Email still has a long lifespan ahead before it dies, according to panellists at Dreamforce 2019.
Speaking on The Future of Email Panel, Pacer Sports and Entertainment director of customer engagement Alana Galardo says despite the rise of social media, email is still a necessary communication tool.
“I find it ironic that in order to sign up for a social channel, you have to have an email,” Galardo says.
“It's still the highest engagement in terms of direct communication with a customer.”
Galardo says the use of email has changed and evolved over the last ten years but this presents big opportunities for brands.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way marketers and brands can connect with customers on a personal level at scale.
“Segmentation has very much been part of email for a while but taking that segmentation to another level and truly creating that one-to-one relationship - the only way to do that is with AI,” she says.
“So, at one time it was just personas and what type of content does this person want. Now, it is when is the best time to send to this customer, what are their recommendations based off previous history, what do you know about their behaviour and they expect that.”
At the moment, AI is also being used to predict things like the right subject line, but Salesforce software engineer and email developer Mark Robbins says it still needs the “human touch”.
“You still need that proofreading as well because these things, they’re only as good as the data you put into it and that can have bias behind it as well,” Robbins says.
“So, having people on your team who can proofread it and having the diversity as well.”
Robbins joined Salesforce last year with the acquisition of interactive email business Rebel which was added to the tech giant’s Marketing Cloud.
Co-founded by Joe Taplow, who was also on the panel, Rebel has helped brands like Dollar Shave Club and L’Oreal turn their emails into an extension of their website or app.
Robbins says some of the new email formats and tools available now are just scratching the surface with what brands will be able to do.
“The same way that we have things like personalisation and just simple things like images. We can now do image galleries rather than single images,” he says.
“We're finding these new tools and working out ways to use them. Then when I think we start combining things with interactive email with things like AI, with things like dynamic content, and there's huge opportunities.”
AdNews attended Dreamforce as a guest of Salesforce.
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