4 Things I Learned at The Email Evolution Conference
I just got back from the 2011 Email Evolution Conference in sunny South Beach. The fourth annual event, sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association's Email Experience Council (EEC), didn't disappoint. I met many of my "virtual" contacts in person, did some networking, gathered some interesting content for our e-newsletters and acquired leads for future articles. There was a positive vibe about email in general at the event, with more than 500 attendees and exhibitors milling around the Eden Roc Resort. Here are four takeways from the conference:
1. Email needs to be more humanized. In his entertaining keynote address, Gary Vaynerchuk, the online marketing trailblazer, entrepreneur and author of CRUSH IT! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion and the upcoming book The Thank You Economy, told attendees that for the email industry to evolve, it must offer a more human experience to consumers. "I'm convinced that nobody in this room cares about their customers enough," Vaynerchuk said. "In the ecosystem we live in now, the currency is trust, appreciation and humanization.”
2. Marketers need to pay close attention to Facebook Messages. This Facebook service, which allows email, text messages and instant messages to be linked together in a "social inbox," will be offered to most of the more than 500 million Facebook users over the next two months. Since people will undoubtedly be switching over to this service, marketers need to make sure they have a mechanism in place to deal with all the new addresses.
"Persistent consumer switching behavior and increases expected to be driven by Facebook Messages will have an impact in the number of dormant email accounts, requiring marketers to exert more effort in understanding subscriber engagement and reactivating subscribers," said David Daniels, CEO of The Relevancy Group, in a presentation he led at the event.