Next Generation Email

Posted by John H. Heinrichs

Jan 8

Email was a technological innovation of the early 1990’s.  Signals_EmailIt changed the way the world communicated and the way business was conducted.  Today, the idea of life without email seems downright preposterous.  Every man, woman, and child in the internet society has at least one email address.  But today, this ubiquitous staple of our connected lives has some serious competition.  Today email competes with a barrage of messages from sources like instant messaging, social media, texting, cell phones, and many others.  The once venerable email is losing ground to the explosion of new communication methods entering the market.  This is where you ask, “Why should I care?”

Email marketing as a channel was the third overall lead generation source for marketers in 2013, producing 13% of all leads.

Well, my fellow business students, email is a component of the inbound marketing strategy of any business worth its salt.  In the same way marketers need their emails to have a different impact.  Flat, impersonal, irrelevant, emails will never break through maelstrom of targeted messages we are subject to on a daily basis.  Email marketing too must evolve!

Of the marketers who bought an email list in 2013, just 9% said it was very effective.

Here is some tough news for email marketers; according to the Wall Street Journal email open rate since 2007 are down 34% and click through rates since 2007 are down 28%.  Further, Epsilon reports that email clickthrough rates dropped to 4.4% in the second quarter of 2012, which was down more than 6% from 4.7% in the first quarter. This trend marked the third consecutive quarter-over-quarter drop. (Source: Epsilon Q2 2012 Email Trends & Benchmarks Report) This is further proof that emails have to take it to the next level.  New email campaigns must be modern, must adapt to new technologies and must resonate with customers and their lifecycle.  This means that we have to understand our customers better, who they are, where they live, what their interests are and how they engage as consumers.  Modern email services like BlueHornet, Boomerang, Constant Contact, and MailChimp, help to collect and make better use of customer information.


A component of this is how emails are being viewed.  According to MobileInk 62% of consumers use a mobile or tablet device to read view their email.  Further evidence from Litmus Analytics suggests that mobile devices account for 48% of emails opens.  This implies that email content that is not well adapted to mobile devices is hamstrung before it even lands in consumer inboxes.

88% of people check their email via mobile on a daily basis.

As always email content must be relevant.  They must have a discernible message that resonates with the customer.  Don’t be strictly transactional establish trust and concentrate on creating a relationship. Identify the consumer’s stage in the lifecycle and deliver messages that are relevant to them.  A refined, timely, and relevant, creative email will grab the consumer’s attention and lead to conversions.  Modern email tools allow marketers to be agile and more readily optimize email messages.

The average clickthrough rate for triggered emails is more than double the rate for mass emails. (Source: Epsilon)

BlueHornet suggests the following agile email marketing strategies to match customer lifecycles:

  • Include an App downloads calls-to-action (CTA) with your Welcome emails
  • Add multiscreen optimization to your message so that it can clearly read on any device
  • Include a sense of urgency with special offer messages - “For a limited time!”
  • Feature live content in your email - show latest deal not fixed images
  • Geo target messages to increase relevance to consumer - Include a local offer!
  • A/B test and optimize in real time - Use open rates to test your messages
  • Send post order special offers or upsells
  • Include social component, ask customers to share and interact
  • Include images, GIFs and embedded VIDEO to grab attention

Use these tactics to break through the clutter and add value!  Finally, get to know who is clicking your email and when they click it!  An study presented by Dave Elkington, CEO of, and Dr. James Oldroyd of MIT highlight that contact ratios improve 800% if Web leads are called within five minutes of submission!


  1. Email:
  2. Dana Mattioli, Stores Smarten Up Amid Spam Flood, March 9, 2012,
  3. MovableInk, A deep look at email opens data,
  4. Justine Jordan, 48% of Emails are Opened on Mobile, October 8, 2013,
  5. BlueHornet,
  6. MarketingCharts staff, Email Click Rates Continued to Drop in Q2, September 13, 2012,
  7. Signals is a free tool from HubSpot that gives you real-time notifications to help you follow up with your leads and customers more efficiently and more effectively
  8. Lead Response Management (LRM)

(All credits and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Alan Gonzalez who is the author and content creator.)

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