One of the beautiful things about email is how versatile of a tool it is for marketers. It can complement any campaign, target any audience, and support any part of the customer journey.

But email has traditionally had one key shortcoming, at least compared to other marketing channels and tools: it’s not great for creating urgency or building immediate anticipation.

Fortunately one simple tactic, embedding a countdown timer in email, can mitigate that weakness and create the compelling ‘fear of missing out’ feeling that marketers love so much. Read fast, this blog will self destruct in 10…9…8…

The Power of FOMO

The inclusion of urgency in marketing is a time-honored art that has evolved into a sophisticated science. As marketers have come under more and more pressure to drive immediate contributions to the bottom line, they’ve needed to find new ways to generate quick conversions.

From broadcast commercials to direct mail, display ads to Facebook posts, marketers’ messages are often jam-packed with urgency. Act today! Download now! Register before it’s too late! Order before we’re sold out!

There’s a reason marketers try to build a fear of missing out within their campaigns: it works, especially among digitally-connected consumers and younger generations.

Nearly 70% of millennials report experiencing FOMO, and 60% report making purchases because of it.

As Eventbrite reports, “For millennials, FOMO is not just a cultural phenomenon, it’s an epidemic. In a world where news feeds and social media broadcast what friends are experiencing, the fear of missing out propels millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy.”

Leading verticals able to take advantage of this sensation include travel, events, and food/dining, though it has a place among almost any industry.

Email: Fuel for the FOMO Fire

Email is an incredibly effective marketing channel, but traditionally has not been the go-to tool for inciting FOMO.

The channel lacks some of the capabilities that make catching the eye and inciting an immediate action easy. There’s no emotional music cues, no eye-catching stickers, no spoken dialogue, and little exciting video.

But the situation isn’t hopeless. It’s still possible to inject exigency into the inbox and increase conversion rates.

One of the most effective options for generating this urgency is to insert a countdown timer in emails.

From rocket launches into outer space to time bombs requiring immediate disarmament, there’s something about a ticking clock that builds up unmatchable and anxiety and anticipation.

This simple yet powerful tool is the perfect way to motivate immediate action in your email marketing. Just a few of the things you can do with it:

It’s never been easier to insert active countdown timers into your emails. Innovative real-time email technology means your embedding a countdown clock in email can look great on any device. Timers can be customized to display time ticking away down to the fraction of a second. Expertly-implemented timers even adapt to the client they’re opened in to display a live running clock or a still image that refreshes every time the email is opened!

3…2…1… GO!

Subscribers aren’t the only ones “on the clock.” Marketers are also racing to get ahead, differentiate their email experience and drive conversions. The good news is that results-generating tactics like embedding countdown timers in email have never been more accessible.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to add urgency and FOMO to your emails! (See what we did there?) Click here to see the power and capabilities of countdown timers in email for yourself.

Creating the perfect email isn’t a dream anymore.

In recent years, technology has opened new paths to consumer interaction in the inbox – bringing rich media and deeper content personalization mainstream. The movement of software and device maturation towards customer experience is helping marketers deliver better message content and template functionality. This move has positioned email as number one business-to-consumer channel of choice for almost all digital communications.

Email is the #1 activity on the Internet – even over using a search engine. It’s also the #1 activity on mobile devices” (Marketing Growth Strategies, Litmus)

Marketers consistently rank email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion and retention” (Gigaom Research)

Consumer experience is a key factor in email marketing’s growth. Static email content has grown to become dynamic and still grows as real-time functionality can identify recipient-level variables to deepen message personalization. Segmentation has also evolved – from historical to forward-looking demarcation.

A forward-looking approach is a cornerstone to basic inbox personalization at scale. Real-time information is used to trigger content delivery within an email template to heighten recipient interest. Segmentation in this process happens at the moment the email opens, rather than before the email sends. Each email is individually personalized based on live recipient data, rendering uniquely in each inbox.

How Does Live Data Scale Email Relevance?

With real-time email technology, live data pulls directly from the email recipient each time the email opens. The data is analyzed and filtered instantly, pushing back the most recent and relevant content to openers. By positioning segmentation at the inbox rather than before the send, personalization is fluid to the point of open, not limited to pre-send information within the campaign workflow.

Uncoupling segmentation from predefined lists allows more interactive content within an email campaign. Images, omni-channel marketing data, custom feeds, website content, and live CRM data are pulled in real-time to create the highest possible relevance for openers. Live data filters automate segmentation, reducing the need for list building.

Pre-defining lists for an email campaign comes with a certain amount of disconnection between the company and recipients. As data ages in a CRM, it has a natural amount of attrition that atrophies messaging personalization. Pre-defined segmentation also inherently ignores the context and setting of where an email opens regarding the recipients – diminishing relevance before deployment.

Where is Live Data Used?

Live data can be used to increase relevance for all types of email content. To date, companies using real-time email technology are leveraging time, location, device, and inbox client data to tighten email context. Live data helps recipients open more interesting emails, also giving marketers an edge technically on rich-media delivery. Device and software identification assists in delivering the appropriate video or animated image to email openers to prevent broken emails in the inbox.

What Email Elements does Live Data Affect?

Email elements with imagery are the most affected by live data. Because HTML text is hard coded into an email, contextual content technology does not currently change the text within an email template. However, live website, social media, or weather information pulled for an email are refreshed within embedded images, mimicking text-based content.

Example: Live Data in Email

Live data in email

Live data makes a big difference in email relevance and can be as simple as cross-channel inclusions, like Instagram photos. 

Can Live Data Replace List Segmentation?

Yes and no. Segmentation based on real-time variables that overlap with CRM information would need consideration, but live data does a better job of enhancing pre-existing data segmentation than replacing it. Using historical in conjunction with moment-of-open information is the perfect mix of context for the email recipient.

When is the Best Time to Involve Live Data?

Anytime.

Live data integrations into an email can be as simple as configuring the logic and pasting a line of HTML into an existing email template. Simple implementations like social media feeds or weather are implemented in less than a few minutes. Although, similar to any marketing campaign, customizing images and element display can take extra development time.

Advanced integrations like real-time account-level information delivered in graphical form naturally take more time to configure and test, but create a lasting impression on inbox performance.