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How will wearable technology contribute to the future of email marketing?

smartwatch wearable technology

For many marketers, the emergence of mobile optimization for email marketing is still a heady mix of buzzwords, email responsive templates and hyped up promises of delivering increased ROI for your efforts. Albeit, that mobile optimization is without doubt an unavoidable journey that many marketing departments are either pursuing or will be in the near future, the real brain ache in this matter is exactly what ”mobile” device you will read this information on in the coming years?

The idea of mobile device technology is by no means a new idea for which I can see a clear future involving improved mobility, personalization and reactive location based on real-time information. However, human built-in programmable chips and wearable detective technology that creates a unique portrait of the respective wearer….still feels a little like sci-fi to me.

So what does the advance of wearable technology mean for email marketers?

Well, essentially wearable devices are providing 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.

Adding layers to the understanding of consumer behavior

Did you ever imagine that you would be writing emails for the consumer who would be reading them on a watch, glasses, wireless bracelet or indeed contact lenses? Most probably not, however it is fast becoming possible, and it is your job as a marketer to make sure that emails are even more poignant and punchy than they have ever been.

Wearable technology is adding further possibilities into the way in which we communicate with each other, as well as how businesses communicate with consumers. The personal (or tailored) aspect of email marketing allows us to tap into the layers of interests that users have, to determine the right message for them.

The key to delivering these messages is the ability to understand the buying behavior of your customers by analysing:

  • their purchase history
  • website journeys
  • conversions
  • email response journeys
  • any other measurable touch points

The more data you can capture from your email service provider and website tracking, the more informed you can be on creating conditional content subject lines based on aspects like location, recent purchases, weather and social check-ins.

Going beyond online habits

It would be foolish to think that wearable technology will stop at smart watches, Google Glasses and wireless bracelets – this is just the beginning. Marketing teams may soon be able to monitor and analyze 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.

Privacy and transparency

It would not be fair to write about the future of email marketing without mentioning the impact this will have on privacy of data. Many consumers are concerned with the handling of data in this hyper-connected world. It will therefore become paramount that the collection of data is at the discretion of the user, and is all above board.

How to Prepare

The core concepts of marketing to your end customers hasn’t changed and likely won’t change: it’s focused on delivering the right message, at the right time, in the right way. The technology we receive those messages on is changing and therefore our strategies must align to support this. Marketers need to focus on device rendering and responsive design, similar to what we saw in the change from desktop to smartphones design. Now is your time to experiment!

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