Email has been a cornerstone of digital communication for decades, but recent trends indicate a shift in its usage. From privacy concerns to changes in user behavior, email marketing looks different these days. So, what does that mean for businesses? Companies simply need to find ways to adapt to the changing times and meet their audience where they’re at.
Changes in email
Since email’s inception, spam emails have existed. People have become increasingly frustrated with ineffective filtering systems, and companies are finding ways to speak to that need. Between Apple’s mail protection privacy system, state regulations, and technology like CAN-SPAM, users are receiving much more refined emails today. Some of these filtering tools open emails to scan for spam or unwanted content and then forward them to the recipient's inbox. In addition, the IP address of the recipient is hidden. Essentially, they allow email recipients to remain anonymous and discreet to prevent further undesirable content from landing in their inbox.
Aside from technological advances, the way email is being used is seeing a change, particularly among the younger generation. Gen-Z has been raised in the era of instant messaging and social media and tend to lean on alternative methods of communication. In addition, more and more people are finding themselves overwhelmed by the time and effort spent on managing their emails and are beginning to streamline their routines so they can focus on other tasks. An article by Harvard Business Review even prompts people to open emails and immediately delete them if they’re not necessary in order to cut down on inbox clutter.
Why it matters
Spam filters have become a hot topic among businesses and marketers because of the impact they have on measuring email performance. For instance, open rates may not be as accurate as they once were since the recipient isn't always the one actually opening the email. As a result, companies have had to change which metrics they track to measure success.
As businesses begin to see a transition in generational habits, this comes with a change in individuals’ processes. While email is still the preferred method of communication in B2B, businesses can enhance those efforts by utilizing other messaging tools like Microsoft Teams, project management platforms, and social media. The goal is for companies to be selective in what they’re sending to prevent email burnout and maintain a strong value for their emails.
Luckily, businesses can easily shift their strategies to meet these changes in behavior. And to ensure their email marketing remains effective, companies will need to expand their focus on other metrics, such as clicks, landing page visits, and subscriber behavior to gain deeper insights other than just how many people opened their email.
In this advanced, streamlined world, content is king. Now more than ever, businesses need to ensure that their email communications provide real value to recipients. Whether through educational content, exclusive offers, or personalized recommendations, the focus is delivering meaningful experiences and building relationships. Making emails interactive will also provide more reliable insights. If you’re measuring clicks, be sure to include valuable content to drive traffic to different links or landing pages. Treat each email like a targeted interaction, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
By actively understanding and responding to the evolving preferences and behaviors of their target market, businesses can ensure that their communication efforts, particularly through email, remain relevant. When businesses embrace the changing times and remain attuned to their audience's needs, they can ensure that their emails remain a vital and engaging part of the future.