With the end of cookies and the rise of GDPR, the digital marketing game is changing. What are the points of contact that stand out in this environment? Those that escape filters, defeat algorithms, and guarantee high performance? Among the best are 1-to-1 emails and their embedded email signatures.
A vice grip—this is what the digital environment looks like for many marketers at the start of 2021. And for good reason. First, the GDPR and state-level regulations like CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) require requesting explicit consent before activating any tag on a website. Additionally, browsers—Safari in particular, but others are following suit—are gradually getting rid of third-party cookies. As a result, the ability to track a user’s history, perform ad retargeting, and control advertising precision is becoming almost nonexistent.
1-to-1 email comes out on top in this new landscape
Caught up in this technical-regulatory stranglehold, marketers have no choice but to go back to the fundamentals: “first-party” data (that which the company itself actually holds) and “organic” levers (as opposed to paid or advertising levers). That’s why SEO is so important. It’s also why email, whose demise has been foretold many times, has never been more alive.
It must be said that email has some attractive qualities. According to the 2019 EMA B2C study, it remains consumers’ preferred communication tool. And unlike a social media post, it’s not subject to algorithms – only spam filters. No, there’s no guarantee that an email will be opened, especially when the opening rate tops out around 25%. But here we’re talking about general mass emails, not about 1-to-1 emails sent from one person to another in a contextual and personalized way. These emails show an opening rate approaching 100%. In other words, they provide a privileged point of contact. A direct line with an audience that, in today’s very constrained digital marketing landscape, represents priceless value.
Managing the email signature as a full-fledged channel
How can I optimize these emails? How can I use them to make “touch point” marketing effective? By making sure to use these signatures in email campaigns while also ensuring that… they don’t look like campaigns. No, it isn’t contradictory. To succeed, you’ll have to be able to make full use of the email signature that accompanies every email sent by every team member. With a 100-employee company, we’re talking about an average of 80,000 emails a month. This number alone shows that an email signature is indeed a marketing channel of its own.
And like any marketing channel, the email signature requires the right set of tools and best practices. Regarding tools, a centralized solution for email signature management like Letsignit is strongly recommended. It is specialized tools like this that will help you edit email signatures efficiently and, most importantly, manage them like your campaigns. That is, to plan and allocate them to the right team members according to their location, department, or function. Solutions like this will also allow you to analyze the performance of email signatures in fine detail and measure their contribution to your marketing objectives.
Improve your CTA to optimize performance
As for best practices, mastering the call-to-action (CTA) is required. CTAs embedded in email signatures must stick to the engagement and conversion funnel. In other words, the idea isn’t to default to “hard selling” in the email signature, but rather to be more interesting. Commercial messages aren’t forbidden, but they must be used at the right time, on the right people, and fall under a global plan. The phrase “email signature” can thus take its place alongside the phrases “blog,” “social network,” “newsletters,” etc.
Because these email signatures take time and effort (planning, production), it’s important to measure the results. Again, a solution like Letsignit provides a valuable service since each link inserted in a signature is tracked by default. And—good news—this tracking doesn’t depend on cookies, but on a simple attribute called “UTM” (variables inserted in the URL).
- What traffic do signatures generate to a site or landing page?
- Has the “webinar” signature converted better than the “ebook” signature?
Statistics, collected via our email signature solution, provide the answers to these and many other questions.
Enhancing the performance of email signatures
Beyond gross performance, how can an email signature’s performance be optimized in a marketing plan? First, by comparing their performance to those of other channels, looking at both traffic and conversions. It can be enlightening to look at how different levers (SEA, SEO, social posts, signatures…) contribute to a landing page’s traffic. Even more interesting: follow conversions along the funnel to identify, with high granularity, where closed deals originated. The levers that bring the most traffic aren’t always the ones that generate the most qualified contacts.
An email signature is sent by team members, transmitted via reliable and controlled media (email), and has all the qualities necessary to contribute to the marketing funnel. This is even more true today. A solution like Letsignit helps you manage them on a large scale. Because in today’s digital environment, an “owned” channel (of which the company has full latitude) with such high performance deserves close attention.