As a loyalty consultant, I belong to well over one hundred loyalty programs, and the one glaring consistency among all of them is the proliferation of marketing emails they send to their members. Some use machine-learning systems to deliver hyper-personalisation while others send the same message to everyone. Irrespective, one thing cannot be denied; genuine open-rates and click rates continue to decline as members switch off, bored by the same uninspiring routine.
One of the single biggest challenges is people tend not to read anymore. ‘The share of Americans who read for pleasure on a given day,’ Christopher Ingraham explained in a Washington Post article, ‘has fallen by more than 30 percent since 2004.” His figures are based on an American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labour Statistics. ‘In 2004, roughly 28 percent of Americans age 15 and older read for pleasure on a given day. Last year, the figure was about 19 percent.’
The culprit is television. Long-term studies have shown a direct correlation between the decline in leisure reading and an increase in television consumption. With the rise of Netflix this trend is set to continue.
Marketers in particular need to take note. Marketing emails which have excessive text are unlikely to be read by the majority of recipients and needs to be addressed. But the big opportunity here is a transition away from text altogether to personalised video which I predict will be the next mega-trend in the marketing industry.
Up until now, adoption of personalised video email has been slow as the industry busily develops the platform capability to deliver what is needed. What most marketers don’t realise is the technology is now ready.
Here’s a few examples of how it can be used today to boost customer engagement by delivering a much more compelling message:
- A potential customer is interested in a company’s product or service. They visit the website and answer a few simple questions to communicate their needs. A video is generated on the spot to provide them with a personalised sales experience delivering all the information they require to make an immediate decision.
- A new customer takes out a health insurance policy. They receive an email with a link to a video which provides a full, personalised summary of their policy and the best way they can access value to stay healthy.
- A new member of a loyalty program receives a personalised welcome video which talks them through all the benefits they can enjoy with the program and serves up some relevant offers which they can access with a click.
The applications of personalised video are vast. The truth is that consumers are much more compelled to watch a video than read static text. But day after day I receive email after marketing email with no sign of the personalised video revolution. The tech now exists for innovative marketers to start experimenting with this exciting new medium. Now is the time for marketers to start transitioning to personalised video or risk being left behind.
Loyalty & Reward Co is working with a number of companies to design and implement personalised video solutions. If you’re interested in exploring the next major revolution in customer communications, we’d love to talk with you.
Philip Shelper is a loyalty management consultant based in Sydney, Australia who obsesses about everything to do with loyalty and rewards. His company Loyalty & Reward Co are a leading loyalty consulting firm.
Phil is the author of Blockchain Loyalty: Disrupting loyalty and reinventing marketing using cryptocurrencies. Buy the book.
Visit www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.