A quick show of hands – or rather – a show of comments below; how many of you have clicked on a banner ad or text link from a website while on your desktop computer in the last 30 days? (Those annoying clickbait units on the bottom of a page that are ads masquerading as content count, too.)
My guess is about 50 percent of you raised your hands.
And how many of you clicked on a banner ad or text link on your smartphone in the last 30 days?
I would bet that it’s fewer than 10 percent. Who can even see an ad on Safari on their iPhone?
Lastly, how many of you opened an email on your smartphone and clicked on an ad, image, or link that you found in the email that you subscribe to?
I bet nearly all of you have done this.
According to Marketing Sherpa’s study on the preferred methods consumers wish to recieve updates and promotions, email ranked at a close second to catalogs. Research by Marketing Sherpa also found that:
- 54 percent of those surveyed said that they prefer receiving promotions in the mail.
- 49 percent say they prefer receiving updates and promotions via email.
- Third place went to websites, as the ideal way to connect with brands.
- Receiving no trophy, fourth place went to social media as the preferred way people want to hear from brands.
When people are away from their desktop computers, email via smartphones prevails as the second most popular way of communicating with brands, right behind print ads. Trailing far behind email on smartphones are text messages. And at the absolute bottom are in-app ads, which in this survey, are the least favorite way to hear from brands when away from the desktop.
Simply put: Consumers want to hear from brands on their smartphones when they are not at their desktop computers.
In the meantime, Apple has released ad blocking software for Safari on iOS. Commercial ad-blockers, like Crystal, are among the top downloads in the Apple store. This development comes at a moment where time spent on mobile is increasing at the expense of other media and device types.
What is the one channel where consumers are not blocking brands? Email.
This asymmetry creates an amazing opportunity for brands to step up their email advertising game.
For too long, email has remained a pure marketing play, as email marketers collected subscribers and continued to just mail the heck out of them. But open rates have remained stable and deliverability is now a science that rewards responsible brand behavior.
But brands risk boring their users to death if they are overly reliant on first-party email catalogs, so one way to reach consumers outside of first-party channels is to work directly with publishers who have large newsletter files.
These publishers increasingly have access to powerful tools for managing email advertising campaigns. Simultaneously, they are often looking for brands to support their email newsletters, just like the publishers depend on brands to support both web and print versions of their publications.
What does this have to do with mobile?
Most email is now read on mobile devices. There are some disagreements on the exact percentage, but according to LiveIntent’s October results, about 54 percent of all email is being opened on either a phone or a tablet.
Email has already proven itself as a channel capable of driving more clicks and conversions than most websites. So if you are a brand and you are trying to reach consumers where they are spending the most time, where would that be?
Smartphone email newsletters.
Now you can buy them like display – so what are you waiting for?
*Article images via Flickr.
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