Proximity and relationships with brands via email


Relationships between consumers and brands remain fairly strong, even if the battle for the consumer's attention is growing. Trust and proximity are important keywords, also in email marketing. Among the main reasons why people sign up to a brand's emails the UK DMA found that being a regular customer (42% of respondents), liking the brand (40%) and having made a transaction (35%) are essential factors.

An existing relationship, whether it's commercial or emotional, is an obvious reason why people sign up for emails. We see exactly the same phenomenon in social media, for instance. Among the main reasons why people like a brand on Facebook, to name just one, is the simple fact they already like the brand 'in real life'.

Liking, proximity, customer experiences and trust are related. However, this doesn't mean brands should only work on these aspects and just build relationships based on proximity and even loyalty.

The reasons why people sign up for emails are diverse and personal. On top of that, offers, discounts, vouchers and other factors that are based on benefits rather than on proximity, are more important than the ones mentioned before.

The DMA, for instance, found that 61% of consumers sign up for a brand's email based on offers and sales, 59% discounts and 56% vouchers. Again very similar to social media.

Improving relevancy in email and beyond

Once an email relationship exists and it delivers what people expect from it, the inbox is still a very good place for marketers to be.

However, we shouldn't be blind for the reality that maintaining this brand-consumer relationship via email and other channels has become more challenging. Segmentation, personalization and - as such - improving relevancy are a never ending job that must occur in email marketing but also before the actual signup and in other channels.

Because here is the fact: the real competition is not in the inbox or the individual channel alone. It's increasingly about all touch points where the overall customer experience is built and changes.

Promotional email is still very important but it requires us to look beyond the customer's inbox and everywhere where proximity, trust and loyalty thrive. The where is an individual matter of each single consumer.

Guest post by J-P De Clerck

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