The scenes unfolding around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, seem to be straight out of some dystopian sci-fi movie. The pandemic has shut down small businesses, restaurants, schools, and universities. Millions around the world are maintaining social distancing and staying at home. Borders have been sealed and air travel prohibited. All professionals are working remotely as going outside could mean catching the infection.
As the world economy suffers due to the pandemic, people are hoping to keep their loved ones safe and watch with anxiety as the horror of the coronavirus is unleashed globally. A lot has changed over the course of a month in the world and some things might stay that way to become the ‘new normal’.
Industries and brands have suffered losses as they had to stop delivering their goods during national lock-downs and new security measures imposed to prevent human contact. Some e-commerce stores have been challenged logistically as they haven’t been able to fulfill orders due to the material shortage and hence have ultimately shut down till further notice.
Some brands have been positively impacted due to the coronavirus crisis like streaming services, health care services, online pharmacies, e-grocery stores, food delivery apps, etc. , who have seen a rise in demand.
Some industries like travel , hospitality and brick, and mortar outlets have faced severe damage to their business. Their spending budgets slashed and lay-offs have begun.
All this is overwhelming, and it seems a lot to think about right now
Not to forget the online brands in email marketing have been quick to update their customers. A check on your email inbox and you must have received hundreds of emails from brands providing their COVID-19 updates.
This begs the question if you are a marketer for a brand, do you really need to send that email update to your subscribers? The tactful answer here will center around how empathetic you are about your subscriber’s situation. By sending that email will you make their lives easier? Will you be adding any value to them ?
According to a recent survey by Kantar, just 8% of consumers think brands should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you answer yes, to the above questions , then yes you should be sending that email. If no, then please don’t send any email communication to your customers during this period.
In this complete email guide to communicating with empathy during COVID-19 crisis we will provide best practices to follow to send your updates and promotions to your subscribers. We shall also be running through the mistakes brands make in sending these crisis communications.
Send time optimization is not new to email marketers. Many of them are doing it in at least one way - based on the time zone of the user, or the best time to generate responses. There is no point delivering email at midnight for users in Cleveland and the same message sent to users at 8:00 am in Dubai, in a single send with the same message.
If a brand has users from multiple time zones, the delivery times must be optimized per time zone, allowing the marketer to adjust their content accordingly. Not only send-time optimization but email delivery optimization is as important for boosting your email engagement rates.
Delivery optimization is usually invisible to the marketer, but if the email service provider (ESP) is using some advanced machine learning and AI techniques to optimize delivery for better inboxing and reputation building, this should provide significant stability in overall reputation and a jump in ROI of email campaigns.
Email Delivery Optimization for better engagement
Optimization of Campaigns using Real-Time Analytics
Traditional reporting of campaigns was limited to opens, clicks and a few other basic stats. While basic metrics are still needed, tracking metrics have evolved from numbers on charts to data that can be used to get insights and make recommendations to achieve the intended goal.
Real-time analytics in your email campaign can help you not only monitor the performance of your emails but are also a very effective tool for drawing insights for your future campaigns. They help collect actionable insights that are very specific to your company and your brand.
Power up these insights with AI, and you will be well on your way to get superb campaign performance.
A Summarized view
The industry has been using words like “Right time, right message, right channel” for many years. Before the Internet, with fewer options, data and predictive analytics could do a fairly good job of finding the right targets to market to, and then the message convinced that user they needed something. Fast forward to now, when users have so many options and new behaviors that were never a consideration before.
Research that used to happen at the dinner table or water cooler at work is now a major step in the journey process. Consideration with review sites, comparison sites, all getting closer to decisions. Search and digital advertising’s role in all of this and the signals that occur each step in the process that users take.
The customer journey is complex. The good news is that AI and ML can help marketers move to the next level of marketing. They will still be the brains behind the plan; this is the technology that is fed by inputs from marketers. But they will have the tools that will give us the ability to transform their marketing by providing truly one-to-one experiences, in a new Segment of ONE world.
Download the whitepaper to amplify your view of email marketing above and beyond the usual tactics used by marketers.
About the author
This whitepaper on artificial intelligence in email marketing was written by our experts Chaitanya Chinta, Head of Deliverability at Pepipost, he has a 10-year experience in email deliverability and having written a few spam filters himself, he has an in-depth knowledge of working os Spam filters and email deliverability and Jeannette Kocsis, SVP of Marketing and Business Development, Pepipost US. She has extensive working knowledge of the working of businesses and their requirements. Along with great knowledge and experience in getting the best possible ROI from emails.
Being experts in their respective fields, they have explained how and where AI works best in Email Marketing and how you can best benefit from implementing these in your Email Marketing campaigns. This whitepaper explores in-depth, the working of these algorithms and their best use cases.
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