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Rob Hollier Sales Manager Adestra

Are marketers on the brink of an email paradigm shift?

For many marketers, the emergence of mobile optimisation for email marketing is still a heady mix of buzzwords and that's not made any clearer with the “mobile” category covering an ever-expanding range of devices. From smartphones of different resolutions and sizes, to tablets and, more recently, wearable devices, marketers have a lot to take in when it comes to mobile optimisation. But are wearables really what they're hyped up to be?

The idea of mobile device technology is by no means a new idea, but recent development in technology has made email personalisation and reactive content based on real-time information a huge opportunity for marketers. 

How does wearable technology affect email marketers?

Essentially, wearable devices provide an extra step between you and your target audience meaning that your subject lines, pre-header text and other rendered content (if any) become the single most important parts of your campaign.

One critical aspect to keep in mind is that most smartwatches including the Apple Watch only display the text version of your emails. Therefore, it's no longer just a requirement to look good in front of spam filters, it's also an important component to make sure your email is displayed. 

Think email automation

Wearables present exciting new possibilities for real-time and automated email marketing. While the 2016 Email Marketing Industry Census highlighted that around two-thirds of companies currently use some automated triggers, they’re generally only using a few basic ones.

Through wearables, you can deliver immediate information to your customers. There is scope to build on location, proximity and more. It could be as simple as alerting customers when they’re near stores that sell items they’ve added to wishlists.

Going beyond online habits

It would be foolish to think that wearable technology will stop at smartwatches, Google Glasses and wireless bracelets – this is just the beginning. Marketing teams may soon be able to monitor and analyse the reactions of users to emails going beyond physical online habits.

While it may be uncomforting to some people that companies could collect data based on eye movements, EEG, moods and body temperature, it would provide a much more relevant experience with little effort. Consumers would then receive emails that really are personal, given we as marketers would know more about them than ever before. But in order for that to happen, we need to be mindful of privacy concerns and be transparent at all times about how the data we collect is going to be used. 

Are things going to change?

The essential aspects of successful email marketing are likely to remain the same: segmentation, timeliness, content, and impactful messages. So it's unlikely we'll experience a paradigm shift in that respect. What wearables do is add another channel to the mix and push marketers to be more reactive than ever.