Email Is Being Replaced By Push Notifications.
(And that’s a good thing.)
Email marketing is considered to be cheap, especially compared to direct mail. Nonetheless, both have a cost—and I’m not just talking about money.
Look, I’m not a hater of email marketing. Nor do I think it should be replaced completely. Like any tool, when properly used, it can be very effective. That said, there are times not to use it, especially given how customers are more and more concerned about receiving timely, relevant and authentically personal communications from the brands they love.
I know what you’re thinking: email can do those things. Well, it kind of can. Let’s start with timeliness. Email isn’t even close when it comes to the delivery of information at the opportune moment. To start, its structure is flawed. No one actually sends you an email—they send it to a server. Then, you have to retrieve it and download it into your inbox. And while that it usually done automatically, there is no guarantee as to when you will see it, open it, and most importantly, act on it. I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I’ve bought something and then hours later I receive an email with a discount from the place I was just at. For me, that situation is normally followed by an expletive or two.
In terms of relevancy, I submit to you that email can contain relevant content to its reader. However, the kind of relevant content it delivers is constructed on what the sender has deemed relevant based on general analytics at best. While there are sophisticated email systems that can go pretty deep into the analytics and dissect what is relevant and what is not, most organizations don’t use that level of science to run their email campaigns.
Finally, relevancy and personalized communications are mutually exclusive. The relevant content provided in the email when done right is generally implicit. Authentically personalized content is based on explicit behaviors tailored each person on your database at scale.
So, what’s a marketer to do? Having communications on a one-to-one basis has always been the Holy Grail of advertising. Fortunately, for those organizations that have recognized the massive adoption of mobile apps and set themselves up with one to serve their audiences, the technology to achieve that Holy Grail is literally in the hands of your customers.
Apps enabled with push notifications can supplant or at the very least supplement your email marketing. With the right Artificial Intelligence/machine learning algorithm, you can deliver timely, relevant and authentically personal communications at scale to each individual—all behaviorally based. Moreover, unlike email sends, scalability is free—saving your company a boatload of money each year. In essence, your organization can become its own media company with a one-to-one connection to each of your customers.
That is one of Proximity Marketing’s benefits. Of course, you can always just use the behavioral analytics from your app and feed the data back into your email program. It won’t save you any money on sends or help much with timeliness or true personalization, but at least it will provide your email subscribers with more relevant content.