Presently, consumers and marketers are at an unprecedented juncture as it applies to their relationship with data collection and sharing. For consumers, their relationships with companies that collect their data can be laden with apprehensions. When it comes to marketing affiliates, most are more preoccupied with reach and campaign metrics. While both parties continue to use the Internet as consumers and sales professionals with occasional conflicts of interest or different priorities, the technology that both rely on keeps evolving.
This year in the world of Internet marketing, we are seeing changes that reflect an increased emphasis by media giants on consumer protection, new consumer demands, and which campaigns stand up to the challenge.
What are consumers and marketers looking for in e-mail campaigns in 2022?
Again, digital media marketing is a rapidly evolving field and partially depends upon the mandates of tech giants and their workflow. After an election year in the United States, the role of social media in the distribution of information to society has been questioned. Governments and citizens alike are requesting more information about the data collection practices of social media, as well as the content users encounter. Consequently, one can see the recent Facebook papers leak and attempt to rebrand as an acknowledgment of new consumer demands. Yet, many who aren’t in marketing fail to realize that e-mail marketing is a far more pervasive means of reaching people and undergoing less oversight.
Social media companies like Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, or the new, fun social media application of the year are seen as the backbone of social media. Many people erroneously project that these corporations will take over the Internet and forget the stability of the consumer’s personal e-mail account. As the fad sites make a splash, many still keep the same e-mail.
An e-mail campaign is more like a lucrative market where industry professionals cite earning of about $7 billion from list-serves and other e-mail campaigns alone. Clearly, it’s worth looking into e-mail campaigns further and how to weather the ways that e-mail protocols will change with this increased demand for consumer protection.
Consumers express greater demands for privacy
One of the main issues that consumers have with mailing lists and other marketing campaigns is that most have encountered their e-mail being sold, campaigns that don’t apply to them, and a need for consent. There’s a bit of fear with consumers who don’t know what data is being tracked when they sign up for mailing lists with a website, company, or service they enjoy. They don’t know what the company does with their information and hope that it won’t come back to haunt them in the form of being bombarded by spam from random solicitors. Once trust is lost with a company, consumers can worry about hacking breaches, stolen data, and the feeling of being spied on by Internet service providers, software, etc.
Astute marketing affiliates are going to have to place an emphasis on consent. Those of us in the industry know that there are protocols that must be followed when customers opt-in. Not only that, but many browsers and hosts have rules. A savvy marketer will respond to consumer anxiety by making it very clear about what to expect from the e-mail list. If data is shared, then that would be the time to disclose what types of insights are gathered from their data, what happens to that data, and whether the tracking is actually useful to providing customers with a personalized experience.
We like to say that people will want the option to say no, but then pick the service. Consumers won’t want to feel obligated to subscribe and will like clear Terms & Conditions for those who browse them. Others could use some redesigns assuring them that their private data will not be sold or distributed. In other words, they would like more choices. If they feel they have more choices, then they will feel these programs serve them and stop worrying about what an algorithm is, fearing data mining, and allowing this to interfere with their time online.
Again, remember to give consumers the “option to have an option.” By giving people the option to opt-in, marketers will overcome the rising challenge of consumer consent. While marketing affiliates tend to focus on consumer centralization, it’s now time to focus more on creating better content during sales cycles, outlining consumer consent, and making the services understandable to the consumer.
Marketing professionals anticipate changes by providers
Two key changes will occur in 2022 that will impact e-mail marketing. One is the removal of the open rate in GA software. The second is that the cache will be removed. Both prevent challenges to marketing affiliates.
1. Overcoming the Removal of Open Rate
Not only are consumer expectations changing, but several large platforms are changing. In the industry, Apple and Google tend to lead the change, and their clout influences the industry so that their mandates tend to be the new standards within one to two years. Right now, a lot of changes will involve Google Analytics. Several features in GA, like tracking the open rate of subject lines in e-mail campaigns, will no longer be available. For those that rely upon the open rate to gauge the success of the campaign, then these organizations will have to find new means of monitoring their outreach.
Marketers will have to address this issue before the new changes by studying their data while it is available. They will need to review the amount of engagement and open mail to see at which point they lose the consumer. It will involve working backward and not letting a sales cycle dictate how they engage with their audience. Consumers typically disengage in the material and resolving this will involve CTA to address problems in the message, create more relevant and interesting content, and get art and design involved. With more engaging mailing campaigns, more conversions will happen.
2. How to handle marketing without cookies
Another major change will be once cookies and cache will be removed from many Internet platforms, just as many Apps are offering consumers the option to avoid tracking. Without the metrics from tracking, e-mail campaigns are going to become more click-centric and attempt to divert consumer attention to the buyer’s website. While clickbait content will surge, the goal will be to translate this into conversions.
Ironically, there will be an opening here for companies to innovate without as many tracking opportunities. The goal will be to get the consumer on the main sales website, but what will get them there? For many, clickbait is considered cheap and often leads to unfulfilling content on a website covered in advertisements that becomes quite difficult to navigate. In the absence of detailed tracking information, marketing can rise up and create beautiful and relevant newsletter campaigns. The campaigns should reflect the content of the original brand and address the fundamental queries of the user.
While clickbait campaigns will start showing up, more of these quality campaigns will arise that will more successfully divert traffic to the ultimate destination. Without tracking, users will want relevant content and this will bring in the best of marketing to match and meet their needs. When Google removes cache in January 2022, there will be more experimentation as marketing affiliates and the brands attempt to retain consumers and figure out that the way to do this is through e-mail campaigns.
Consumers will expect more tailored content and marketers will create segmented e-mail lists to meet niche markets. In summary, market affiliates will have the opportunity to turn prospects into clients without those clients feeling like a brand is untrustworthy, or violates their privacy.
Questions? Any other concerns on how the iOS 15 update and other changes that impact e-mail marketing?
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