Email 2.0: The Fulcrum for Fixing Five Funnel Frictions – Part 2
Written by
Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain

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Email 2.0: The Fulcrum for Fixing Five Funnel Frictions – Part 2

Published : November 29, 2023

In the first part, I talked about the funnel friction problem, the over-reliance of eCommerce companies on customer acquisition, and the inability to capitalize on the lifetime value of existing customers. I also spoke about the emergence of Email 2.0 as a game-changing solution to the funnel friction problem.

In this concluding part, I will discuss how Email 2.0 can help address the five funnel frictions.

The impact of Email 2.0

Email 2.0 heralds a shift that can be as impactful as the move from keypad-centric mobile devices to touch and app-oriented smartphones. With its ability to embed apps within email, Email 2.0 can become a beacon for marketers struggling with skyrocketing customer acquisition costs. We can compare its evolution to the automobile industry’s shift to electric vehicles or the music industry’s move from physical records to digital streaming.

Email 2.0 has taken the familiar medium of email and enriched it with interactive, personalized, and data-driven features. It has also transformed marketing communications, giving businesses a powerful tool to engage audiences in a targeted and relevant manner.

The innovation of AMP

The most important innovation powering Email 2.0 is AMP. I had written this earlier: “Emails have been static and lifeless for too long. Brands create an email, send it to customers, and it remains in their inbox forever. At best, there is a dynamic image that can be pulled in when the customer opens the email. As a result, the email becomes a single-use message. What if this could be changed?

Let’s consider an idea I call ‘All-in-Email.’ This allows several actions we associate with websites and apps, such as search, browse, chat, cart, buy, rate, and review, to be done in emails. Instead of going to the brand property, the brand property comes to the customer. This is the promise of AMP, combined with the power of our imagination.”

Email 2.0 combines several innovations into a comprehensive package:

  • AMP (enabling interactivity)
  • Atomic Rewards (micro-incentives to influence user behavior)
  • Microns (utilitarian content to foster habitual email use)
  • Integrated search boxes
  • AI-ML-powered product recommendations
  • Email Shops (bringing conversion funnels closer to customers with fully manageable carts)
  • Secure in-mail payments
  • Actionable Ads targeted at known individuals
  • Engaging footers that offer more than just an unsubscribe option with dynamic earn-burn of rewards.

The promise of Email 2.0 is vast. Email is the best communication channel. This is why it has lasted 50 years for one-on-one and group interactions and 25 years for brand-customer engagement. Email 2.0 takes email into the future and makes it cool again, creating magical moments for customers and driving habits for brands. When it comes to marketers, it makes them profit creators and not profit killers.

Combined with personalization, segmentation, analytics, and tracking, Email 2.0 can deliver unique content and offers to subscribers based on their behavior and preferences, all within the inbox. It can act as a fulcrum for resolving all five frictions: Inbox Commerce, Green Journeys, Reactivation Progency, Near-zero Acquisition Cost, and Anon-to-Known. Let’s understand how.

How Email 2.0 can help address the five frictions

Inbox Commerce to solve attention recession:

Email shops

Email 2.0 will change how brands interact with customers by bringing the shopping experience into their inboxes. These Email shops will leverage the interactive capabilities of Email 2.0, allowing users to search, browse, select, and purchase items without leaving their email. This reduces the friction associated with redirecting customers to external websites or apps, increasing the chances of conversion.

Engaging footers

Email 2.0 transforms the static email footer into a dynamic space for customer engagement. The footer can include interactive surveys, tailored offers, and opportunities for customers to earn or redeem offers. This significantly enhances the overall email experience, encouraging customers to interact with the email.

Green journeys with next best action to solve red journeys:

Progressive profiling

Email 2.0 enables progressive profiling by incentivizing the collection of zero-party data in the email—what better way to know a customer than to ask directly? Atomic rewards can facilitate this exchange by creating a ‘double thank you’ moment. The gradual accumulation of customer data leads to a better ‘digital twin’ enriching the Large Customer Model in the ‘mirror world.’ This results in more accurate predictions of the next best action, streamlining the customer journey and creating a ‘greener,’ more efficient marketing strategy.

