The constantly evolving media landscape looks nothing like it did just a few years ago. Consumers interact with a myriad of channels and devices—from email to Snapchat, Apple to Android—leading to a volume of messaging that can take some time to wrap your head around. For instance, in 2013, 182.9 billion emails were sent/ received per day worldwide. That number is projected to grow by 5% by the end of 2014. Another interesting figure: more than 500 million tweets are sent each day. Something else to keep in mind is that messages like emails and tweets can now be relayed via mobile devices.
With so many things vying for consumers’ attention, people havebecome more selective and learned how to easily sift through messages to pinpoint which ones are actually valuable to them (with “valuable,” of course, being the operative word). As customer behavior and preferences evolve, marketers need to stay on top of these trends and employ strategies to stay relevant while conveying the value of their products and services.
The most successful marketers are nimble and flexible.
They use data-driven insights to deliver relevant, personalized communications that are seamlessly deployed across channels. Ideally, those who provide an optimal brand experience will be rewarded with customer loyalty. Catering to prospects and customers can be easier said than done, however. In this whitepaper, we focus on five key communications trends affecting the way consumers engage with marketers…
- Evolving relationship with the inbox
- Relevant, personalized communications
- Email anytime, anywhere
- Added-value content
- Rise of the passive opt-out
Evolving relationship with the inbox. Users’ relationships with the email inbox have drastically changed and the increased adoption of mobile devices and Gmail updates have influenced this evolution.
The traditional model of companies managing relationships with customers has been flipped on its head. We’ve entered an age where companies should no longer employ the traditional CRM system to manage their customers, but rather employ a system that addresses CMR: Customer-Managed Relationships. Shoppers are more empowered than ever and have the freedom to choose where and when they interact with brands. Today that means via mobile devices most of the time, at any hour of the day (see point #3). In the first quarter of 2014, Yesmail found that more than half of email opens (51.6%) occur on a mobile device. What’s more, hybrid viewers—people who open the same email on desktops and mobile devices—dropped 12% between Q4 2013 and Q1. Now, consumers are showing a preference for a specific device: 46.8% of consumers open marketing emails exclusively on a mobile device versus 45.7% solely on a desktop.
Many email marketers are employing responsive design in their campaigns to eliminate the need for subscribers to pinch and zoom a message just to read it on various devices. Responsive emails automatically adapt to the size of the screen they’re opened on and the results of this adjustment are promising: responsive emails have a 21% higher click-to-open rate than status quo (read: nonresponsive) emails. Despite the increased usage of smartphones and tablets and greater engagement with mobile-friendly email, marketers have been slow to adapt. Just 1% of marketers incorporate responsive design in all their emails.
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