How can relevant contextual content improve your email marketing?

Email marketing: Contextual advertising has long been a part of our daily lives. Even those less familiar with the world of targeted online adverts will have noticed a link between the content that they are interacting with online (or have previously viewed) and the adverts that are displaying on their screen. It is a topic which provokes varied responses. Some feel that this is a step too far and an invasion of their privacy. Others champion this keyword-scanning technique and prefer to see adverts tailored to their interests, than an apparently random assortment of content which bears no connection to their interests and browsing history. Contextual advertising is seen by its supporters as a system adept at ‘delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time’.

Relevant content: more visible than ever before

The move towards relevant email content for individuals is not a recent development. 2013, however, saw it become yet more prominent. Many brands are becoming increasingly aware of the rewards to be gained from Content Marketing techniques, such as going beyond the hard sell and providing relevant and timely additional content to your customers. Contextually relevant content has an important role to play in the Content Marketing space with brand advocates keen to promote the latest ongoing’s from their favourite brand. The more opportune and relevant the content, the more positively consumers will receive it.

Developing an email marketing campaign – and why it’s changing

The process of creating an email campaign is a lengthy one. It begins with the initial concept stage and concludes with it reaching the inbox. With a number of stages involved and key stakeholders on board, content that was relevant at the start of the process can often lose some of its importance by the time it reaches the intended recipient. However, with a number of services now available that can assist companies in the creation of real-time, dynamic content – the paradigm is well and truly shifting.

Why real-time advertising has real benefits

The method of working with real-time, dynamic content allows the email process to become far more agile and responsive than it has been historically. This way of working prevents an email from losing its relevance and adds an extra dimension to what may have previously been a fairly flat communication to subscribers. If, for example, a fashion retailer was planning to send a time-sensitive offer code to a particular segment of its base, rather than those customers who were late to open receiving an expired offer code, the email could be updated in the inbox to explain that the offer has finished and to promote a separate offer.

This approach creates a much less automated feel to the communication and allows a company to be much more flexible with their campaigns.

Standing out in the email marketing inbox

In an age when more and more promotional emails are sent every day, standing out in the inbox has never been so important. If customers become accustomed to receiving intelligent and relevant content as part of an email programme, they are very likely to become engaged more with that company’s offerings. As a result, open rates and click through will almost certainly increase considerably. Another benefit of working in a more dynamic fashion is that analytics can be collected in real-time. This means that if a piece of content has not been well received by those who have already opened your email, it can be instantly swapped for a different piece of content for those who haven’t viewed the original email.

In a nutshell…

Context based email appears set to become a crucial part of the advertising landscape in 2014. In an era where the public are enamoured with how media adapts to their tastes (through services like TiVo and Spotify), it is increasingly important for advertising to promote the right products to the relevant people.