Email 2.0 is not just the pipe to customers but also the path to profits. Building a hotline to existing customers is a mission critical agenda for brands. Without customers listening to their messages, the connection with the customer is broken, leaving brands with no other option but to join the unwinnable race to spend on the Big Tech platforms to acquire new customers. Email 2.0 is thus the solution to attention recession, retention recession and continuous customer churn; it is the path to profitability.
Put like this, it all seems so obvious. So why have marketers not focused on this? There are multiple reasons. First, until a few years ago, the martech platforms did not exist. While email lists have been around for the better part of two decades, without the ability to collect, analyse and segment customer data to scale, there were only two choices marketers had: one-to-one transactional messages or mass broadcast to all. It was the marketing automations platforms that helped marketers orchestrate journeys for better targeting. Second, among the push channels, even as email showed the best RoI, it was still a one-way channel with the only option being a clickthrough to a website. Compared to the richness of social media, email came across as almost ancient and clumsy in its interface. Third, the increasing ease of spending on customer acquisition (pay for performance) combined with the land grab mindset of top management made acquiring new customers as the priority. Adtech was easy; martech and CRM was hard. Easy always wins. Martech budgets were only 10-20% of overall marketing spends, and that is not enough to build multi-talented teams to deliver results. Finally, in most brands, the tenure of CMOs is typically 2-3 years. So, by the time a fledgling martech program starts to deliver results, there is a new leader who starts the journey from scratch.
Email 2.0 addresses all these problems. As part of sophisticated, AI-driven Martech 2.0 platforms, it allows omnichannel personalisation. Second, it makes email fun and interactive – bringing in immense possibilities and excitement. Creativity can now combine with tech to create memorable customer experiences. Third, CEOs are now starting to realise the dark side of adtech – the deep impact on profits. The realisation is starting to dawn that incessant and relentless acquisition cannot build an enduring business. Finally, Email 2.0 can deliver results in days and weeks, not months or years. CMOs can now hope for the corner room if they deliver – they can be the rainmakers, the stars at the head of the table.
Email 2.0 is the key that opens the door to lasting and win-win brand-customer relationships and profits in a way that none of the other push channels can. SMS has the telco tax, push notifications lack the richness and interactivity, and WhatsApp’s price tag makes it prohibitively expensive if used regularly and at scale. Email is the best answer among the push messaging channels, and Email 2.0 addresses all the weaknesses of Email 1.0 to create a genuine transformation. In fact, Email 2.0 will make other cross-channel efforts much more successful because marketers will have the attention of their customers and much more first- and zero-party data for personalisation and segmentation. Email 2.0 can thus make every other customer interaction more meaningful.
Email 2.0 needs a new word – the one I like is Microns. Just as Internal combustion engines and electric motors can both power cars but they are a world apart, Email 2.0 is not only an upgrade but also different and significantly better.