Email as a service: Bridging the gap between digital marketing and brick-and-mortar experiences

Email as a service: Bridging the gap between digital marketing and brick-and-mortar experiences. What is email as a service? The partnership makes it possible for marketers to add free ride offers to their campaigns. With a click, customers can take advantage of a free ride to the brand’s nearest retail location, effortlessly transitioning from an online offer to a physical store experience. For example, what if a car isn’t the service, but the product? Focus on high-end purchases and large cart opportunities. It doesn’t make sense to provide Uber rides or other services to consumers that aren’t likely to result in a significant sale. Some brands are already using the email-as-a-service concept in their campaigns, and I expect it will become even more common for retailers that have physical store locations. Could your brand be the only one that offers free Uber rides to your brick-and-mortar locations on the biggest shopping day of the year? About The Author Email marketing in the age of social media 5 email marketing sound bites (and the deeper meaning behind them) Email marketing is more than just hitting the send button

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What if emails weren’t just marketing tools? In fact, what would
happen if email became a service, a linchpin in brands’ efforts to
create seamless multi-channel shopping experiences?

Believe it or not, email as a service exists. And for the right
brands, it’s opening the door to opportunities that bridge the gap
between digital communication and physical product
interactions.

What is email as a service?

Traditionally, marketing emails have focused on delivering a
promotion or offer to specific groups of subscribers. If the
message hits home, the subscriber clicks a link to receive more
information, take advantage of the discount or (fingers crossed)
make a purchase.

Sounds great, right? It is. But there’s a catch: consumers
overwhelmingly prefer brick-and-mortar experiences to online
shopping.

In Q2 2016, e-commerce sales accounted for just 8.1 percent of
total sales, according to data
published by the US Department of Commerce. So, brands that are
unable to parlay marketing emails into increased store traffic or
physical store interactions are missing out on significant revenue
opportunities.

Recently,
Uber announced a partnership with Yext
, a location-based
technology company. The partnership makes it possible for marketers
to add free ride offers to their campaigns. Rather than simply
providing directions to brick-and-mortar locations and hoping for
the best, marketers can send an Uber to pick customers up at their
current locations, using a mechanism embedded in the email
itself.

It’s convenient and seamless. Most importantly, it bridges the
divide between email marketing and in-store customer experiences,
incentivizing shoppers to take an action that directly results in
physical interactions with products or service providers.

Use cases for email as a service

Email-based services are valuable tools for marketers who are
willing to reimagine the customer journey in a multi-channel
context. Although the concept isn’t appropriate for all brands or
products, there are a variety of scenarios that are ripe for this
approach.

  • Retail — The retail sector presents the most
    obvious use case for email as a service. With a click, customers
    can take advantage of a free ride to the brand’s nearest retail
    location, effortlessly transitioning from an online offer to a
    physical store experience. When deployed strategically and in
    tandem with other offers (e.g., a sale event), email as a service
    makes it relatively easy for certain types of customers to
    respond.
  • Entertainment and dining — It’s not difficult
    to see how the email-as-a-service concept could extend beyond
    retail to luxury restaurants and…

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