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More Advanced Personalization and Visuals Can Give Your Emails a Jolt

Yesterday, in another newsletter I curate, we led with a story about the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) being updated, and it received a lot of clicks. As Litmus’s hot-off-the-digital-presses 2020 State of Email Report says: “The conversation about email data and privacy legislation has moved from the European Union to the United States, where state level regulations could lead to a single federal privacy law.”

They call the CCPA “the most sweeping set of regulations affecting consumer rights on data and privacy, including email data. Read about why this state-level law concerns marketers who live beyond the Golden State’s borders.”

It’s certainly telling that a state of email report would focus on privacy. Because out-of-state marketers with California residents in their databases have to comply with the law’s provisions, it’s a serious issue for all of us. I read that there’s a similar bill being debated in Washington State now, and a federal privacy law has been discussed as well.

Here are more takeaways from the Litmus report:

Dark Mode. Coming to a mobile phone near you. Dark Mode reverses the typical online color and brightness scheme. Instead of darker type on lighter backgrounds, it uses light-colored typography, UI elements, and iconography on dark backgrounds. Could be a new wave.

This could AMP up your emails. “At its most fundamental level, AMP for email is a new markup specification that can be added on top of traditional HTML emails to provide extra functionality in the inbox… AMP allows you to add interactivity in the inbox, from basic image carousels to ratings, dynamically

updated content, and even advanced calls back to your own server.”

Time to get even more personalized… “Personalization is quickly being overtaken by hyper-personalization, not only in email messaging but in touch points far beyond the inbox. Brands that have resisted the personalization wave will find their reliance on one-size-fits-all email might shut them out of the inbox as customers grow more apathetic to their messages—and ISPs use that apathy to give preferential treatment to brands more in tune with their customers.”

…And more visual and interactive. Over 90% of consumers prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based, or static media. Email has not quite caught up to the rest of our video-crazy world but that will probably change. The majority of brands now regularly use animated GIFs to add movement to their campaigns. “The design of emails will depend on the new interactive features that email clients and browsers will allow us to create,” said one design company CEO.

Email will only become more valuable. “The C-suite is beginning to understand that investing in profitable email programs makes them even more profitable, rather than just settling for the returns they are getting from the channel,” said frequent SIPA speaker Jeanne Jennings, now founder & lead strategist, Email Optimization Shop. “Organizations are realizing that the people they hire to drive the marketing automation tool (email marketing specialists or managers) aren’t the same people they need to truly leverage the technology to increase ROI.”

And a couple from last year that remain highly relevant:

Establish a better email review and approval process. Marketers who say their email programs are successful spend more time on every stage of email creation except for the email review and approval stage than marketers who describe their programs as average or unsuccessful. “A lax review process can result in more email errors, but an onerous process has its costs, too.” Marketers spend an average 3.9 hours getting emails reviewed and approved before launch, and they work with an average 2.4 other departments to get emails reviewed. Litmus also recommends to avoid sending emails on the same day you get the approval. “Let the email rest a day or so. Sending an email campaign after a hurried approval is a recipe for disaster.”

Improve measurement of email results to monitor success and justify resource and staffing requests. Only 30% of brands say they can measure their ROI well. “The consequence for brands that are less adept at measuring ROI is that not only are they leaving more money on the table, they also can’t see that they’re doing it. The solution is to have better processes that account for email’s impact on the bottom line, whether through higher revenue or reduced costs.”