The times they are a-changing’. For years now, businesses have been reliant on email communication to grow their brand, alert customers to special offers and promotions and deliver targeted ads to loyal customers to bring content and offers that are tailored to suit them direct to their digital doorstep. But due to a recent change in data handling legislation all across Europe, the way in which email marketing works is about to change forever. This new legislation works much the same as the Canadian spam laws that came into effect last year. As of May 25th companies will no longer be able to send marketing content via email unless it is to a customer who has willingly subscribed to it. While this will make for cleaner inboxes all across Europe, it could mean a sharp decline in exposure if you market to customers within the EU (including the UK).
Email marketing isn’t dead… but….
This legislation isn’t necessarily a death knell for email marketing, but it’s certainly a wakeup call. While most US states have some kind of anti spam laws in place, the fact that unsolicited emails are no longer legally allowed does not necessarily mean a death knell for email marketing. It does, however, mean that more thought needs to go into targeted email copy that is of benefit to the small core of customers who choose to keep in touch. While email can be made to work, it may not be the most efficient way to reach customers as we head into the 2020s.
Let’s talk about texts
Even before these legislative changes, email marketing suffered from a lack of immediacy. Few people check their email as regularly as they check other forms of communication and most people apply robust spam filters to block out unsolicited content. Text messaging, on the other hand, has far more immediacy for customers, which is why many companies are reaching out to SMS service providers like Text Better. While an email can languish for days in an inbox, text messages are picked up within 15 minutes 97% of the time.
Banner and social media advertising
In an era where most of us keep up with friends, make our essential purchases and keep abreast of what’s going on in the world through our smartphones, taking your marketing efforts into the realms of social media or banner advertising is an obvious solution. Sure, you have to put in the effort to build creative and well designed copy, but advertising on other people’s websites or launching an effective Pay Per Click campaign are both great ways of facilitating exposure to your brand.
If you want to create a genuine sense of buzz and excitement for your brand, there’s no substitute for viral marketing. Viral marketing enables you to grow your reach organically and create genuine quantifiable interest but it can be an extremely tough nut to crack. It’s worth remembering that there is no magic formula for success, but companies can make efforts to hedge their bets. A good campaign that’s creative and engaging, timely and disseminated across multiple channels can gain serious traction with your target markets. Video content is particularly useful in this.
Focus your marketing efforts away from email and join your target market in the 2010s!