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The Tale of E-mail and the Banner Ad

  |  November 23, 2009   |  Comments

What if your e-mails only had to work twice as hard and get four times the results? Consider these approaches to integrating e-mail and banner ad campaigns.

Last week, I spoke about e-mail marketing, digital publishing, and social media to groups totaling over 1,000 people. It was tons of fun. In each presentation, I shared statistics from recent research about the total disregard we, as consumers, have for banner advertisements. Basically, we ignore them. They don't even seem intrusive anymore. They're just ignored.

Then, I shared the good news: while banners are dead, e-mail is not. In fact, I pointed out that for every $1 spent on e-mail marketing, the average company can expect a $43 ROI (define). Usually, people begin to believe in the power of e-mail much more seriously at this point and start taking notes.

Interestingly, at one of my speaking engagements, a fellow e-mail expert, Dela Quist, CEO of Alchemy Worx, shared a video on the power of subliminal messaging. (You can see it here.) The intended takeaway of the video is that people are influenced by things they see, even if they don't recall seeing them initially. But, it was yet another e-mail expert, Tamara Gielen, who made the revelation that this type of advertising is very similar to the current day role of banners.

This introduced a new appreciation for banners, when they work together with e-mails. Maybe there is hope for the medium after all. I loved this thought and immediately began thinking about the ways we, as e-mail marketers, can test using subliminal branding queues from our partners in other media channels. The top three most effective ways are:

  • The retargeted banner infusion, followed by an e-mail driving people down the funnel faster because of the inherent feeling of familiarity with a product.

  • The guilt-trip banner that we "don't see" after we shut down, or delete an e-mail. It's just enough to send us back to the e-mail or site to make a purchase.

  • The "gimmie more" banner that asks you to interact with it, knowing that the first five times you see it, you probably won't. But also knowing that the sixth time you see it, you will spend lots of time with it.

All of the banner and e-mail integration ideas got me thinking about the even larger potential for e-mails. Optimal ROI can occur when e-mail is grounded firmly as a part of multi-channel marketing strategy.

Think about it. What if your e-mails only had to work twice as hard and get four times the results? This can happen if you leverage the other media channels around you to soften and educate the consumer. Pre-exposure through banners, search engine results, and social feeds make the consumer much more comfortable with your brand. By the time they get your e-mail, you're an old friend to them (in their mind). Post e-mail, TV shots, Web videos, mobile ads, etc. add that sense of credibility that seals the deal for purchase intent.

For many of us, e-mail marketing stops when we master the channel. Imagine what we can achieve if we integrate it with other channels and grow the results.

Meet Jeanniey at SES Chicago, December 7-9, 2009 at the Hilton Chicago.


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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