Masterclass ten – A guide to integrating and communicating with email

Welcome to lesson ten of our omnichannel masterclass. It didn’t take long for email to be the go-to channel for businesses. With the ability to send rich content (either in the body, or as an attachment) and the low-cost nature of the channel, and huge adoption (with most people owning more than one email address) email is still used by the majority of businesses today. But because of this, it has become a channel associated with saturation. Users often do not check their emails unless there is a particular important message they are looking to receive, and some younger people do not have email addresses at all. That’s not to say email should be ignored or neglected in your omnichannel strategy. It’s too pervasive and cost effective after all. But it should be used in conjunction with other messaging channels to provide a truly omnichannel experience.

Why should I use email?

As a cost-effective and reliable channel, email should be your automatic backstop for any of the alerts, reminders and notifications, including confirmations and receipts. These are important messages that you need to make sure the user has received, but if they have deleted your app, revoked access for Facebook Messenger or changed phone numbers, email is the only static inbox in a world of customer flux.

Marketing emails are also still big business, but it’s more important than ever to use segmentation and personalisation to make your subject lines and content as relevant as possible for your customers so that they are likely to open and click through. After all, the goal for any email campaign should be a click-through. Even receipts could include product recommendations, and newsletters, links to your products and services. Make sure these are relevant to your audience.

Things to consider

In addition to the spam folder you see daily in your own inboxes, email service providers like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have their own filters which prevent emails even making it that far (hard to believe when you peek into the depths of these troves, but true nonetheless!). This means that all email domains (the part that comes after the @ sign) need to be ‘warmed up’ when you are sending at scale so that the service providers let you through the first hurdle at all. Your messaging provider should be able to offer you this, along with customer domain hosting and with dedicated IP pools to maximise deliverability. They should also keep an eye on the authority of your domain and sending address to make sure nothing is compromising its reputation, preventing you from reaching your customers, especially if you are using email as the last stop on the line.

Finally, you should consider if you want to use email as a reply channel to ensure your communications are 2-way. You may want to drive users to an alternate channel that is more real-time, or you may want to give them an option to reply for an in-channel resolution. This will depend on your business models and needs, but is something your provider should be able to discuss with you and provide guidance.