CSA Summit 2019: Email Today and Tomorrow – Individual, Interactive and Interesting

  • CSA Summit 2019 in Cologne: Experts discuss the email of the future
  • “Email Just For You” with more relevance and better user experience

Email today is already far more than simply electronic post, and in future it will become even more individual, relevant, and interactive. This was clear for close to 130 email experts from 15 countries at the 6th CSA Summit 2019 in Cologne. Under the motto “Email Just For You,” the focus was centered on how to tailor mailings more individually to the needs of each individual recipient. What motivates recipients to react, and how can email be made more relevant for them? What roles do existing and yet-to-be-defined standards play?

“One of the trends that significantly influences email marketing is the constantly growing flood of emails that land in electronic inboxes on a daily basis,” says Julia Janssen-Holldiek, Director of the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA). Whereas in 2018 there were around 280 billion emails per day being sent to 3.8 billion email users, in 2022 – according to current forecasts – there will already be 333 billion emails a day. “A further trend concerns increasing individualization and personalization,” says Janssen-Holldiek. In her opinion, marketing, and therefore email, needs to become more individual and personal. Email recipients should be given the impression that they have received a direct and personal email which contains exactly the information that they will find useful.

Address recipients in a targeted manner and motivate them to act

Julia Janssen-Holldiek opened the event by explaining how the CSA acts as an interface between bulk mailers and mailbox providers, so that email can in future remain an established, informative, and secure marketing tool. The biggest challenge for the CSA and its certified senders and partners last year was surely the implementation of the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But also aside from legal requirements, the CSA constantly works on defining and establishing new quality standards for commercial mailings. Currently, the CSA represents 115 certified senders and cooperates with over 50 international mailbox providers and technology partners.

If the email succeeds in motivating the recipient to interact, then it has already achieved far more that many billions of further emails that are sent each day. What such an interaction may look like was explained by Mark Robbins, Senior Product Manager at Salesforce. Using a range of examples, he demonstrated what recipients can do in interactive emails, what added value this offers the recipient, and which technical aspects need to be taken into consideration.

Improving the quality of emails with the help of the CSA

Customer Engagement, individualization and personalization are important aspects of email marketing, and the basis for these is, among other things, transparent technical standards. Magnus Eén from Westwing and Dr. Conny Junghans from 1&1 demonstrated how schema.org and structured data can be used to improve the quality of emails and provide the most important information from emails in a standardized manner. schema.org is a joint project of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, and provides supplementary information on websites  and also in emails, by means of what are known as “schemas”. This means that the recipient of an email immediately sees most important information and can react to it. This creates trust and improves the user-experience.

Standards also played a supporting role in the closing presentation by Marcel Becker from Verizon Media Group and Seth Blank from Valimail. However, initially they provided some statistics: over 70 percent of consumers prefer email as the method of communication between brands and consumers. Looking at ROI, in their opinion email is by far the leading marketing communication channel, and it will continue to grow in coming years thanks to new standards and technologies like BIMI, AMP, and SCHEMA.

Further information on the CSA (Certified Senders Alliance) can be found here.

CSA Summit 2019: Email Today and Tomorrow – Individual, Interactive and Interesting