The Top Five Trends in Online Direct Marketing

The finan­ci­al cri­sis will con­ti­nue to pro­vi­de a boost for online mar­ke­ting. In the sear­ch for effi­ci­ent mar­ke­ting methods, it stands to rea­son that the­re will be a tran­si­ti­on from off­line to online chan­nels and par­ti­cu­lar­ly, to online direct mar­ke­ting. Not only for inter­net dea­lers, email mar­ke­ting is one of the top mar­ke­ting stra­te­gies. We have tra­ced five trends for you:

Trend 1: Integrated Email Marketing

One of the stron­ge­st trends, which beca­me appa­rent in the cour­se of this year, was the path to a com­pre­hen­si­ve inte­gra­ti­on of email mar­ke­ting into stan­dard com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on pro­ce­du­res. What were main­ly inde­pen­dent news­let­ters and mai­lings in the past, will increa­sin­gly beco­me tasks of auto­ma­ted or trig­ger-based stan­dard com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on pro­ce­du­res via email dia­log mar­ke­ting sys­tems. The­se tasks inclu­de:

  • Order and dis­patch con­fir­ma­ti­ons.
  • Sta­tus emails for mem­berships or bonus and loyal­ty card sys­tems.
  • Reac­tiva­ti­on mai­lings in case of decrea­sing activi­ty.
  • Remin­der emails for appoint­ments and ser­vicing.
  • Auto­ma­ted fol­low-ups.

The aim is to cen­tral­ly con­trol all dia­log mar­ke­ting com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with cli­ents, com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly ana­ly­se it and use it for tar­get-ori­en­ta­ted mar­ke­ting. Cross and upsel­ling offers can the­re­fo­re be direct­ly inte­gra­ted and the email com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on will be opti­mi­sed.

Trend 2: Mobile Email Marketing

The mobi­le inter­net is gro­wing. Cur­rent­ly, only 10% of emails are recei­ved and read on a mobi­le, but this pro­por­ti­on will increa­se mas­si­ve­ly with the expan­si­on of com­pa­ti­ble mobi­le pho­nes. A stu­dy of the media rese­ar­ch group fore­casts even a pro­por­ti­on of 54% in the com­ing years. With the mobi­le usership, email mar­ke­ting requi­re­ments are chan­ging. Tech­ni­cal restric­tions, such as screen dimen­si­ons and HTML dis­play equal­ly requi­re a spe­cial adap­ta­ti­on as do type and scope of con­tent.

A spe­cial signi­fi­can­ce in mobi­le usa­ge will be assi­gned to RSS feeds. Inherent to its func­tio­nal prin­ci­ple, RSS faci­li­ta­tes mobi­le usa­ge. It has beco­me appa­rent that the pro­por­ti­on of mobi­le RSS users is gro­wing fas­ter than the pro­por­ti­on of mobi­le email users.

Trend 3: Legally compliant Email Marketing

One should assu­me that mar­ke­ting is always legal­ly flaw­less. Prac­tical expe­ri­en­ce howe­ver, shows that immen­se uncer­tain­ness and part­ly negli­gen­ce exist in the con­text of data pri­va­cy and data usa­ge. Nega­ti­ve head­lines and a chan­ge to the legal frame­work have cont­ri­but­ed their part. The ques­ti­on of legal cer­tain­ty of their own mar­ke­ting is beco­m­ing a vital task for many com­pa­nies. On one hand, to obtain cla­ri­ty about the cur­rent sta­tus quo, and on the other hand, to avo­id making cru­ci­al data unusa­ble due to legal­ly incor­rect data usa­ge or tech­ni­cal­ly defi­ci­ent admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the per­mis­si­on mar­ke­ting com­p­li­an­ce. With the trend of legal cer­tain­ty, new coope­ra­ti­on models in par­ti­cu­lar (see Trend 4) and the clas­sic struc­tu­re of sub­scri­ber lists are gai­ning signi­fi­can­ce.

Trend 4: Person-to-person and marketing via intermediaries

After its pre­des­ti­ned app­li­ca­ti­on in e-com­mer­ce, like in the media and publis­hing sec­tor, email mar­ke­ting is now beco­m­ing a stra­te­gic mar­ke­ting tool in other sec­tors. Howe­ver, indus­tries and manu­fac­turers of bran­ded goods, as well as fran­chises regu­lar­ly encoun­ter the pro­blem of an inter­me­di­a­ry bet­ween them­sel­ves and the end con­su­mer. Afraid of being tar­ge­ted by direct mar­ke­ting, the lat­ter are often scepti­cal of a direct com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween manu­fac­turer and end con­su­mer. In rea­li­ty, col­la­bo­ra­ti­on offers many advan­ta­ges. The manu­fac­turer has inte­res­ting sto­ries and pro­duct infor­ma­ti­on which the dea­ler would love to use for its direct mar­ke­ting com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with his cust­o­m­ers. A solu­ti­on could be offe­red by per­son-to-per­son email direct mar­ke­ting, whe­re data manage­ment in a trust cen­tre pro­vi­des the manu­fac­turer with the opti­on of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on whi­le secu­ring the dealer’s data sover­eig­n­ty. This model of coope­ra­ti­ve com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on plat­forms will beco­me increa­sin­gly popu­lar due to the new data pri­va­cy regu­la­ti­on, which pro­hi­bit the pro­pa­ga­ti­on of cust­o­m­er data e.g. to a cen­ter without expli­cit con­s­ent).

Trend 5: User Individualisation

Indi­vi­dua­li­sa­ti­on has always been a main topic in email mar­ke­ting. Howe­ver, in most cases, the­re is a lack of con­tent, know­led­ge of the sub­scri­ber or sui­ta­ble sys­tems to rea­li­se high-per­for­man­ce indi­vi­dua­li­sed com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. In the future, it will beco­me the task of intel­li­gent lin­king with tag­ged data sour­ces to car­ry out the auto­ma­ted allo­ca­ti­on of the cor­rect infor­ma­ti­on. The com­pi­la­ti­on accord­ing to sub­scri­ber inte­rests and moti­ves will be as import­ant as the con­trol of fre­quen­cy and recep­ti­on time. Recei­ve fre­quen­cy and time fun­da­men­tal­ly deter­mi­ne the fea­si­ble total activi­ty of sub­scri­bers and the­re­fo­re the ROI of the email mar­ke­ting.