“2021 versus 2020, email was up 94% in volume. I would anticipate it to be up again in 2022.” Kate Adams, SVP Marketing at data and email solutions provider Validity, sees a bright future for the email channel. “If we could count the number of articles that had the headline ’email is dead,’ we’d all have a good laught, right?”
Thank goodness for email. One reason is that so many other channels were lost or constrained by the pandemic. “So many marketers, especially in this pandemic environment, were saying to themselves, ‘Thank goodness I still have email.”
The other trend she highlighted was personalization. “Personalization versus tokenization,” she said. “Lots of marketers think, cool, I’ll put your organization name in here, or I’ll use your first name, and that’s personalization. Really I mean next level personalization: ‘Hey, I know you were here and you were looking at this product and ou may also love these products. How do you do that at scale is the real challenge.”
Partnership with Adobe. Validity recently announced that it had joined the Adobe Exchange Partner Program. It’s currently working with Adobe to develop a tight integration between Adobe Campaign and its own Everest product. “Everest is an email success platform,” Adams explained. “It gives you the data and insights you need so that you can get more messages to more people; you can stand out in a crowded inbox; and you can understand where you’re landing in that inbox. There are a lot more insights that marketers need, especially with the release of Mail Privacy Protection that was in iOS 15 that came out in September.”
Although Validity had not previously been part of the Program, it had had a partnership with Adobe through 250ok, the deliverability solution it acquired in March 2020. “It was certainly not anything of the breadth and depth that this partnership will entail.”
Finally, be ethical. Adams’ positive vision for email marketing is closely tied to Validity’s investment in ethical marketing. “Ethical marketing is very close to our hearts and we believe that our platforms and tools enable marketers to do it. We believe there are vendors out there who are putting too many marketers at risk for doing something unethical without knowing it.”
Unknowingly emailing people who have not consented to be emailed is one area of risk. “Compliance is such an important componen t of ethical marketing,” she said, “but we also think about it as a skill-set which you can learn and teach yourself and your marketing team members. You want to be compliant and we can help you with that, but you want to be much better than compliant. That’s a low bar — how do you go above and beyond that?”
Why we care. Adams is surely right to emphasize the importance of the email marketing channel to today’s marketers. We know that ourselves from the interest our readers show in email marketing stories. Email is not the whole story, of course, as B2B follows B2C into the new environment of customer journeys orchestrated across multiple channels. But it’s a critical plotline.
With the increased volume of email marketing does come increased risk, of course. The risk of being ignored, the risk of being tedious, and the risk of failing the compliance challenge. The latter is something we put great emphasis on (in addition to optimization and deliverability) when we updated and released our Email Marketing Periodic Table earlier this year.