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The death of email marketing as we know it is coming this fall

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Background: Traditional email marketing uses remote images that load when viewing an email or invisible tracking pixels to track email opens and collect information from the user’s device. recipient, such as the IP address.

As announced during the recent MacWorld 2021, Apply is introducing new email privacy protection with its iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey updates coming this fall, eliminating many email tracking and tracking capabilities. data collection from email marketers.

Apple says its upcoming email privacy protection “prevents senders from using web beacons to collect user information.” The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and hides their IP address so that it cannot be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

Apple will also introduce a new ‘Hide my email’ feature, which allows users “Share unique and random email addresses that forward them to their personal inbox whenever they want to keep their personal email address private. The feature also allows users to create and delete as many addresses as needed at any time, giving users control over who is able to contact them.

Why is this new development important?

IPhone and iPad made up 40.3% of all email users in the first quarter of 2021. More importantly, 43% of all email is opened on smartphones and Apple’s iPhone controls 90%. open e-mails (Litmus).

This isn’t the first time that email marketing has taken a hit. Gmail, used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide, algorithmically decides which email sent to your mailbox is marketing email and automatically marks the email as promotional and directs it to the “Promotions” folder that people rarely pay attention to.

What does all of this mean for hotel marketers?

With this new privacy update, hotel marketers will not be able to track, target, analyze, optimize, and report on several important email marketing credentials and capabilities:

  • The opening rate : This is an important benchmark, showing how many of your marketing emails have been opened and read, how engaging and creative your subject line is, how engaging the promotion is, etc.
  • Email opening time: An important reference that helps marketers plan their campaigns, especially for time-limited offers and promotions.
  • Geographic targeting by IP address: Since Apple will mask the recipient’s IP address, this will eliminate geo-targeting by user’s IP address, a significant capability of email marketers so far.
  • User device information will also be masked, depriving marketers of the ability to target by device or dynamically change email format depending on the device (mobile, iPad, desktop).
  • Dynamic subject line customization: Marketers will no longer be able to customize the subject line based on derived pixel data.

So what else will email marketers be able to track?

  • Number of emails sent and delivered, provided by the email service provider (ESP)
  • Click-through rates and conversions, naturally, if marketers use analytics tools like Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics.

What should hotel marketers do?

This latest privacy initiative from Apple is not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a privacy strategy of all tech and internet giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. For example, Apple recently reduced and de facto eliminated the Identifier for Advertisers or IDFA, the only tool used by advertisers to accurately target and track users in apps on iOS devices. Google plans to block third-party cookies from its popular Chrome browser by the end of 2021, after Apple’s Safari and Firefox already did so a few years ago.

All these privacy developments emphasize the importance of first party data, including first-party cookies, which allow you to establish direct relationships with your potential customers, past, present and future, to personalize and automate your marketing to these customers, and to geo-target them according to their physical address, and not by the IP address which is increasingly blocked by recent privacy protection measures.

First Party Data in Hospitality is customer data (former customers and guests, website users, opt-in email subscribers, business travel manager lists, meeting planners, wedding planners and events, SMERF group leaders with whom the property has done business or at least in communications with, etc.) that comes from the PMS, CRS, WBE, CRM program, the property’s website, listings by e -mail opt-in, even customer lists installed on the laptops of sales and marketing personnel.

First-party data enables you to conduct successful email marketing campaigns by geographically targeting past and potential customers by physical address, and to tailor your marketing messages, promotions, packages and offers based on your in-depth knowledge of the market. customer, thus increasing clicks, conversions and income.

How do you manage your first party data?

The answer is very simple: by investing in CRM and Customer Data Platform (CDP) technologies.

  • A CDP allows any hospitality company to collect, store and manage all of the establishment’s or hotel company’s first-party customer data – both online and offline data – and to cleanse, de-duplicate, enrich and add to it. automatically in real time, thus creating “One source of truth” client. An industrial example of CDP technology is Cendyn’s Starling CDP cloud. CDP data feeds are then used in operations, customer communications, customer services, CRM communications and marketing automation, email marketing, personalization and digital marketing, marketing initiatives. loyalty marketing, etc. to dramatically improve customer experience, efficiency and profitability.
  • CRM program and technology can not only create 360 ​​degree guest profiles, but most importantly categorize old guests based on their RFM value (recency, frequency, monetary), increase guest profiles with preferences, l ‘social media ambassador, customer engagement data, etc. and conduct marketing automation and drip marketing campaigns before, during and after stay. Examples of CRM technology in industry are Cendyn CRM, SHR Maverick CRM, Revinate CRM, etc.

How to increase the size of your first party data?

There are two main approaches:

  • Provide value for customer information.

The objective of these initiatives is to induce potential or existing customers to voluntarily provide their information (opt-in) through incentives or earnings, benefits and future benefits so that they can be marketed. directly. RevTrax, a company that enables retail brands to deliver dynamic promotions across all channels, coined the phrase “Exchange of value” to describe this process.

Incentives like “Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and get a 10% discount voucher on your next stay in our hotel” go far. Spa treatment vouchers, suite discounts, free upgrades, F&B incentives, gasoline vouchers, etc. These are just a few of the value-added exchanges available to hotel marketers at many touchpoints throughout the digital customer journey.

This is an equally powerful channel for augmenting your first party data. Review and optimize your property’s content marketing initiatives, the role of which has been greatly elevated by recent privacy protections. The goal here is to create unique and relevant content that brings real added value to travel consumers and that can be “closed” that is, content engaging enough that users are willing to provide their information in order to access or subscribe to receive it.

Your establishment’s Expert Knowledge Marketing initiatives provide the perfect ‘closed’ content opportunities, including podcasts, webinars, virtual cooking classes, valuable spa and wellness tips, chef recipes, cocktail recipes, how-to guides for weddings and social events, etc.

Conclusion:

Do not despair. Email marketing is not going to go away. Here are a few tips :

  • Create a first party data collection and management strategy.
  • Invest in CRM and CDP technology to be able to communicate directly with potential, current and future customers and geo-target them by physical addresses versus IP addresses that are increasingly blocked.
  • Integrate or outsource the ongoing creation of unique and engaging content worthy of customers signing up for access.
  • Provide enticing offers and promotions to increase the conversion rates of email marketing, CRM, and loyalty marketing as well as your digital marketing efforts.
  • Adopt a value-for-information incentive program to exchange information voluntarily provided by customers for future added value, benefits and hotel benefits.


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