Right recommendations

Thanks to a better customer model, the marketing automation platform can offer the most relevant, next best products, motivating customers to open their emails more. When making recommendations, it is vital to consider not just the actions but also the inactions (items customers ignore). These recommendations in email are the core for powering Inbox Commerce in email.

Reactivation progency to solve dormancy and churn:

Atomic rewards

Atomic rewards incentivize customers to engage with emails. This can be an effective method to reactivate dormant users. Customers can earn rewards for actions like opening emails, clicking links, and making purchases, increasing engagement, and likelihood of reactivation.

Interactive content

Email 2.0 allows brands to reengage with inactive customers by delivering interactive content to their inbox. AMP can be used to create interactive surveys, games, quizzes, or tutorials to draw customer attention and encourage re-engagement. Utility content in the form of Microns can also persuade customers to open their email regularly.

Near-zero acquisition cost to solve adtech adwaste:

Actionable ads for acquisition

Email 2.0 enables a cooperative marketing ecosystem where non-competing brands share ad space in email footers. This gives brands access to a new audience at a lower cost, reducing Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC). These ads transcend the need for clickthroughs, enabling in-situ lead generation. The efficacy of these ads is heightened because they are targeted toward identified users whose email IDs and corresponding profiles are known, resulting in highly relevant, personalized marketing.

Referrals incentivized by atomic rewards

Email 2.0 can use referrals to reduce CAC. Brands can leverage Atomic Rewards to incentivize existing customers (especially most valuable customers) to refer friends and family. This effectively turns satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.

Anon-to-Known to solve the identity gap:

Atomic rewards to power email ID collection and gamification

Brands can leverage Atomic Rewards as a universal brand currency to close the identity gap and encourage anonymous shoppers to provide their personal information. Unlike typical reward systems that offer discounts on purchases, Atomic Rewards give customers ‘Mu’ points. These points can be utilized for several engaging activities, incentivizing customers to share their email IDs.

Microns to provide valuable content

Email 2.0 has also brought a shift in content strategy by introducing Microns, also known as micro-newsletters or Ems. Microns provide concise, valuable information rather than inundating customers with promotional content. These bite-sized knowledge nuggets can transform fleeting moments of interest into sustained relationships, encouraging customers to share their personal information and transitioning them from anonymous to known.

A momentous shift

At the heart of Email 2.0 is a shift towards an adtech-style, performance-based pricing model that aligns marketers’ spending with desired outcomes rather than mere activities. This is a significant departure from the cost-per-email sent model, which had no direct correlation to a campaign’s success.

The performance-based pricing in Email 2.0 mirrors the outcome-oriented focus of the Adtech world, drawing on models such as Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost-Per-Action (CPA). Rather than charging based on the volume of emails sent, brands pay based on the revenue generated.

This pricing model is a potent tool in Email 2.0’s arsenal. It encourages marketers and Martech vendors to develop engaging, personalized, and effective email content since the financial incentive is tied to its success. It also offers a better return on investment because costs are linked to results.

By intertwining investment and outcomes, Email 2.0’s pricing strategy reimagines the email marketing landscape, fostering an accountable, results-driven ecosystem. It removes the conventional boundaries of marketing budgets for Martech 2.0 vendors, mirroring the unlimited scalability of Adtech platforms. Their value proposition metamorphoses to: ‘We grow as you grow,’ creating a symbiotic relationship of mutual success and vendors becoming partners in a brand’s journey towards customer engagement and conversion.

Email 2.0 is the genesis to remedying the myriad challenges marketers face in their quest for amplified profits, a pursuit rooted in nurturing existing customers and catalyzing revenue growth through frictionless experiences. The golden adage holds true in the context of email. Old is Gold!

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Written By: Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain
Founder and Group MD, Netcore Cloud