Stop selling and start marketing, says GetResponse MY's Mellissa Lee

Stop focusing on only sales, advises Mellissa Lee (pictured), head of GetResponse Malaysia. To create a successful email marketing strategy, brands need to start building a relationship with consumers. While many emails simply get lost under the promotions tab in a consumer’s inbox, Lee said the deciding factor is still the content. This is closely followed by engagement with your subscribers.

While it might seem simplistic enough, Lee who was speaking at A+M’s NEXT Malaysia conference, said the trick is to always give your subscribers enough good content, "so they want your emails in their inbox."

She added:

If you are always going to be selling features, it is never going to end well.

She added that today, many promotions end up mimicking each other given that features can easily be replicated. Moreover, with machine learning taking over jobs such as content creation, it is more vital than ever that marketers know their target audiences to create differentiated offerings.

Lee added that content automation is now on the cards and this shift away from traditional content marketing to machine-mediated conversational marketing, "will change the way marketers operate, empowering them to deliver better content at scale". Quoting studies by Gartner, she says that by next year 80% of content creation will be automated and the number could reach 100% in the next two years.  In fact, this will be so sophisticated that most consumers would not know if the articles are written by machine.

"At least 60% of the articles I read are generated by machines, but it did not occur to me until recently. I guess if [the machine automated content] delivers what I want, I don’t really have an issue with it - especially if it is accurate , descriptive, interesting to read," she added. Most consumers, she added, are the same.

Email marketing gets smarter

As machines taking over this arena of marketing, email marketing is also about to get a whole lot smarter, more personal and a lot more relevant. Machine learning, among its other benefits, can also help marketers identify and map consumer pain points. As such, they can assist marketing teams in delivering more relevant content to the audiences while saving time and resources.

“We have a lot of clients who send out monthly newsletters, and what we see is that companies which invest more on personalisation actually get better results,” Lee added.

Machine learning can also aid brand in knowing where their products are most present in the lives of consumers. Predictive intelligence and analytics can also help brands figure out the next point of purchase, and the ability to sieve through massive amounts of data at a quicker pace means that marketers are privy to more insights leading to more personalised campaigns. Overall, this will streamline the process of content creation and reduce cost, Lee explained.

Human insight still a must

But this doesn’t mean the human touch is no longer relevant. At the end of the day, while machines can take away the mundane tasks, the job of the marketer becomes more focused on creating a connection with his/her audience.

She added that Millennial consumers want to know the brands that care about them as a consumer. They want to be recognised for their individuality and want their pain points to be addressed. They also want to be addressed beyond just the realm of email marketing. Millennials today want to build relationship with brands.

"The whole storytelling element, invoking emotions and weaving a brand story is something machines can't do. Machines can’t help consumers fall in love [with your brand]. They will be able to give you the insight but they will not know what to do with it. At the end of the day, what we have as people is empathy and machines can't learn empathy," Lee said.