Whether you are a B2C or a B2B company, not a day goes by without news of yet another new technology changing the customer experience through personalisation, geo targeting, social engineering or near magical recommendation engines.
Just in the last weeks we've seen news of Amazon Echo, Facebook Slingshot, AboutMe & Spot.Im and Google Inbox - and it's not slowing down. The greater macro trends visible in the economy are also easy to spot:
2. We increasingly self serve. 67 % chose not to deal with call centres or service personnel and as much as 30 % of total transactions now go through web self service (source, source).
3. We are increasingly mobile. Penetration rates of 100 % can be found in western countries and 54 % of smartphone users are using a phone in bed before they go to sleep, during the night and when they wake up (source).
As progress, adoption and immersion increase, and the digital transformation following in its wake is affecting commercial and public services alike. With the fireworks following the launch of a new service it is easy to get caught in the headlights of innovation and forget about the critical building blocks of great customer experiences and impactful moments when communicating or delivering services. In those critical moments it is easy to see why email is still king.
Inherently personal communication
We subscribe, we sign up, we verify our identity, we confirm changes, we receive shipping updates, we confirm changes to personal profiles, we password reset, we receive work updates, calendar updates, newsletters and confirmations to countless services and tasks from utilities like telecommunications, transport and banking services.
The integral nature of email and behavioural effectiveness of the channel is backed up by simple industry data:
1. Email still has an open rate of 27 % and a click through rate of 4.5 % (source)
- the average display ad will barely reach 0.1 % (source)
2. It is still considered to be the most effective form of advertising (inherently frictionless and nearly free)
- 85 % of retailers consider it to be one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics (source).
3. It is inherently easy to reach customers with email
- 91 % of us check it at leas once a day and 52 % of users access email from their phones (source).
When you pull these trends together it is easy to see why an effective digital communication program is essential to creating effective and personalised customer experience which delivers high value to both the end user and the enterprise. But this extends even further.
Automation efficiency still largely untapped
Automation and integration are seeing the greatest lifts and benefits. Especially, eCommerce operations are seeing solids lifts when email automation is integrated with purchase funnels.
1. Industry figures suggest revenue lifts of up to 12 % when abandoned cart is combined with an tailored email marketing automation programs.
2. Automated email cart abandonment programs have transaction rates of 20 % compared to 1-3 % for bulk email.
3. Triggered emails see a 70 % increase in open rates for programs such as Welcome and Abandon Cart. (Source).
Most companies haven't really scratched the surface and seen what automation can do to service, revenue and transaction metrics. Despite trends mentioned in this post, less than 10 % of companies have adopted marketing automation which suggests there are considerable short term gains to be made (source).
After nearly two decades of growth, adjustment and integration, we are only now starting to see the full benefit of email and messaging automation as a vital tool in the customer life cycle. This is the power of automation. Together with it, email is quietly underpinning a conversion acceleration for those that are determined to pair long term customer experience objectives with short term revenue performance goals.
Digital Innovation Lead, Nordics
Photo by R. Nial Bradshaw