Everlytic’s Managing Director, Walter Penfold, presented “The email and SMS marketing juggernaut” at the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference (IMC) this month.

Here are some key points taken from the session.

The Growth of Email and SMS Marketing

Brands are sending more emails and SMSs than ever before and you would naturally expect this to lower the level of engagement but, the opposite is happening, and we are seeing increases in open and engagement rates year on year.

Why? Brands have become more strategic with their communications, sending the right content to the right people at the right time, using marketing automation to help seamlessly execute.

Targeted Emails Increase Engagement

Black Friday is the perfect example of giving customers what they want, when they want it. Since the implementation of Black Friday, consumers proactively expect discounts on this specific day.

Our research in Demystifying the Inbox revealed that people prefer to receive promotions on email than any other channel. This was, once again, proved on Black Friday in 2017 when our servers tracked over 10 Million email opens with a 36% open rate.

Personal Communication is Key

Email and SMS were originally designed for person-to-person communication enabling us to send short messages.

What changed? Marketers co-opted these channels into mass one-way messages against their originally intended purpose.

How do we get better? To get the best out of email and SMS we need to remember to be personal and concise, and engage in 2-way communication, not mass blasts.

The Power of Business Intelligence

Machine learning is an application of AI that trawls through large amounts of data to gain intelligent insights on a topic.

It could ultimately help marketers get better at predictive analytics, which is key to determining which products or services a customer could buy based on past purchasing behaviours.

Be careful not to use your collected data in a way that could potentially make people feel uncomfortable. Spotify once came under scrutiny when an end of year ad campaign sent out the following notification: “Dear person who listened to the ‘Forever Alone’ playlist for 4 hours on Valentine’s Day, you OK?”.


Once you understand your customers interest and online behaviour you can automate your communications and send them on a specific journey, nurturing them through the buyers’ cycle. This type of content should always be relevant, purposeful and timeous.