As we near the end of 2009 and people begin setting down specific strategies for 2010, it’s time to review what’s worked in e-mail for you, and where you want to focus change for the upcoming year. When answering the frequently asked question of “what should I focus on for e-mail in 2010?” my answer is this:
It doesn’t matter what type of e-mail marketer you are — from novice to expert, B2B (define) or B2C (define) — 2010 is introducing a reading revolution. The Internet as we know it will give way to an entirely new way of reading and navigating information. The day of Web 3.0 is finally here. Apps are the new Internet.
As people become more digitally driven, they’re buying more enabling devices — ones that are connected to the Internet 24/7. These are things we all already have in our possession: iPhones, Android phones, netbooks, TVs, gaming systems, electronic readers, and more.
This means that the art and science of e-mail marketing will need to evolve to be conducive to a mobile accessible phenomenon drastically changing the way in which we interact with our messages.
For instance, people connected 24/7 on mobile devices (mobile meaning they have them while they’re walking) can now see an ad in an e-mail and may be driven to a store to purchase faster, in some cases, than they can shop online. Why? Because they’re standing in the store when the e-mail arrives.
And for you B2Bers out there, this means that an e-mail received at a trade show can also easily be tweeted to drive traffic to a booth, or a conversation happening in a large hall.
It also means that e-mails will face a critical challenge to remain actionable for “a later date.” When you read most of your e-mails on your PC or laptop, the messages are staring at you, reminding you to read them, file them, or delete them. When you read your e-mails in a mobile setting, you remove the bold black “new message” film and, hours later when you look in your inbox, you run the risk of losing the message to the sea of other messages received while you were gone.
So when you sit down to consider your plans for 2010, remember this:
- Getting a solid commitment to opt-in messaging is key. The decade of digital devices starts in 2010, and you’ll need as much commitment as you can get.
- Be ready to test messages that resonate when people are mobile. Mobile doesn’t mean a phone necessarily, it also means walking around. Think out of the box; imagine someone becoming a brand facilitator for you with the push of a button.
- Don’t claim victory over any type of messaging strategy. I’ll put money on the fact that in the fourth quarter we’ll be messaging differently than we do now.
The next 18 months will introduce significant changes into our lives. And e-mail is about to get better. Get excited, get ready to test, and get ready to explore messaging that resonates with your customers like never before.
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As an email marketer, I would rather have 100 customers who open and engage with my messages than 10,000 who don't.