The world of advertisement has been through many changes in the last century and a half. While in the 1800’s there were magazine advertisements and rented billboards, the 20th century ushered in an era of radio and TV advertisements.
The last decade of the 20th century and the dawn of the 21st century saw the rise of new media and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Email quickly became the most common mode of communication, for business as well as personal use. A host of new devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets have been invented during this period of digitalisation. All these developments have significantly changed the landscape of advertising and marketing.
With the increase in email traffic, advertisers began using cookies to target their customers. Thus, when anyone visits a website or browses through a product, the browsing history is stored on the computer in the form of cookies. This information is used to personalise the experience of customers when he or she visits other sites. A lot of cross-selling and up-selling options are provided to the potential customer. Advertisement systems can also use the IP address to find the general location of device. However, users may choose to reject cookies and make them inactive. Mobile phones which are a source of a lot of email browsing don’t have the concept of cookies.
To counter the decline of cookies, advertisers have taken recourse to a brand new technique called fingerprinting. In this technique a site can identify a computer uniquely by looking at its features like installed plug-ins, time-zones, fonts, screen size, installed software. This technique is universal and can be used for all devices.
Another area which has seen a lot of growth in the 21st century is Email advertising and marketing. Email marketing has various forms. Transactional Email marketing mails are triggered via interactions with any company. These mails may contain additional advertising information related to cross-sell or up-sell opportunities. Direct emails can also be sent to promote any brand, package or product. These emails are usually sent to prospect addresses or addresses which are rented from service companies. Email marketing is effective because most people check mails every day and more than 120 billion emails are exchanged everyday.
There are many good email marketing providers at your disposal. Some of these are AWeber, MailChimp, ConstantContact, Getresponse, Benchmark Email, Icontact, Streamsend, Campaigner, Vertical Response, Madmimi and Sendinblue.
However, buying and selling of ad inventory is a problem which the world of publishing and advertising faces. LiveIntent is principally a platform on the web which provides e-mail advertising services for publishers and marketers. LiveIntent tries to make buying display in an email operationally efficient. It combines an ad management and targeting facility with a prediction engine which uses machine learning and works in the email inbox and transmits ads real-time.
The future of email marketing is quite bright as cookie based targeting is increasingly proving to be ineffective and fingerprinting is yet to take off. There will obviously be changes in the nature of email marketing. Multi-channel marketing will be more common and the consumer may choose the channel, whether it is sms, email or social media. A host of data visualisation is also predicted while integration with CRM systems will be crucial. Also providing real-time personalisation on any channel will be key to successful marketing.
All predictions suggest that mobile usage will grow leaps and bounds and companies will have to optimise websites and emails for mobile. All the companies which provide email marketing software will need to innovate in order to provide unique, useful services in the changing landscape. One fact however never changes – the consumer is always the king. Those companies which provide user-friendly, content rich personalised consumer experiences will be the winners.