How automation gives email a second life!

In 2021, more than 300 billion emails were sent and received every day in the world (source Statista): “Furthermore, although it is not uncommon to hear that it is the end of email marketing, it is far from being the case , the forecasts are even on the rise until at least 2025,” says Nicolas Duchene, France and Europe customer engagement specialist at Benchmark email. This is largely explained by the democratization of its use, but also by a very good return on investment: 42 dollars in billing for 1 dollar invested in an emailing campaign (source DMA and Litmus).

“However, this ease of use has also created certain flaws, including overuse to the point of consumer fatigue,” said Roland Koltchakian, customer experience specialist at Oracle. “However, it has recovered its letters of nobility with the health crisis, allowing, among other things, merchants and restaurateurs to maintain the link with their customers. Now it remains to re-enchant this channel of communication with the youngest, who usually reserve it. rather exchanges with public and private administrations”, adds Pascal Malotti, director of consulting at Valtech France.

2022: what challenges to face?

“The main issues remain with email campaign performance, namely deliverability (how not to end up in spam) and open rate optimization (how to get the recipient to want to open the email). The choice of the solution to send emails is therefore essential because the messengers look, for example, where the servers are located, then certain rules must be respected, such as a good text / image ratio or a meticulous choice of words used (avoid overly promotional language) The 5 key metrics to track are open rate, click-through rate, reactivity rate, unsubscribe rate, and bounce rate,” he advises Nora Gonzalez, Director of Enterprise Marketing at Sendinblue, while Paul De Fombelle, CEO of Sarbacane, adds: “Another major challenge is thinking about email trans universal and omnichannel, so as not to consider each communication lever in silos. So we can think of complementary messages, even relevant repetition thanks to different formats.”

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“At Lush, our desire now is to go further in the personalization of messages, thanks to a more like-minded approach, to offer the same level of personalized advice online as in store. This may result, for example, in customers who do not have a bathtub or who have stated that they are not interested in bath bombs being no longer communicated about bath bombs. That is why today we are switching to a new, more complete platform, Braze, which will allow us to fine-tune our targeting and advance our omnichannel communication to improve the conversion rate,” explains Emilie Petraroli Roy, digital brand manager for Lush cosmetics.

What are the best practices?

“It is above all to seek to target only people who are really interested: the RGPD requires systematically deleting inactive contacts after 3 years (it is the right to be forgotten) but it is good to ask for consent again after a year. inactivity by sector,” recommends Rebecca Dvash, ActiveTrail’s France Marketing Director. “It also means relying on reliable and relevant customer data, so that segmentation is carried out correctly: data updated in real time, enriched by data from affinity (third-party data)…”, adds Geoffroy Guénin, email manager at eTarget and Loïc. Péron, customer success manager at Validity, a company specializing in data management and sending emails to specify: “Unfortunately , the health crisis has led some brands to ignore these recommendations and target their entire contact base, at the risk of being considered spam from now on. However, the practices are also going in the right direction, with companies that want to move towards a more responsible and inclusive emailing strategy: “It is necessary to think about the eco-design of messages, in particular through templates and designs that consume less energy but they are also more inclusive, to be read by everyone, from the elderly to the visually impaired”, advises Jean-Paul Lieux, co-founder of Dolist. An opinion shared by Martin Briantais, product manager of Digitaleo: “We believe that a more accurate contributes to better control of email sending volumes and we have also established a partnership with EcoTree so that the equivalent carbon emissions emitted by each campaign can be captured by investing in French forests.”

Marketing automation at the service of hyper-personalization

The messages sent are intended to be increasingly contextualized and personalized in order to capture attention, in an affinity or local marketing approach, where it is the point of sale of reference that directly addresses its customers. To that end, “Gone are the days when email marketing was limited to one-time blasts. With the rise of marketing automation, companies can now send the right messages to interested users at the right time”, says Nicolas Duchene. You can also create segments on the fly and test affinity with a message or communication channel quickly and iteratively to improve performance. You can also configure a series of actions (workflows) that will be activated according to specific conditions: welcome email after creating a customer account, satisfaction questionnaire after a purchase or promotional email when the products are waiting in the basket. “However, even if many workflows are possible, not all of them are relevant, for example, we have removed from the eTarget platform the automatic scheme for a second email reminder for those who did not open the first message sent. The reasons: a low reading coupled with a higher unsubscribe rate, which weakens the contact database and can damage the brand image,” says Geoffroy Guénin.

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How to choose the right email solution?

Looking at the different solutions discussed, you need to determine if you want a tool dedicated solely to email or more cross-functional, to support all channels of customer interaction. So, a series of questions should be asked: how many contacts do you have or how many emails do you send per month? In fact, some tools charge by the volume of contacts and others by the volume of emails sent. “It is also important to be able to test the platform, to make sure that the ergonomics are sufficiently intuitive”, recommends Nora González, while Jean-Paul Lieux invites, for his part, “to know what level of support the teams need, because having a high-performance tool is essential, but if you don’t know how to use it to 100% of your capabilities, it’s a shame, so you must take into account the level of maturity of your company in terms of practices” . Finally, “we must not hesitate to project ourselves into the future to take into account the future needs linked to the growth of the company and thus choose a platform that is scalable and capable of withstanding new expectations,” concludes Julia Cames, Head of Marketing at Hubspot.

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