signing up for favourite apps, especially Facebook, but also to search for medium to higher skill jobs, meaning email users are often more affluent,” it said.

According to industry solutions site Pure360, the pandemic has seen  a 250 percent increase in online subscriptions, account set-ups and email sign-ups.

That increase ensued as non-essential retailers had to close whileothers chose to dial down their communications, resulted in a 40 percent reduction in the number of emails sent, said Pure360.

Coupled with locked-down consumers spending more hours online, this has created opportunity, but fresh and personalised content is the key to capitalising, says marketing site MarTech.

“One of the top lessons learned from the outbreak is that email marketing campaigns’ data hygiene and upkeep needs to be done on a continuing basis and not relegated to status as an annual, quarterly, or even monthly task. The onset of COVID-19 pretty much made general email ‘blasting’ a thing of the past. Shifts in buying patterns caused an even greater need for email marketing campaigns to implement personalisation of content, a tactic that needs to be developed at the very start of an email marketing campaign, not in the middle after general content and ideas have been agreed upon. Segmenting the audience and hyper-personalisation of messages is now looked upon as a requirement,” it added.

According to Market Charts (MC), 45 percent of respondents to a recent survey said maintaining engagement with email subscribers is considered one of the most challenging of email marketing strategy objectives.

“This may prove even more of an obstacle as there is often an inverse correlation between volume and engagement.”

MC said post-purchase emails also need to be more tailored in order to yield a better response rate.

“When it comes to post-purchase emails, consumers are more likely to engage with emails that offer information on special deals and discounts, requests to review products and tips for using the product or service purchased. With personalisation leading to an array of benefits – including improved loyalty, revenue and retention – it makes sense that more than 43 percent of marketers believe that personalisation is one of the most important characteristics to improve for effective optimisation,” it added.

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