Batch-and-blast: We wish this were a thing of the past. Our sixth and final prediction of our Worst Marketing Predictions of the Last 10 Years series was made in 2006, a few months after Rick Mathieson boldly predicted a public outlash to hyper-local targeting and when another predictor said that ads and email will come together in an intelligent way. Our last prediction brings you back in time when Mariah Carey topped the charts with her single Don’t Forget About Us and D4L was close behind with their incredibly annoying single Laffy Taffy. (You’re lucky if you don’t remember it, but just in case you want to jog your memory:
Our latest prediction is featured in the Click-Z article Crystal Ball Predictions for E-Mail, published in January 2006. The author introduces the article with these statements:
“2005 was a stellar year for email marketing. As the year progressed, it became clear that organizations were leveraging this channel to deliver relevant, timely messages that provided measurable value to their customers and measurable ROI to themselves. Batch-and-blast is a thing of the past — and that’s where it belongs.”
Batch-and-Blast Email is Not Dead
Unfortunately for society as a whole, this statement could not have been further from the truth. As we near the end of 2016, ten years after this statement was made, consumers still feel they do not receive relevant, personalized emails.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints and Magnetic, 50% of consumers receive emails from retailers with irrelevant info. Also mentioned in Magnetic’s eBook, Closing the Gap Between People’s Expectations and Retail Realities, 47% of consumers claim to receive promotional emails about products that they are not interested in. Even more alarming, retailers admit they still send batch-and-blast emails to consumers. In the aforementioned survey, less than half (46%) of retailers say they are able to send personalized emails featuring product recommendations, ratings/reviews or exclusive deals/coupons.
These takeaways confirm one key point: Retailers may be investing in personalization to a certain extent, but many of them yet to master it in email. In 2016, batch-and-blast is still very much “a thing”.
The Revival of Email Marketing
To our predictor’s credit, email marketing has come a long way since 2006. Although batch-and-blast has not completely gone away, email has evolved to become smarter than ever to help provide the messages people want most. Today, companies have the opportunity to create an individual relationship through email that is thoughtful, responsive and personalized.
And email certainly isn’t going away. Entrepreneur notes that 193.3 billion emails are received a day, 108.7 billion of which are related to business. And consumers still love email. Customers like to know about coupons, because they like to save money when they shop. Customers also tend to like email sequences that educate and engage them. Mini email courses from subject experts can pack a lot of good information, creating a great win-win for marketers and consumers. (Entrepreneur, 7 Statistics That Prove Email Marketing Isn’t Dead).
Even better yet – consumers want personalized messages. According to Magnetic’s eBook, Delivering Relevance: Your Guide to Making Emails Count, 43% of consumers would like to get notified of a price drop on an item they are searching for (otherwise known as a Price Drop alert). About one in four (22%) consumers would like to get a discount notification to come back and buy their abandoned cart items (Cart Abandonment email).
Our Prediction: Email Marketing Will Continue to Evolve as Marketers Trash Batch-and-Blast
While 2006 was certainly not the year that batch-and-blast emails died, ten years in the making we are finally getting closer to the day we finally trash those irrelevant, impersonal blast emails. Personalized email strategies, including triggered emails and email recommendations, are a step in the right direction. These types of emails rely on both real-time data and past purchase information, and are timely and relevant. They urge people to take action by letting them know about the products and services they care about, when it matters most and as a result, marketers see better results and a positive impact on sales.
This personalized touch increases engagement and the value of each send. It is a more effective strategy than batch-and-blast emails because recommendations, offers, or promotions featured in emails are based on the latest and greatest online behavior of that individual, and showcases what they’re most interested in at that moment in time.
So let’s finally do away with batch-and-blast emails and make every email truly count — whether it’s with the right product recommendations, the right email aesthetics, or using triggered emails. Once you’ve connected with people in a relevant, meaningful way, you can draw them back through the inbox and build the long-term, relevant relationship you need — and they want.
Check out our full eBook here: Worst Marketing Predictions in the Last 10 Years!