Picture: 123RF/kebox
Picture: 123RF/kebox

Ryan Sauer, MD at King James Digital concedes we’re venturing into unknown territory. “What we are seeing is a massive drive to acquire, segment, store and plan communications to a client database as quickly as possible. We have already begun accessing 1st party data, which is the collection of user identifiable data in the form of a submit form or opt in by a current or potential client that allows you to legally engage that client with further communication whether by email, SMS or telephonic communication.” 

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) comes into effect in July 2021, which, says Sauer, is even more motivation to help clients ensure they have a plan of how they will store, segment and use valuable client data.

Sauer maintains that email marketing is still a very powerful asynchronies method of communication with one's customers.  

Greg Phillips, CEO of email communications agency, TouchBasePro, agrees that while this is going to be the best way to maintain client data, ensuring that your message stands out is going to be what will eventually matter. “Getting your message and brand to stand out amongst all the other clutter requires that you make use of the tools and data available. We are seeing an increasing number of customers moving to hyper-personalised email sending. Not only does the content within these emails have a far deeper level of personalisation, articles, news topics and content are tailored to each recipient's interests, creating an ideal audience of one. This drives subscriber engagement and eradicates the need to send a multitude of emails. Machine learning and predictive algorithms, coupled with data-based personalisation, are becoming key drivers to increasing email engagement even further."   

When comparing marketing channels that convert or generate business, Phillips says it is critical to look at the bottom line and use the channel that will bring in the most amount of revenue, at the least amount of money spent. Recent studies (HubSpot) on email return on investment agree that email communication, with its lower cost of execution, boasts an average return on investment of around R38 for every R1 spent on marketing.

“Marketing teams are spending more and more of their budget into growing their email database in order to create their own channel of communication. Being able to achieve these impressive metrics for email communication requires that the email being sent has been crafted professionally, executed at the right time, and is relevant to the person receiving it. Get these three things right and you will be onto a winning formula," adds Phillips.   

What is becoming increasingly apparent is that first party data, and the ability to push a message to an individual’s device or inbox is becoming a critical mechanism that most, if not all, marketing teams will need in a third-party cookie-less world.  

“Emails that are hyper personalised will be the way of the future,” agrees Sauer. “Whilst email has always been a part of the digital marketing mix, with the death of the cookie, marketers will need to focus on the customer of the future and how to effectively engage them. Content will remain king, and cleverly curated, tailored content that is relevant will produce the most favourable results. 

The big take-out:

With the death of the cookie, marketers will need to focus on how to effectively engage customers with tailored and relevant content that is cleverly curated. 

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