How To Reach Wealthy, Older Audiences With Email Advertising
You might be spending more than ever on digital advertising, but are you investing in the right channels?
Print and broadcast advertising continue to lose ground to digital on all fronts. This year, television spend will dip 2.2%, while old-school channels like print newspapers will drop almost 18%. The shift makes sense, given digital's ease of measurement, simple attribution, and overall effectiveness.
While almost no one denies that the future of advertising is online, many marketers limit their digital efforts to Facebook and Google and neglect one of the business's most effective channels: email.
As consumers increasingly prefer -- even expect -- personalized communications from their favorite brands, reaching individuals via email remains one of the most lucrative digital marketing investments.
What Makes Email Special?
Younger audiences love Instagram, but to reach older people with money to spend, it's a serious mistake to overlook email. It's the preferred method of communication for most adults, which partially explains its incredible 4,400% average ROI. One survey found that people ages 50 and older use smartphone email apps (68%) more than any other apps -- including internet browsers (63%) and social media (58%). If you want to get in front of adult audiences, email is your best bet.
Don't worry about annoying them, either. People don't just tolerate promotional emails: They welcome them. According to MarketingSherpa, 91% of American adults enjoy receiving email advertisements from their favorite brands.
Like any form of advertising, email's effectiveness lies in its ability to persuade consumers to take the next step. Most of the time, that means opening the email, clicking through to the offer and engaging with some sort of call to action, whether it's to opt in for a free report, take a quiz or poll, or purchase a product or service. Once prospects or customers are on your email list, you can market to them over and over again. And if they joined your list via an email ad, they're far more likely to respond and engage with your follow-up email marketing communications.
3 Tips to Make Email Advertising Work for You
Why keep all your eggs in the Facebook and Google baskets when you can often achieve better returns and lifetime value with email ads? To maximize the effectiveness of your email advertising and take advantage of this highly effective channel, follow these three tips:
1. Design for All Platforms
People check email on their computers at work, on their smartphones at home, on their tablets in hotels, and even on their watches while on the go. That means your email has to be attractive and readable on every platform or device. Fifty-seven percent of site traffic comes from mobile devices today, which means marketers must optimize for mobile to maximize the effectiveness of their emails.
Use services like Litmus to check and optimize your HTML creative. You can't always tell at a glance whether an email will work on mobile, but smart software can. Make sure the landing pages use responsive design and work for mobile. Unbounce and other tools can help you design mobile-friendly landing pages that lead to more conversions.
2. Test, Refine, Repeat
No matter how great your email creatives are, performance will vary from list to list and will fatigue over time, so it's important to never stop testing. Most publishers will allow you to run A/B split tests on your email drops, so you should consistently test different subject lines, creative formats (short vs. long, graphics vs. no graphics, letter-style vs. news, etc.) and calls to action to optimize your open rates, click-throughs, and conversions.
Email testing is straightforward: Just remember to test only one element (e.g., subject lines, creatives, etc.) at a time, leverage insights from the winners, iterate, scale the winners, and repeat.
3. Go Vertical First, Then Lateral
Begin your campaign in the most targeted vertical for your product or service, and if that works well, consider expanding laterally to others. Campaigns that perform well in one vertical will often perform well in others, so after you've proven your offer in the vertical that makes the most sense, consider expanding laterally by testing 10% of your budget on lists in new verticals.
This approach will ultimately help you achieve more reach and volume because the right audience can be reached on a variety of lists and channels, and even if those channels are not as targeted, all media works at the right price.
Here's the bottom line: While email advertising may seem old-school, it's the ROI king for engaging wealthy, older audiences. If email advertising is not part of your marketing mix, leverage these tips to start reaping the benefits of digital marketing's most reliable channel.