The state of email marketing communications in india
The state of email marketing communications in IndiaIndia is seeing a larger attention in digital marketingspace as younger and older population are gettingonline and their spending habits online fuelled byalready established online travel companies which madetheir life much easier. Indian online population isenjoying now the ease with which they can book theirtickets, or buying things at much cheaper prices.Email being one of the prime digital channels forcompanies to continuously engage with their largesubscriber base, Indian companies have long attemptedmultiple solutions from in-house SMTP mailers toMTA boxes to Email Solution Providers (ESP) of allsizes. As the internet email regulations have evolvedover time and often dictated by the Internet ServiceProviders (ISPs) like yahoo, hotmail, Gmail and suchand their continued redefinition of the rules foraccepting and delivering mails to the inboxes of therecipients, Indian companies are more and more tryingto use the Email Service Providers.This has provided an opportunity for several companiesto jump into providing bulk email solutions.
Some of the Indian companies have attempted to easilytake some open source solutions like PHP Mailer andsuch and modifying or building to the needs of theIndian companies. These solutions mostly lack theauthentication features required by ISPs like DKIM andspeed throttling. Most of the solutions are not built formanaging entire email life cycle communication and thedata privacies required. Their infrastructure is notscalable and cant be separated for each of their client.This will complicate issues like IP and domainreputation. A company which has very good emailpractices can easily get hurt by some other companywhich has no good practices if they use such emailsolutions. Indian companies still being very slow andaverse to use confirmed opt-in practices, can easily gettheir domain blacklisted and ISPs can soon either puttheir mails in spam folder or start blocking their mails.Moreover these solutions that are not built for analyticdriven marketing lack the analytic features. This makesthe marketer not aware of his engaged audience bydemographics, email behaviour and purchasebehaviour. With no knowledge of such intelligence,Indian companies who are using such solutions areblindly shooting the mails to all subscribers, withoutknowing what their subscribers are doing with those
emails. This can also treated by ISPs as bad senders andemails may be blocked or sent to spam folders by ISPs.According to Reputation Authority, Indian Companiesusing home grown email communication platforms aresending more than 40% spam. It is very difficult forIndian email marketing solution providers to control thespam rate, as their solutions are not very sophisticatedto handle all kinds of bounces, spam complaints andspam traps. Moreover there is no intelligence to analysethe active and inactive subscriber base over time.They also lack the integration features for companies tomanage their entire life cycle email communicationwith one solution and work with the companys portaland back end systems seamlessly.Seeing the growth in the internet population and recentexplosion in e-commerce and daily deals, severalinternational email service providers (ESPs) have nowentered the Indian market through sales team locatedelsewhere or in India and offering their more maturedplatforms to Indian companies. This is a most welcometrend.
Now there are more companies offering such solutions,the price competition is so much, International emailservice providers are competing with the Indian emailservice providers on price and dropping the accountmanagement, project management and integrationfeatures for Indian companies. When their minimumticket size is more than 100K US Dollars per client inmatured markets of USA and Europe, and they throw ina dedicated account manager, solutioning to automatethe clients email communication and providing fullservices, the international email service providers arejust providing a software tool to send bulk mails toIndian companies, with none of those needed servicesthat are very much needed by Indian companies, as theyare trying to adopt email as an effective medium.According to Reputation Authority, even theinternational email service providers that are providingemail platform as a tool for sending bulk emailcommunications for Indian companies are not able tobring the spam to single digit, as they are not able towork with the Indian clients to strategise their emailmarketing efforts.I see Indian companies as they trying to adopt emailcommunication as a prime medium for their onlinebusiness, is largely under served by both Indian
companies who lack features and International emailservice providers who cant provide much neededstrategy and expertise with local resources forcompanies to better engage their subscribers.Email cost measured in CPM (cost per thousand) maybe a deciding factor when you choose the email serviceprovider. While each ESP may have a cost per CPM tocompete, a self managed email platform may not be asingle decisive factor.Indian companies have to start looking at not only theplatform, but also need to look at the expertise of theemail service provider on their mailing infrastructure,security practices for their data, expertise in emailmarketing, though leadership, ability to docustomizations, integrate their websites and backendsystems for life cycle email communication and abilityfor managing their email campaigns.I see some Indian companies have understood theimportance of much needed services along with theemail platform and are choosing the email serviceprovider based on a broad spectrum and depth ofservices and expertise offered to better optimize theemail medium.
I believe that most matured and smart IndianCompanies are trying to stop blasting the emails to allin blind everyday and start using intelligent analyticdriven customer engagement email communication inthe days ahead.This is most welcome news for the most spammedIndian Internet consumer.