Find out why email should be a big focus for you post-Brexit and get some tips on campaigns to implement
I was in the South of France when the referendum result happened. The enormity of it hit me quite hard while surrounded by such kind and engaging people, all trying to be sympathetic about the decision. Since that day, focus (at least in business terms) has turned to the impact it will have on companies. As an organisation that works with both Global and UK based companies, we have seen many different reactions to the vote, but the overriding emotion seems to be caution. Some companies are already in recession planning mode (just in case), others are holding off on non-essential projects and most are not comfortable making any big and expensive decisions right now.
One thing we are seeing and hearing consistently is that budget and efforts are being steered more than ever towards email as the communication channel of choice. This is something we noticed a lot during the last recession, so it begs the question, why? I personally believe this is down to two main factors – value for money and flexibility.
Email Offers Great Results at a Lower Cost = an ROI Winner
Don’t get me wrong, email is not cheap. Those that still believe it’s ok to blast everyone with the same creative, every day, are not getting true value from their email channel. The cost of sending an email is clearly cheap, but it’s the associated costs of data, segmentation etc, that make it more expensive but it’s these elements that make email great. However, it’s clear no other channel comes close to delivering the ROI that email can, with the most recent Econsultancy Email Marketing Report highlighting that the gap between email and its closest competitor for ROI (SEO), continues to grow.
This ROI is not down to the cheaper costs of email, but it is being driven by the fact email is able to utilise the most important tool to the modern marketer – data. In a post Brexit world where companies are taking more caution with their budgets, the data they already collect and get freely from consumers every day, becomes more and more important. So naturally, the channel that can utilise that data and turn it into genuine revenues is the one that will thrive. Many would claim that marketing automation was really driven out of the better email companies that had databases and were utilising data more. Email has always been more adept at integrating with different data sources. The speed at which it can react to new data has always meant email maximises its value better than other direct channels like direct mail and paid search.
The other great element that email brings to the party is its ability to play well with others. It’s the ideal channel to support other campaigns, like DM, call centres etc… So it can be used to improve the ROI of these other channels, adding again, to its own overall value to a business.
Email is a Truly Agile Channel
In a world where people have less confidence when making bold decisions and are cautious when spending a lot of time and money on new campaigns and initiatives, the pure flexibility of email to react when it’s needed becomes its biggest strength. Companies are trying to be flexible with budgets and plans due to the uncertainty, for example, you’ll see companies freezing recruitment, but then using agencies to outsource the work because it’s easier to cut that spend if needed.
Long term planning is often in short supply at times like this, so the ability to quickly put campaigns together and be more reactive becomes an important skill for a channel marketer. Whilst we would all prefer longer term planning and relying less on knee jerk reaction, it’s a reality of a post-Brexit world and email is ideally placed to support this change in feeling.
Again, the importance of data that I mentioned before comes into this as well, because it’s so simple and effective to do ‘tactical segmentation’ and drive specific behaviours with email. Below are a few examples of targeted email campaigns you could run in response to Brexit concerns
You could react to dips in demand by targeting people with all-inclusive offers for popular resorts, in a bid to avoid euro dip pain.
As was proven with the recent Amazon Prime Day that created a halo effect across all online retailers, in times like these consumers are looking for value and offers. Try targeting consumers based on purchase and browse history as you should always do, but instead pick out options that are on sale and that match their interests, so you are playing to their concerns on value, but still making it a personalised and relevant experience.
If you have customers obtaining quotes but not converting, change up the creative to highlight benefits relevant to the times, like insurance cover in the case of redundancy – but try and be subtle about it!
These are just some simple examples, but they show how quickly you can react to circumstances using email, whilst still ensuring a personal and customer friendly experience.
Brexit – We’re Leaving the EU But Don’t Leave Behind the Basics of Email Principles
So whilst you are dealing with the instability that the EU referendum has predictably brought about, remember that it’s at times like this that you can wangle the biggest advantages over your competition. But it is key to react quickly and in the most creative ways, which is exactly what email allows you to do. Stick to the best principles of email – good use of data, personalised messaging, relevant content and all delivered at the right time for the customer – these principles just happen to be the best way to come out of the Brexit downturn as well.