Wearable technology – how will your marketing be affected?

The rise of the wearable device has continued into 2015 and show no signs of abating. However one burning question remains: ‘How will wearable tech effect marketing?’

Items such as Google Glass, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Apple iWatch are either already available to consumers or are rumored to be on the near horizon. Indeed, the not so widely known (but equally as exciting) ‘M Dress’, which lets users receive and make calls through the label, takes ‘wearable’ to its literal limit and offers users an even more personal connectivity (I’m guessing the dress would be dry clean only!).

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What remains to be seen is the impact these personal, and in most cases, smaller gadgets will have on the effectiveness of marketing, and in particular email.

The bad news for email marketers at this stage is that you can’t send an email and track device-wearing user engagement or ROI metrics. However  the good news is that you have an opportunity to optimize your email marketing before wearable technology takes a stranglehold on the industry.

According to the UX guidelines that Google and Android have in place for their wearables, it seems that in the short term users will be limited to the ability to skim-read the inbox and postpone, flag or delete emails. Check out the Sony SmartWatch online demo to see the device in action.

The smaller format of smart watches would dictate a change in user behavior, with the wearer engaging with your email campaigns in stages.

Stage 1: Skim and prioritize emails

Stage 2: Read prioritized emails on smartphone and interact

Stage 3: Use laptop/desktop for purchasing and further interaction

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So how would you adapt to this behavioral change? Thinking logically, if a user has the option to skim-read their inbox and prioritize items via their wearable device, the first thing they’ll see is your subject line. Therefore an effective subject line would become even more crucial. You need to not only get their attention but to also convince the user that your message is so important they need to remove their device from their bag/pocket in order to read your email.

Skip Fidura’s blog provides guidance on how to successfully plan your subject line to increase email open rates.

What about email design?

It remains unclear how the style of an email will effect email interaction on wearable devices, with some rumors amongst industry professionals that the new technology will encourage a resurrection of plain text emails. Clearly the different display format of the gadgets would suggest that a minimalist approach using clear and readable text would yield results.

However this is nothing new. Ensuring that your email design is clear, simple and engaging is integral to the success of any email campaign. Our Creative Services team can provide creative support and guidance to help you achieve successful email designs.

It’s clear that the future of technology and marketing is as unpredictable as ever. The only certainty is the continuance of the huge influence that the ‘latest and greatest’ gadgets have on the marketing industry in particular.

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