We are venturing into unknown territory and what we are seeing across the board is a massive drive to acquire, segment, store and plan communications to a client database as quickly as possible.

At King James Digital, we have already begun accessing first-party data, which is the collection of user-identifiable data in the form of a submit form or opt-in by a current or potential client that allows you to legally engage that client with further communication whether by email, SMS or telephonic communication.

With the implementation of POPIA coming in July 2021, there is even more motivation to help clients ensure they have a plan of how they will store, segment and use valuable client data. Email marketing is still a very powerful method of communication with one's customers.

Greg Phillips, chief executive officer of leading email communications agency TouchBasePro, says that while this is going to be the best way to maintain client data ensuring that your message stands out is going to be what will eventually matter.

"Getting your message and brand to stand out amongst all the other clutter requires that you make use of the tools and data available. At TouchBasePro, we are seeing an increasing number of customers moving to hyper-personalised email sending," says Phillips.

"Due to the content within these emails having a far deeper level of personalisation, articles, news topics and content are tailored to each recipient's interests, creating an ideal audience of one. This drives subscriber engagement and eradicates the need to send a multitude of emails. Machine learning and predictive algorithms, coupled with data-based personalisation, are becoming key drivers to increasing email engagement even further," adds Phillips.

Phillips says that when comparing marketing channels that convert or generate business, it is critical to look at the bottom line and use the channel that will bring in the most amount of revenue, at the least amount of money spent.

Recent studies on email ROI agree that email communication, with its lower cost of execution, boasts an average return on investment of around R38 for every R1 spent on marketing.  

"We see marketing teams spending more and more of their budget into growing their email database in order to create their own channel of communication. Being able to achieve these impressive metrics for email communication requires that the email being sent has been crafted professionally, executed at the right time and is relevant to the person receiving it. Get these three things right and you will be onto a winning formula," adds Phillips.

What is going to become apparent is that first-party data, and the ability to push a message to a person's device or inbox, is becoming a critical mechanic that most, if not all, marketing teams will need in a third-party cookie-less world.

Whilst email has always been a part of the digital marketing mix, with the death of the cookie, marketers will need to focus on the customer of the future and how to effectively engage them. Content will remain king and cleverly curated, tailored content that is relevant will produce the most favourable results.

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