Remarketing has become a core element of B2C marketing strategies, implemented by consumer facing brands for its ability to re-engage visitors and increase conversions. However, in the wake of GDPR, marketers were left uncertain about whether remarketing would continue to be such an effective strategy, particularly with email signifying arguably the most popular channel. A few months on, has email remarketing survived the change in data regulation and how can adding alternative channels to the mix boost results?
In short, the simple answer is; neither remarketing as a strategy nor email remarketing as a channel are dead. In fact, whilst GDPR has certainly changed the landscape for both, it has also brought with it a number of new opportunities and creative alternatives, all of which brands could be using to enhance their current performance. So, let’s dig deeper into the remarketing trends to watch for the remainder of 2018.
The state of email marketing post-GDPR
Opt-in, spam filters and low levels of engagement have all damaged the reputation of email. And there’s no denying that most brands have seen their email database shrink significantly since GDPR came into place, with eMarketer suggesting 60% of customers won’t opt-in. But how many of those lost subscribers actually showed any signs of engagement or purchasing products before they disappeared? Chances are, very few.
While brands may now have less people to share their promotions with and regulations are certainly tighter, this doesn’t spell the end for email. In fact, it presents a unique opportunity to engage with only the most valuable, loyal and high-intent customers. Since GDPR’s arrival on 25th May, despite a decrease in the number of emails sent, Ve saw that open rates have actually improved and sent to conversion rates have been maintained, highlighting that sending a high volume of emails doesn’t necessarily guarantee better conversion rates. This goes to show why brands should still be investing in email, albeit more targeted and personalised to match the expectations of their more refined audience.
But remarketing doesn’t have to stop at email. Other channels could help to bridge the gap so that brands can continue to reach the same breadth of audience as before. Enter, push notifications.
What is push remarketing?
A push notification is a message that is delivered to a mobile or desktop device. Users don't have to be in the browser or using their devices to receive them and they can serve various purposes, for example; announce a flash sale or remind customers of relevant products. Web push notifications are a branch of push specifically for desktop. They are consent based, meaning they are GDPR compliant, but do not require the users to share sensitive data such as their email address, positioning them as the ideal method to reach wider audiences. They require a website visitor to agree to receive notifications, which can be achieved using compelling messaging and creatives.
Where web push notifications come into their own is that a customer can receive a web push notification on their desktop even if they’re not browsing your site at that moment, and even if they don’t have a web browser open at all. While email remarketing requires a user to be active, on their emails and take the action of opening, web push notifications service as an instant reminder, helping brands to ensure they are at the forefront of customers minds at any moment, not just when a customer has pro-actively decided to engage.
In fact, as a recent Ve consumer survey found 4 out of 5 people decided not to opt back in to email after GDPR while recent statistics show 33% of 18-34 year olds always opt in to web push notifications, it’s no wonder the channel has grown in popularity in recent months and why we’re labelling it as the remarketing trend to watch.
Today’s consumers engage with brands across more touch points than ever before. With omni-channel shoppers spending on average 10% more online than those who interact via just one channel, brands that focus on optimising their conversion funnel across multiple channels have an opportunity to achieve measurable returns on conversions and revenue. Not only that, but every customer is different. Each individual will have different preferences when it comes to how they are communicated with and what messages they find engaging and brands should be responding to this.
While we’ve identified that email is still an effective remarketing channel overall, if used in isolation, brands could fail to maximise their reach and miss out on retargeting some of their most high intent browsers. Only when email is used in combination with other channels can brands achieve maximum value from remarketing.
Web push notifications have the potential to transform remarketing effectiveness, with the real power of push coming from how timely, relevant and precise the notifications are. Delivered in real-time, they have the opportunity to capture the attention of customers when it matters most. Not only is push a trend to watch, but SMS alerts (which have falsely been labelled as an out-dated marketing channel), also have a part to play. As more and more customer journeys become fully mobile, with over 13% of conversions currently both starting and ending on mobile, engaging the mobile-first user on their preferred device becomes critical. SMS alerts add another layer to remarketing by targeting customers on-the-go with concise and targeted messages.
Consistency is key
Regardless of which remarketing channels your brand uses; the most important part of any remarketing strategy is consistency. It’s no good utilising multiple channels if the messages you deliver are fragmented and disconnected. To truly engage customers that have visited your site and have the greatest chance of encouraging them to continue with their purchases, you need to be delivering a unified and connected experience across all your remarketing channels.
All too often, different channels work in silos, either due to a lack of communication between the separate teams that manage each or a lack of integration between the technology powering each one. Brands must focus on harnessing consumer data to deliver the right and most relevant message to every customer, optimising technology to connect the channels that deliver these messages and creating the right team environment for collaboration on launching each tactic.
The signs so far suggest that email remarketing is surviving the GDPR wave, with the value of an opt-in signifying huge potential for brands to deliver effective email campaigns to their most engaged customers. Despite this, brands can’t underestimate the value of expanding their remarketing campaigns to encompass other channels, across multiple devices. Web push notifications and SMS alerts represent just two high potential channels that brands could be using to re-engage customers, increase conversions and ultimately boost online revenue.
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