I looked online at the BtoB website and came across an article about what they foresee as the 2008 email outlook. Basically it’s just more of an evolution of what people have already been doing for their email marketing campaigns. What are the four points that BtoB is making?
- More CRM integration
- Increased usage of automated tools
- Closer alignment of marketing elements
- Using rich video with email marketing
I think all of this makes perfect sense, but what’s the difference between what people are doing now? Is their outlook based on the number of people that are going to be using these techniques?
The fact that they see more integration with marketer’s CRM systems is not really surprising – as I’m sure that a few people are actually using this integration, but the fact that more people will want to find a better way to leverage their customer’s data to communicate with them. Well why not? With software like Salesforce or other CRM, you shouldn’t be communicating with your clients/customers in an amateurish manner en masse by using Outlook. Instead, coordinate your message with your sales team and other folks to make sure you all are on the same page.
Increased use of automated tools is just another way of telling you that you’ll need to keep in constant contact with your customers. Don’t just have them sign up for your emails and ignore them for days, weeks, months or years on ends. Make sure that you form that helpful rapport with your customers and so there is a sense of trust and credibility so your emails won’t be blocked or marked as spam.
And of course your email marketing strategy should not be operating in a “silo”. The BtoB article is looking at seeing more companies take their email strategy and making it work with other departments, not just the marketing folks. Hey, that’s an idea…make everything work together so there is a cohesive message.
And lastly, using rich media in your email messages is supposed to pick up steam in the upcoming year. Is this a good thing? I’m not really sure…I honestly think it’s more like a fad and a “cool” thing to see. Obviously with the enormous constraints that emails have, you’ll need to embed your rich media onto a landing page, but I just can’t seem to figure out how useful it will be. Maybe I’m just not seeing it.