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Last month, Adestra celebrated the opening of its most recent office in Sydney with a panel discussion on “The Future of Email Marketing.”

The event was designed to introduce Adestra to the audience of brand marketers and executives from advertising agencies and publishers.

Adestra execs presented results from its 2016 Australia Consumer Digital Adoption and Usage survey of more than 1,200 Australian consumers showing that 72 percent felt email was a “fact of life.” Moreover, 65 percent of teens agreed that email was the best way for companies to reach them. This reflects Adestra’s findings about U.S. teens, where 67.6 percent of teens prefer hearing from brands via email.

Carl Chambers, Adestra Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand, noted, “Our latest research shows that Australian consumers overwhelmingly prefer businesses to communicate with them via email, but consumers are also saying they’re receiving too much email.”

He warned the audience that with the renewed popularity of email marketing in Australia, businesses must work harder than ever to be visible in a crowded inbox. He advised companies to prioritize investment in CRM and email solutions.

Speaking at the event, Adestra President Matt McGowan went further, saying, “Don’t bother to advertise if you don’t have your CRM in order.” In other words, it’s a waste of money to advertise to acquire new customers if a company is not able to understand existing customers and send them targeted, intelligent email messages.

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Power of data

Reporting on the event, wrote that more companies are sending emails that are triggered by consumer behavior, combining the brand’s first-party data with third-party insights.

Longtime Adestra global customer Naked Wines was also on hand to explain to the audience how it bulks up its first-party data and then uses it for more targeted marketing.

Using all this data, Naked Wines can, for example, segment its customers into those who like a particular product or style of product, such as red wine or only Beaujolais. He noted that using this tactic, “You get massive engagement from people that really like a particular type of wine.”

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Email in Australia

In an interview with AdNews, Chambers expanded on the state of email marketing in the region. He noted that Gmail accounts for 46 percent of all emails delivered in Australia; among teens it’s even higher at 58 percent. At the same time, he said, Gmail’s filtering algorithms don’t allow users to receive opted-in communications from the brands they love in the primary inbox.

He said email remains undervalued by businesses, which are often distracted by the latest social media offerings.

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The Sydney office will serve customers throughout Australia and New Zealand. It will also serve as the beachhead for Adestra’s further expansion into the entire Asia Pacific region.

“We’re excited to continue spreading the word about the outstanding ROI of email marketing, wherever the journey takes us,” said Chambers.