Rumours of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Despite claims from tech titans such as Mark Zuckerberg (who admittedly has a vested interested in declaring the demise of email prematurely), email is still very much alive and kicking. Just ask Mailbox, the innovative mobile email client that was recently acquired by Dropbox before announcing one million reservations before it has even opened to the public.
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Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other proprietary messaging systems, email enables cross-platform communications that doesn’t tie a user to a single service-provider. There’s a lot of life left in the old dog yet.
It’s against this backdrop that this next startup caught our attention. Email marketing isn’t typically something that pushes our saliva glands into overdrive, but London-based Kickdynamic is doing some pretty interesting stuff in the space.
Kickdynamic kicks email marketing into life
Kickdynamic recently launched a service that enables ‘live’, dynamic content to be placed in email. So, once an email has already been sent, the content within it is tailored to suit the device it’s opened on. It’s very similar to Movable Ink as it happens, a New York-based startup that launched ‘under the radar’ back in 2011, before demoing at a NY Tech Meetup event in September with eight other startups.
The use-cases are numerous, but Kickdynamic essentially makes it much easier for e-marketers to automate the personalization of mass-sent emails.
A countdown clock counts down in real-time to the end of, say, a special offer or promotion. It gives a sense of urgency to would-be consumers.
The email will tailor content specifically based on location, date/time, device and even the environment. One use case could be an electronics retailer displaying relevant accessories depending on whether an email is viewed on a Mac, Windows laptop or Android smartphone.
Also, developers could drive app signups by promoting device-specific apps and landing pages in an email. As things stand, it doesn’t seem to be optimized for iPad, however, as the screenshot below was taken from an iPad yet it indicates it was opened on an iPhone. A minor issue though, and one that can no doubt be circumvented with future iterations of the product.
Importantly, it lets marketers target localized content by country, depending on where an email is opened.
Retailers could also show the nearest bricks-and-mortar stores based on the user’s current location, plotted on a map. It’s even possible to show the exact number of products that are left in stock at the time a user opens their email, similar to what’s already available on the Web.
Another neat feature is the ability to automatically display multiple versions of an image to split-test and optimise content in real-time. If one image seems to be garnering more click-throughs, this can be rolled out and made default across the board.
A company can even stream the social network updates from Twitter and Facebook, so that real-time messages from the company and even the public can show up within the email.
Kickdynamic is the handiwork of Matt Hayes, who returned to London from Silicon Valley to found the company. “Email is here to say, so let’s make it work better,” he says. “Having worked in email marketing for ten years, Kickdynamic is a service I have always wanted.”
Six months after launch, Hayes says Kickdynamic’s tech has been included in “hundreds of millions of emails”, adding that it’s the only UK company offering such a service.
Kickdynamic’s technology is compatible with pretty much any Email Service Provider (ESP) and works with all mobiles devices and across all email clients, including Gmail and Yahoo. In terms of pricing, it starts at around £3 per 1,000 impressions for small businesses though they offer “high-volume pricing” on request.
Feature Image Credit- Thinkstock