Could “Everychannel” be the new replacement for multichannel and omnichannel? According to David Daniels, CEO & Founder of The Relevancy Group, that just may be the case.

Daniels calls email “our digital fingerprint,” linking the consumer across their connected device to drive truly people-based marketing experiences. “To me this is the most exciting innovation in email that we have seen in a long time,” he observes.

And Daniels knows something about exciting innovations. As the co-author of ‘Email Marketing An Hour A Day’, he has held senior level positions at Forrester, JupiterResearch, Apple, Anthropologie and other top brands.

At the content and networking rich Email Evolution Conference (May 1-3 in New Orleans), Daniels will be awarded the Email Experience Council’s 2017 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year Award, which recognizes an industry leader who has made a substantial positive impact on the email marketing community. Daniels, who is also the Publisher & Founder of The Marketer Quarterly, was chosen for his leadership, market research and advisory services in the digital marketing community.

Leading up to EEC, DMA asked Daniels to share his thoughts on today’s email marketing landscape, his perspective on where email is heading and its unique role in the cross-device and cross-channel mix.

Why are you excited about the future of email marketing?

There have been great improvements in data utilization over the last few years, specifically the utilization of real-time data to improve context and message relevance. This will advance the customer experience and business results for marketers.

When The Relevancy Group asked 500 email marketers about their 2017 priorities in a January 2017 executive survey, the top three responses were improving the customer experience (57%), improving relevance with their customers (51%) and utilization of real-time data (39%). Email marketers are clearly aligned with the tactics and strategies that will improve the channel in the future.

In your view, what feature makes email such an essential part of the marketing mix?

The efficiency and effectiveness of the channel makes it a necessary tool for any marketer. The ROI (Return on Investment) of the channel surpasses other channels and my research has long documented that those that embrace relevancy (i.e. segmentation and targeting) are even more successful than those that do not. It is because of this and the low financial barrier to entry that we have seen the adoption of the channel increase.

In the aforementioned Relevancy Group survey we found that adoption of email marketing increased to 65 percent in 2017 up from 60 percent in 2016. Email adoption soars above other channels including organic Facebook posts, online display advertising, video ads and catalog marketing.

What steps does your business take to counter “email fatigue” in consumers? Do you believe this impacts consumer behavior in email or other channels?

Well to start, being relevant and mobile friendly is necessary. Mobile email adoption is high at about 83 percent, but what you may not realize is that a Relevancy Group consumer survey of 1,000 individuals found that 37 percent use the phone as their primary email inbox. We continue to find that consumers opt-out or ignore messages because of frequency overload (77%), lack of relevance (55%) and 41 percent of consumers use their finger to swipe left to simply delete the message.

Marketers have seconds to capture the consumer’s attention and seduce them into an action or conversion. Email Marketers need to look at this consumer behavior, specifically in-active subscribers and target them elsewhere online.

Research from our latest ESP Buyer’s Guide indicates that more email marketers are using display targeting/re-targeting online or on social sites than they are utilizing proven tactics such as A/B testing. Why? Because as marketers we must follow these fatigued email subscribers where we can reach them. Such targeting is effective and easy, as it amounts to cutting a list and uploading to a provider such as Facebook and match audiences there or potentially grow a list by finding look-alike consumers.

Today, content is being consumed on a number of connected devices. What role does email play in identifying consumers across their connected devices?

Email is, has been and will always be our digital fingerprint. It is necessary to do nearly everything online and it is doubtful that your bank or any merchant will allow you to authenticate with your snapchat or Pinterest handle anytime soon.

Because of emails continued adoption across all age groups, an email address is the necessary linkage of the consumer’s identity across channels and devices. To me this is the most exciting innovation in email that we have seen in a long time. It is driving ESPs (Email Service Providers) to acquire and or merge with Adtech technology such as DMPs (Data Management Platforms) and Identity Management solutions.

We refer to the mash-up of Adtech and Martech as Madtech and it is fueling the reality of People-Based-Marketing, which is the ability to target at the individual level across Everychannel. I coined the phrase ESP about 20 years ago, and now am suggesting that the E stand for Everychannel as email is empowering that level of connectivity across devices and channels.

What led you to join eec, and how does eec help you grow your business and drive effective email marketing?

I was one of the charter members when Jeanniey Mullen founded the eec. Jeanniey and I wrote a book together, so that collaboration drove my involvement from the start. I was the first keynote speaker at the first eec Email Evolution Conference in San Diego, which was shortly after the DMA acquired it from Jeanniey.

I am passionate about our industry and always trying to educate the marketer for the greater good. This notion is in-part what led me to publish the digital magazine and app, The Marketer Quarterly – free with registration, which the DMA has been a long-time partner contributor to. I recently led an eec coaching clinic and on 5/17 we are hosting an eec meet-up in Boston.

The eec has allowed me to contribute to the industry and facilitated peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and networking, which since its inception has been a great value to me personally and my businesses.


As CEO of The Relevancy Group, David directs market research and advisory services essential to digital marketing. Direct Magazine said David is “one of the most influential experts in email marketing, if not the most influential.” David is also the Publisher and Founder of The Marketer Quarterly a digital magazine for marketers by marketers available for free with registration at www.marketerquarterly.com or via the MQ App on Apple, Google and Amazon. Follow David on Twitter @emaildaniels.

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