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Email can work to boost brand awareness too

By Matt Clarke 17 Aug, 2011
Essential
Integrated marketing communications

Integrating email marketing into a display ad campaign boosts recall by 13%

I'm sharing this recent research study since it offers some interesting results and insight for multi-channel marketers. It covers an area you don't see discussed so much - the intersection between email marketing and online ad campaigns.

Today email is mainly thought of as a customer communications tool for developing loyalty and sales to existing customers, but this study shows how using email as a media buy through ads in email newsletters and in rented lists can help in customer acquisition and conversion to sale.

You'll see that the results suggest that online advertising campaigns are enhanced when the email marketing channel is added. It's a classic case of the increasing reach and awareness through adding an additional channel.

Methodology / case study

The study, which analysed the advertising effectiveness of email marketing, compared to display advertising, looked at responses from over 1,000 consumers to the SEAT Ibiza ST campaigns. It used a classic "hold out" approach where different respondents were reach through different combinations of media:

  • contact with the email campaign,
  • contact with their display advertising and
  • contact with both campaign channels.

The respondents were all members of the Nielsen Online Panel. Responses were split into three samples.

7 Key findings from the study

The main finding from the study is the relatively high recall from those receiving emails compared to those seeing an ad, plus the maximum recall for combined media. Again, a classic media mix case study.

  1. The combination of display and email advertising improves advertising recall by 13% compared with just display advertising
  2. Email increases disposition to buy in 47% of cases and is therefore ideal for increasing conversions
  3. Spending power as a target group – by using email you can precisely reach your target group
  4. Email allowed the required level of advertising to be reached three times more quickly than display advertising
  5. Email advertising is welcomed and viral effects significantly improve the reach of campaigns
  6. Advertising/brand association is exceptionally strong within the younger target group
  7. The mix of email and display campaigns boosted web traffic by a factor of 4

Recall success

The results show that when the display and email marketing channels are combined, advertising recall improved by 13%, compared to display advertising alone. Email marketing demonstrated an especially strong advertising recall in younger age groups. They also found that this mix was able to achieve four times the traffic to websites and landing pages, with  47% of the sample surveyed showing increased inclination to make a purchase. The combination of these tools is therefore ideal for brands looking to increase their online conversions and ultimately, increase ROI.

Campaign improvements

On the release of the campaigns, the email channel results were markedly better in terms of achieving the required amount of advertising volume. In the first wave of email, nearly a third of the entire email media volume was achieved within a week. When this is compared to the display campaign, results reveal that this only achieved one tenth of the volume in the same amount of time.

The main reason email has been so successful here , as we can see from the research, is that the viral effects of the email campaign significantly improved its reach. Opinions of these respondents showed that 42% of email recipients think that newsletter advertising, alongside tailored product recommendations and offers, was by far a better and more trusted way to communicate with them.

Viral boosts reach of  the campaign

Aside from the conclusive results, email was able to gain the ultimate upper hand for brands in its ability to reach new potential customers, with nearly half of all respondents stating they would forward relevant newsletter offers on to friends, family and colleagues.

Full research:

Research on impact of display and email advertising - a case study of SEAT.

By Matt Clarke

Today Matt works at Adobe UK advising customers on a wide range topics across digital marketing and supporting Adobe's clients to become best-in-class multi-channel marketing organisations. Matt has worked across multiple industries over 15 years, most notably with BP where he led Usability, Web Analytics and Email Marketing as part of the global COE. Based in London and today working with leading retailers, Matt specialises in delivery of Adobe's Digital Marketing Cloud. During his career Matt has worked across many fields of expertise including; Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, eCRM, Social Media Marketing, User Experience, Accessibility, Web Optimisation and SEO. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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