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Email as Brand Advertising? You bet.

By Richard Fouts | April 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Marketing StrategymarketingBrand awareness

I fit perfectly within Jaguar’s segmentation model for its new F-TYPE sports car.

Hence, Jaguar marketers hope I’ll think of them when I venture out to buy a car in the F-TYPE category. Why?  Because they’ve shown their “our F-TYPE kicks BMW’s butt”  awareness ad with high frequency in markets that match its target audience (35-55 year old, affluent males in densely populated urban areas).  

High frequency within your target reach  — is effective even if your TV ads create negative sentiment. People that rank Progressive Insurance first in terms of awareness, are often the first to admit how annoying and oversaturated its television advertising has become. But marketers at Progressive don’t care, nor should they. They’ve achieved their goal. Buyers in Progressive’s target market are apt to think about them when an opportunity to buy or recommend auto insurance arises.

This is also known as the nudge effect – which influences buyer behavior without an initial direct response, also known as brand advertising (of which, television, is a prime carrier).  

Of course, television ads are expensive ($300,000 or more per minute, on prime time television, not including ad production costs). But the reach can equal several million.

But hold on. There’s another channel that achieves the same kind of awareness using high frequency, albeit at a far lower cost, namely email. Compare the cost of regularly emailing 1 million people who have already said they are interested in hearing more about sports cars – with the cost of an ad on Modern Family.

This alternate way of looking at email marketing is a topic explored by Alchemy Worx, a marketing agency with a 100 percent email focus.  Its research shows:

  • Regular view of a brand in an email inbox prompts subscribers to response via other channels (even if these emails are unopened)
  • A compelling subject line reminds subscribers of current offers across channels; it also reinforces brand values and benefits (even if these emails are unopened)
  • Regular emails keep a brand front-and-center in the subscriber’s mind, so that even if they don’t transact today, they may do so in the future (even if these emails are unopened).

These are all instances of the nudge effect.

Moreover, when a buyer doesn’t open an email, it doesn’t mean the brand isn’t registering. The simple sight of the brand in the subject line contributes to this powerful nudge effect, which marketers have traditionally assigned to the advertising medium, not the email medium.

When you assess buyer reaction to email marketing in this context –  you break out of email as a digital version of direct mail. The other good news:  email is the lowest-cost ad channel available.  And far more targetable than a mass medium such as television.

You can read more about the hidden benefits of email marketers in a paper by Dela Quist, the CEO of Alchemy Worx in the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing, Summer 2013.




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