An oft repeated grouse of marketers with regard to email marketing is its static nature. Say, you send your customers an email about an upcoming sale. The email content will obviously be in line with the date it was sent on. For instance, if you send the email on Sunday, saying the sale begins tomorrow, that is Monday, and will end the following Monday. But what's the guarantee that the customer for whom it is intended will see it on Sunday itself? She may see it anytime during the week, or even after the sale is over. Based on when she sees it, the information may or may not be of relevance to her.
"The solution,"says Naveen Bachwani, head , marketing services, Experian India, an e-mail marketing specialist, "lies in making the content dynamic." This means that the content will be refreshed from the sender's end so that it stays relevant to the time when the email is opened. In the above example then, if the receiver views the email on a Tuesday, the content will probably say that the sale started yesterday, that is Monday, and will end the next Monday. Experian calls the service "reactive images" since it reacts "to the current context of the email subscriber, based on devices, location, time of consumption, etc," says Bachwani.
The art of website design
The Indian shopper is used to hearing the words "dekhne ka paisa nahi lagta" from her neighbourhood retailer. They are comforting words as browsing with no intent of purchase is quite often her reality.
Unfortunately, some e-commerce players are hell bent on charging her, their currency being a registration process. You may notice that on logging onto some websites, a box opens up asking new users to sign up or existing users to sign in. A first time user of the website would instinctively shut the box and proceed to browse the store.
However, often in a bid to increase their customer information base, websites disallow users to browse for 'free'. This, experts say, is indicative of bad website designing. You are asking the user to give you something even before offering him an experience. Take a cue from more experienced e-tailers to successfully straddle these two needs of giving users a good experience and accumulating data. Consider Book My Show, the online ticketing service or Jabong, an online lifestyle retailer. They allow users to perform basic functions that the websites stand for, like booking tickets or purchasing merchandise, without forcing them to sign in. However, to avail offers and discounts, signing in is imperative. It is after all a give-and-take world.