Is it fair to try to apply the same rules of Darwinism to today’s developing technologies? Most technological innovations are brought upon by the need to improve the users experience, so what about email, how has it changed?
As an online marketer I’d like to thank Mr. Zukerberg for popularizing the use of social media as a marketing platform. Many advertisers were quick to jump on the “social media bandwagon” and many debated whether social media would kill email marketing. Well it didn’t, nor will it ever. As an email marketer I have never doubted the effectiveness of email marketing and when done correctly, it still remains the most efficient and cost effective way to promote your brand or sell products.
However this article isn’t a debate about the effectiveness of email vs social, this is about the future of email marketing.
Since its inception in the early 90’s, email messages formats haven’t really changed. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that email marketing became a popular method for advertisers. Still, email marketing got a bad rap for many years, since most users could distinguish “spam” senders verses a “legitimate” senders. It wasn’t until around 2007 when email started became an acceptable form of advertising.
So how has email changed?
While the sending methods and the manner in which people view emails keeps changing, the format in which an email is displayed hasn’t really changed. For example, if you’re creating an email message you have a choice between html, text or both. Nothing too complicated, yet the challenge of email optimization always remains key.
The future of email.
I have seen the future of email. It’s interactive, true and images are opened by default while being supported by microsites. Wait, what’s a microsite?
A microsite is basically an individual web page or a cluster of small pages which are meant to function discretely within an existing parent website. It’s basically a smaller version of the parent website, hence the term microsite.
So what does a microsite have to do with email?
Well, a group of out-of-the-box thinkers from California thought it was time to change the way retailers interacted with consumers. And since retailers rely heavily on email marketing, the only logical step was to bring the interactive experience to email and thus, Enteractive Mail Solutions (EMS) and mycrosites was born.
Here’s a live example of an interactive email : live example
While the microsite technology isn’t new, the adoption to email is. However, hosting a mycrosite isn’t enough to enable an interactive email. Email apps or “Power apps” are the fountain of providing the interactive experience. PowereInbox is now leading the way in creating the interactive email experience and with such high profile clients like Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Google+ and Instagram, you’ll never have to leave your email client to view or comment on most of your favorite social networks.
So what can a Mycrosite do for you?
The goal of a mycrosite is to excite readers by encouraging them to engage more frequently by providing more appealing content such as videos, e-cataloge or games. However the trick is, to be able to provide them with all that content all within the framework of a single email and Enteractive mail Solutions does just that.
So what can I incorporate in my mycrosite?
Anything really, the possibilities are truly endless with Enteractive mail solutions; your only limitation, is your imagination.
Here are some examples of what you can incorporate:
- Real menus
- Video player
- e-catalog including e-commerce checkout
- It’s also Flash & HTML5 supported
From a retailer’s perspective, the stats are positive and you might be asking, where can I sign up?
Well before you get too excited, here are the cons:
- NOT available on mobile or tablets –ouch. With over 80% of recipients viewing their emails on mobile and another 10-15% using tablets, that only leaves approximately 10% desktop users. However, I was informed that they are diligently working on supporting mobile and tablets devices in the next couple of months.
- EXPENSIVE- It’s evident that this technology is geared towards the major players and not your local mom and pop shop. It will be interesting to see how EMS will partner with ESP’s in an effort to make it more cost effective for some of the smaller players.
The Price Breakdown:
- Start up cost: There is no set price, as it’s determined by the list size & frequency of email campaigns.
- Campaign fee: This can range from $199 – $250 per campaign and “campaign” is defined by the code generated for the mycrosite. Therefore, if you want to send out your fall campaign twice, you’d only be charged a campaign fee once. However, if you decided to change links or update images, then a new code would have to be generated and you’d be charged another campaign fee.
- Per-email-opened: There is a $.03 – $.06 charge per-open. Do note, that images are enabled automatically; therefore opens are a “true” metric.
While I haven’t tested Enteractive mail Solutions as a sender, I can only say as an end-user that I am impressed. Encouraging user engagement will only benefit a senders reputation, it will defiantly help boost overall conversion rates in the long run. The below infographics, compares both static vs enteractive email along with some case studies. The overall increase in conversions rates is very impressive, however is it worth the extra cost?
Static email vs Enteractive email : Case study
Mycrosite Conversion Rates