Google has recently introduced a new technology to its email service Gmail called “Priority Inbox”, a feature that will inevitably be added by the other major email providers in one form or another, with the natural flow of evolution our email inboxes go through.
As with the addition of the “Junk Email” or “Spam” folders there was a huge relief with many unwanted messages being automatically filtered through an algorithm that evaluates aspects from the subject line to the sender’s I.P. address, the new Priority Inbox will change the way emails have been traditionally displayed by default, by prioritising not only from the date of send but to more intelligent sorting attempts based on importance to the reader – calculated from a not clearly specified method but known to include number of opens, replies and presence of the email address of the sender on the recipient’s contact list.
This new feature has generated much debate especially among email marketers worried about the potential negative effects on open and click rates. Although there’s a good chance that if your readers are actually opening and clicking in your e-mail messages they’ll be initially marked as important, there are definitely some challenges on how to keep it that way.
Personalisation: Going beyond the subject line and greeting.
The traditional way of blasting a message to your entire contact list is getting older every day, and as the email inbox gets more sophisticated, so should be your campaigns. The good news is that it’s not as difficult as it seems and you can only benefit from the evolution.
We’re all aware of the benefits of using a personalised email. Greeting our reader by the name has been many times proven to generate higher open rates, but even that technique has been abused to the point that people nowadays consider abusive to receive emails with their name on the subject line and are likely to perceive it as a spam message.
The next level of personalised email to consider is to deliver the most relevant content to your users; enabling users to truly engage with the email and thus minimizing unsubscribe requests, spam complaints and deleted messages. One of the first steps, especially if you have a wide of products on offer, is to segment your contact list with a common grouping. This information, surprisingly, is usually already available with your data set such as messages read, transactions history and demographics. These form the foundations of segmentation, and as your data set becomes more complete (through better data capture in the sign up process or competitions to fill out a desired form), you can delve into more specific tailored email campaigns limited only by your imagination.
Next week we’ll discuss some effective ideas for your e-mail campaigns that allows you to better communicate with your customers.