As I strolled through the Stein Lodge at the 2015 MediaPost Email Insider Summit last week, I noticed there was something distinctly different about the event than in years past. While the beautiful mountain views, skiing excursions, thoughtful panels and lively cocktail parties still remained at the epicenter of the week’s experience, I couldn’t help but pick up on one glaring detail: This year, there was a suspicious lack of the word “email”-particularly in the names of sponsors and companies attending.
Does that mean 2016 will be the end of email? Not exactly. But, it’s a huge indicator that change is afoot. Read on to learn more about what’s happening to this term, and other buzzworthy trends from MPEIS 2015.
What’s in a Name?
A few years ago, most companies in our industry referred to themselves as email service providers (ESPs). If you attended an event like MPEIS, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sponsor banner without the word “email” in the company’s name or slogan. This year, though, it was almost entirely absent.
The reason for this has nothing to do with the demise of email, but the rise of marketing automation. Instead of focusing only on email as the sole part of their service offering, businesses are broadening their services to a multi-channel approach.
Shifting from Sale to Journey
What’s the sole purpose of your marketing endeavors? If you said “to make a sale,” you’re actually only about half right. While this is certainly still the top objective for executives, sales and marketing teams are finding that, by working in unison, they can achieve more than a sale-they can achieve a lifetime customer.
Last week, there was a lot of talk about the customer journey, especially during a panel that included representatives from InterContinental Hotels Group, The New York Times, Finish Line and Match.com. When we take the time to map out the customer journey, we see a conversion is just one step. By focusing more on the journey than the sale, we can keep customers engaged, keep our brand top-of-mind and, most importantly, drive loyalty.
Messaging is the New Emailing
Email is an integral part of communicating with potential customers. But, today, it’s not the only part. Now, brands can connect with prospects digitally in myriad ways. From text messaging and social media to applications, service providers are changing the rhetoric to “messaging” to include all forms of electronic communication-which, of course, includes email. By utilizing multiple touch points, you can increase engagement immediately and communicate with your prospects through the channels they use most.
All in all, MPEIS was a great opportunity to chat with some of the top influencers and marketers about the trends expected to rock the email marketing world over the next several months. So if you’re still worried email is heading for extinction, you can relax. While the way we communicate with our customers is evolving, email is still firmly at the helm.
Stay tuned for our top email predictions for 2016 later this month!
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